Monday, May 31, 2010

Passage to Louisiades

May 31, 2010--We are currently 300 miles from Tagula Island in the Louisiades, and the passage so far has been interesting. The winds were almost non-existent at the beginning, but they finally filled in on Saturday, so we were able to turn off the engine. They were still pretty light; however, we were able to keep the boat moving. The wind steering system begins to struggle when our boat speed goes under two knots, but it hung in there for us.

The good news was that yesterday the winds finally picked up, and we started making good time. The bad news is that the winds increased because there were rain squalls in the area. Now we loved getting the wind, but we would rather avoid rain squalls. Luckily, none of the squalls produced any high winds. Last night we saw lightning ahead of us and were worried that it was a thunderstorm. That system passed in front of us and was not problem.

Around eleven o'clock last night I came on watch, and the ski to the north of us was dark and there was quite a bit of lightning lighting up the sky. My watch went along fine until around two o'clock when the cloud was moving much closer to us. I woke Steve to begin his watch, and we decided to furl in the jib but left the main at the triple reef. I then went down to sleep. While I was asleep, Steve said that the winds hit 30 knots, and it was a boisterous ride. Gee, I must have been pretty tired to have slept through that, and I'm really glad that it wasn't on my watch.

Steve has had no luck fishing, which is disappointing as we were in the mood for some nice tuna or mahi mahi. There was a hit last night while Steve was sleeping, but there was no way I was going to pull it in or wake him up to help me. He has hardly slept since we left, and his getting some sleep is more important than the fish at this moment.

We should arrive at Tagula in two or three days. The forecast looks pretty good for wind, but we have a feeling that there will be squalls every night. At least that will keep the boat washed off as she gets pretty salty during the day.

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