Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 2 underway from Aitutaki to American Samoa.

TIME: 2012/11/15 01:59 GMT (4PM local on Nov 14)
LATITUDE: 16-32.96S
LONGITUDE: 164-51.05W
SPEED: 7.9

We're sailing just along the edge of the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) on a 700 nm passage from Aitutaki, Cook Islands to American Samoa. The SPCZ is famous for both a lack of wind and extreme wind. The last few days it's delivered the first accompanied by temperatures touching 90F and 100% humidity in torrential rain storms. The 'real feel' aboard s/v LightSpeed is just plain HOT. Even the water is getting pretty warm at 84F.

For the past two days at sea we've been nearly becalmed with only a very light 5 knot breeze and have been doing some motoring. Our super efficient motoring speed is 5.7 knots with just one of our Yanmar 3YM30 engines turning 2500 revolutions per minute and burning about 2.5 L/hr. I hate motoring, especially early in a voyage...

This morning the wind filled in a bit and we've been flying our biggest spinnaker, a symmetrical kite measuring about 1200 square feet. With quartering 2 meter swell the main sail would just slam around, so we're running just the spinnaker. For the last 50nm we've averaged 7.7 knots, a nice improvement over the first 324 nautical miles where we averaged just 6.0 knots. As I write we're half way there and we sure hope the wind sticks around to both speed up the voyage and keep us a bit cooler.

Our heart goes out to Shane on s/v Clover as he recently lost his much loved sailing companion, a beautiful black cat named 'Bearcat'. Shane is currently in American Samoa and where we will catch up with him soon enough.

That's it for now.

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