Sunday, March 03, 2013

Sailing to the Marquises for a third time.

March 3, 2013 6PM (Mar 4 0400UTC)
Position: 10°50' S 140°16' W
Inbound Marquesas with 116nm to go.

The third time is not a charm.  Mostly because we're sailing from the Tuamotu North to the Marquises.

Since sailing from Napuka atoll, Tuamotu about 30 hours ago we been beating into NE winds, not the E or ESE that were modeled.  Yuck!

It's been a close close hauled situation crashing into NE swell and wind waves. Even with a double reefed main and half furled jib, LightSpeed wants to sail at 8-10+ knots.   It's been a battle of trying to find the right combination of course and sailplan to keep moving a fast 6-8 knots, but not too fast.

Imagine a roller coaster ride that lasts for 30 hours combined with a big speed bumps every 6 seconds.  Hit the speed bumps fast and it's sort of fun as you get a negative gravity effect. Hit them way too fast and the suspension bottoms out, the boat launches and then crashes.    It's been 30 long hours of that sort of bumpy and jumpy action that's forced us to keep the windows and hatches closed.   With little airflow the tropical heat makes for hot and sweaty, like the heater is stuck on high sort of fun. The good news is we only have about 12 more hours to go.

It goes to show that the NOAA GFS model (source of the GRIB files we download underway) is usually amazing, but not always perfect. If you spend enough days on the water you going to win some and lose some, especially when sailing during the less predictable cyclone season.

That's it for now.