Welcome to the wind, weather strategies paying off, The Numbers
24 June 2018 | On passage from NZ to Fiji
We enjoyed sunshine again all day, and a bright, starry sky at night. During my night watches, I particularly like to find Scorpius, with its bright red heart, two pinchers at one end, a double-ended stinger at the other, and a sinuous body joining them. During the day, while conditions were still gentle, we went on deck to make sure that things were secure, before the big wind arrived. In the process we located and replaced a jib sheet that was looking very worn, coiled and stowed some lines, tied an extra rope to the dinghy to keep it from sliding side to side, and we made absolutely certain that the foc'sle hatch was shut tightly (we can learn...).
Yanmar the Magnificent kept us moving along at a pretty good clip, but we were looking forward to having the wind arrive to fill the sails and give Y the M a break. Which it finally did at about dinner time. And it didn't sneak in, either, it was BOOM! Hello, here I am, 15 knots of wind, then 20. So we put a reef in the main and called it good.
The seas were a bit flouncy, whipped up by the wind and still deciding where they wanted to go, and as a result, SCOOTS was rolled and bumped a bit. But it didn't hold her back; with her sails full, she put her shoulder into it and took off, making between 7 and 9 knots for the duration. We left the steering to Bender, and went along for the ride.
Our plan to head slightly west of north, and get above 30 S as quickly as possible has been paying off: we've had lovely weather so far, and according to our weather faxes, Gribs, and real-time satellite pictures, the weather has begun to snarl up quite a bit above NZ, but mostly south of the 30 S latitude. By making tracks, we've managed to get north of most of it. Also Eric's realtime satellite pictures came in handy during his night watch...he could see a large stormy area to the north of us in the first one, made slight course adjustments to make sure it passed in front of us, and was able to confirm in pictures from the next two satellite pictures, that it had. So he adjusted back to our original course. That was a pretty cool use of that technology.
There's not much else to report, other than that we expect to have a lot of wind for the next few days. This should move us along nicely. We should cross the magic 30 S latitude in a few hours.
The Numbers at 48 hours: Position: 30 degrees 47.66'S, 174 degrees 41.57'E Speed: 8 knots Course: 020 degrees T (NNE) Wind: 15-20 knots out of the W Seas: choppy 1 meter wind waves Air temp: 67 F Sea temp: 68F Miles gone: 327 Miles to go: 876
Critters: none on deck, but I've seen a lot of shearwaters, petrels, prions, and mollymawks flying nearby; no sea creatures