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Wondertime Sails to the South Pacific – Day 20

The wind dropped to around 8 knots yesterday evening, about the same time that some lumpy swells joined us from a number of different directions. This is the perfect recipe for slatting, popping, banging sails. All. Night. Long. All to keep us moving at around 2 or 3 knots. During Matt’s watch, around 3 am, Michael got up and together they hoisted the spinnaker. We’d been reluctant to do that, since there were dark squall clouds on the horizon all around us. But since none of them had yet gotten close they put our lightest sail up in the hope that it would pull us along quietly and smoothly.

Thirty minutes later Matt hollers down: “Michael, there’s a dark squall real close, think it’s going to get us. Can you help me take the spinnaker down?” Before Michael could answer the wind came shooting down at the boat like a rocket and we heeled over sharply, our poor spinnaker heavily overloaded. One of the guys blew the sheet to let the air out of the sail. It was flogging wildly and took the both of them to get the sock down over the sail and lower it safely into its bag. By the time Michael was tying the top of the spinnaker bag shut the wind squall was over and a light rain was falling in it’s wake. We rolled out the genoa again and the wallowing continued. Phew, that was close.

The spinnaker is back up today, with the horizon now clear of squalls. We had to put nylon tape over a small tear that appeared from the chaos early this morning but are thankful our workhorse sail — at least for this trip where we’ve been plagued by light winds — is still pulling us along.

The weather forecast is for well under 10 knots of breeze for the next few days. Think wind for us, please?

Total miles at noon: 2078
Miles since yesterday: 95
Miles to Hiva Oa: 610
Eggs that have failed the good-eggs-sink test: 4


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  2. Dani says:

    You are so close now! I bet you are beginning to see mirages on the water of Hiva Oa.
    Thinking wind.