Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 6 (PM report): Mexico to the Marquesas

March 9, 2012
Position at 0400UTC: 16°52'N 113°23'W
Day 6 (PM report): Mexico to Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia

I was really tired today after a rough night, but a nice nap from Noon to 2PM did me well. The crew are sleeping well and thus, up and about all day. Around 4PM we hoisted our asymmetrical spinnaker and ripped a hole in it about 4' x 2' during the hoist when the sail somehow got stuck in the sock. The sail was immediately doused and about an hour later we had the sail taped back together and flying. I had Kelsey and Andrew 'sign' the patch with ink markers as a reminder to be a little more careful next time.

Winds are still pretty light and just now beginning to go from NW to N and hopefully soon to NE tradewinds. Sailing in light winds demands considerably more effort to keep the boat sailing quietly and fast. Our course is 226 True putting the NW winds and seas on the beam which is not so good for the comfort factor aboard a catamaran. The shift to the N is welcome and already the boat is moving more comfortably. I look forward to a much better nights sleep, but will be sleeping with one eye open as we fly the spinnaker overnight. This particular sail is only about 750SF and a good trainer sail for the crew. Once they are comfortable with this sail we'll hoist the 1200SF spinnaker for some real boat speed. Thus far we are averaging 7 knots made good to our destination. At this rate we have 13d 04h 57m until we drop anchor in the Marquesas.

Kelsey was on dinner tonight and made a nice beef with garlic and cilantro sauce with sides of rice and asparagus.

We are scheduled to run the Pacific Puddle Jump Net tomorrow April 10, 2012 on 8A (8.294MHz) at 0200UTC. However, the last few nights we only heard maybe 50% of the boats, so it's going to be rough to be net control with the fleet spread over such a huge stretch of ocean. Another issue is that our Autopilot is affected by the SSB radio when transmitting on high power and will require someone to hand steer during the net. Not such a big deal with a crew of 4 for this crossing, but something I need to address in the longer term.

The freshwater in the bilge remains a mystery as repeated checks for leaks today revealed nothing. Which is good if mysterious.

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