Monday, October 17, 2011

From the Captain

Got away from Tonga - the passage out was an act of faith in the GPS.  The channel shows on the chart but you can't see the reefs that the chart shows - they're underwater about 1 m and extensive.  Islands you can see aren't shown - they're part of the reef, and what nav markers are shown on the shart may - or may not exist.  The route out is twisty but works.  Once more or less clear was motoring along and saw a whale do the full breach thing.  Something I've missed to date.  Impressive.  And to top off the day, I finally saw the green flash.

Made OK time the first day, winds were light.  Picked up the second day and made 105 nm which is about right.  Then this morning early the wind began to build.  Something woke me with the thought - 'don't like the sound of that, winds not high but should reef" - did, glad. Within a couple of hours the wind was hitting 40 and I was down to storm sails.  No big deal, boat handled it all like a lady and the only casualty was my hand of bananas.  They blew away.  They had just ripened, hanging from the radar arch.  Had in interesting peppery flavor.

Most of the day was spent blasting along, and late this afternoon things have settled some.  At least the rain stopped.  Forgot to mention the lightning.  Picture if you will, I'm putting in the second reef in the main and one of the reef point lines is tangled in a shroud about 12' above deck.  I had to use some webbing to complete the reef 200 mm short, tape the kitchen knife onto the book hook, cut the tankled line (piece of small stuff) which I managed without damage to sails, ropes, myself etc. despite the tossing about.  Completed the reef.  While I'm clinging to the aluminum mast semit standing on the winch, there is a huge flash of lightning in the sky - I'm thinking - this is probably not healthy but what can I do?  Finished the job.

So, just now, the wind is down some, doing 5+ k rolling away.  about 200 or so nm out, 900 to go.

Take care
At 11/10/2011 7:28 PM (utc) our position was 22°26.10'S 176°00.45'W