Some highlights from the last 24 aboard SCOOTS...
24 November 2017 | On passage between Fiji and New Zealand
-Another boisterous day: lots of wind and mixed seas up to 3m, described by another sailor as "unsportsmanlike". An apt description. Moving around required going from handhold to handhold; we sat on the low side of the boat, or wedged ourselves into corners. In the cockpit, we huddled under the hard dodger (LOVE that hard dodger!) to avoid being soaked by the salt water that continually soaked the back of the cockpit. But we're making good time...we were going 7-8 knots most of the day. SCOOTS could have gone faster, but we held her back to try to minimize the volume of water washing over her bow. This because we were concerned that the foc'sle (sail locker) might be taking some water through its hatch.
To this end, I put on my harness, and bathing suit, and went forward to (1) see whether the bilge pump in the locker was spewing water out its outlet in the hull (it was), (2) see whether there was water in the sail locker (there was), (3) collect the staysail sheet (line) that had come loose and draped over the low side of the boat, and then rig both staysail sheets, and 4) tidy up the deck a bit, coil and secure lines that had come loose. We started by slowing SCOOTS down so she tended to ride over the waves, rather than bash into them, which kept me pretty dry on deck.
-Eric wrote a song during one of his watches, a bluesey piece he calls "The Gulf Harbour Blues," (Gulf Harbour Radio being the station we check into and listen to each morning for weather).
-During the night, as we sailed past 28 degrees south, the wind went from strong and from a pretty constant direction to fluky in both strength and direction. As he came off his watch, Eric joked that Coyote the Trickster is running the weather at the moment. LOL I think he's right. We're doing our best to adjust the sails and keep as close to our desired course as we can. But at least the waves have become friendlier...they're only about a meter now, rather than the 3 meters they have been for the past few days. Moving around the cabin should be easier now, and maybe we can also venture out from under the dodger today.
Anyway, things are good aboard SCOOTS as she closes within 375 miles of NZ. As I write this, the sun is rising, a big apricot peeking out from behind some clouds at the horizon. It's going to be a lovely day. I've started thawing out the chicken I'd intended to make for our Thanksgiving dinner. I think conditions might be reasonable enough that I can cook it today or tomorrow. If we don't eat it before we arrive in NZ, the nice biosecurity men will likely take it from us and put it into their big black official biosecurity trash bag. Which would be a real shame.
SCOOTS Day 4 position: 28* 51s, 174* 38e