Day 3 - No More Tropical Sailing For Us
29 October 2016 | 23 28'S:156 47'E, On Passage - Noumea, New Caledonia to Bundaberg, Australia
Date & Time: October 30, 0700 (Brisbane time) Position: see the map on our blog Course: 250 M
Days at sea completed: 3
Distance sailed in the last 24 hours (nm): 176 Distance sailed total (nm): 530 Distance to go (nm): 262
Wind Speed & Direction (knots): E 16 Waves (ft): 4
No wonder it is getting so chilly! We just crossed the Tropic of Capricorn which means that we are no longer in the tropics. We crossed the Tropic of Cancer, entering the tropics, off of Mexico way back in October 2014 and ever since then we have been in nice warm weather. It is a bit of shame to say good-bye to the consistent heat, but the good news is that we get to put on clothes that we haven't seen for a couple of years. What is this strange product called "fleece" I find buried in the most inaccessible storage areasÉ
But, chilly weather aside, there is no complaining on board Speakeasy. We continue to make fantastic time towards our destination, Bundaberg, Australia. In the last 24 hours we covered 176 miles - another great run. It's really not that windy, but Speakeasy has the bit in her teeth and is charging along. I think that she can smell Australia.
The wind did come up last night as forecast. It wasn't a strong blow, but 25 knots of wind with accompanying sees from just behind the beam send us corkscrewing along most of the evening. Overnight, we bore away a bit for more comfort during our sleep shifts and that worked well. This morning, the seas are down the and wind has softened while rotating almost directly behind us. For us, with the fixed boom we have in our jib, this is a very comfortable and fast point of sail.
With just over 260 miles left to go, we will have no problem hitting our ETA of arriving on November 1 in the morning. Even if the wind died completely - which it might, we can motor from here quite easily. If the wind holds, and I can keep the speed up, we may even arrive on October 31. It would be tough to make it into port in time to clear customs on that day, but it would be nice to have a regular, peaceful sleep one night sooner than expected.
Having said that, sleep has been coming relatively easily to both of us on this trip. Dee has been able to nap a bit during the day, and enjoys her two sleep shifts, one early in the evening and one in the morning. I haven't been able to nap, but I am getting a solid five hours of sleep during my time off watch. Five hours seems to work pretty well for me.
Besides sleep, another important daily routine for us is our "happy hour." Every day on passage, no matter what the weather, we stop and sit down for a drink and snack together each day before dinner. Sometimes it is one of the few times that we are both up and around at the same time. Think of it as "date night" passage-making style! Last night, for the first time in years, we actually moved happy hour from the cockpit, inside to the salon. Yup, it was just too cool to sit outside and enjoy a cold drink. That's a first.
In closing, I should add that "cool" and "cold" are all relative. It's just after 7am and the thermometer is reading 25c. It may be surprising to my northern friends who would be out in shorts and t-shirts, but 25c with the breeze added is darn cold for us now! Yikes, Canada is going to be a real shock to the system!
It's time to get back to work sailing the boat. The faster we go, the sooner we get into port.
picture: Our indoor happy hour. Stephane - Yes, those are your Mortgage Architects sunglasses still being put to good use!