Passage to the Tropics - Day 3: Moderation, the magic latitude, my new electronic friend, butter, and earthquake
16 June 2019 | In the ocean, NE of New Zealand
Hello! Last night's pleasant sail was a nice contrast to the previous night's raucous one: we enjoyed moderate wind of 12-17 knots on the beam from the west, and small waves of 1 meter or less. Very smooth, very consistent, very quiet. SCOOTS hummed along at 7-9 knots the entire time.
Last night, we crossed 30S. This is a special latitude for yachties traveling north and south in these parts, because for some reason, the fronts and troughs that are attached to the Lows that swirl around in the Southern Ocean and the Tasman Sea, and sweep across this stretch of water, seem to carry less oomph north of 30S, than they do south of it. Once you're north of 30S, the talk is that fronts that you encounter *tend* to be less severe , and you're less likely to get (though not immune to getting)sternly whacked by a front. For all the press 30S gets, you'd also expect to see rainbows and unicorns on this side of it.
What we got was a drastic reduction in the wind speed, from the 20-25knots that we'd seen the night before, to the 12-17 knots that I already mentioned. No kidding, that actually happened, right around 30S.
We had no drama today of any kind, in fact I'm having a hard time finding things to report about.
I can report how thrilled I am with our new Iridium GO satellite phone. The impetus for getting one stemmed from my difficulty in downloading weather forecasts and sending emails over the SSB (Single Sideband Radio - our usual method of acquiring forecasts and email while at sea) during our last passage. It seemed like a good idea to have more than one method of communicating while at sea. We can make calls on it, and send and receive texts, BUT, best of all, we have access to data, delivered to us by a constellation of Iridium satellites that encircle the globe. (That would be all the way around the sphere, for you flat-earthers.)
This morning, the wind did as it was forecast to do, which was to change to a direction that was right behind us, and drop in velocity. It's forecast to stay light for most of the rest of our passage, with maybe a bit more filling in in a couple of days. We'll see about that. For the moment, Yanmar the Magnificent is purring away, moving us forward at 6 knots. The waves are still less than 1 meter and the air is warming up. In fact, I've been going barefoot all day. AND, the butter has started to soften.
Oh, here's something interesting: this morning I received an email (yes, by using the Iridium GO) from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC), informing us that at 1055 local time, a M7.4 earthquake occurred in the Kermadec Islands. Based on the data, there was no threat of a tsunami. But what makes this interesting to me is that the Kermadecs are only a stone's throw away from us, maybe 200 miles to the east. That's a pretty big earthquake.
That's it for today's report. Below are the numbers for the past 24 hours.
The Numbers at Noon - 6/16 Position: