Saturday, October 1, 2011

Strangers in the Night

So we are doing well, moving along with 350 miles to Tonga, 1,100 miles under our belt on this jump so far. We've had some very still days. Yesterday we rolled around in 3 meter swells with only 4 knots of wind - not enough for steerage. But we relaxed and played and schooled.

Last night the wind picked up around sunset and we sailed at 2 to 3 knots all evening. A couple of squalls came by, but to our southeast a huge electrical storm lit up the sky all night. Silent flashbulbs cast the clouds in stark relief, and darkness would collapse back on the night. Then moments later a staccato burst of flashes would erupt somewhere else.

On the 29th, near sunset I was on watch, and sighted a sail on the horizon. "A boat," I called out. It looked to be a slop some 4 miles away. I called n the VHF and talked to David, who along wit his wife Sonja, have sailed their Swiss registered 36 foot sailboat - S/V Moulimentum from Europe. They to were floundering in no wind. As darkness fell, David said that they were going to motor all night, and he lamented how much the decision was going to coast them in diesel. Soon their light pulled ahead of us. I guess we are purists - but we can't see using up diesel in a sailboat. The wind will come eventually.

Last week we met a giant yacht transport vessel (with 32 yachts aboard) sailing from the U.S. to Australia. I talked to the bridge crew - a fellow named York - and he was very happy to talk to someone else out in the big blue sea. He hadn't seen anther vessel in 3 days. On radar I clocked him at 17 knots.

So it is a big ocean, but it's full of storms and other vessels. Tonight as we sail lazily along at 3 1/2 knots westward storm clouds are again building on the horizon's rim. I hope we don't meet a big electrical storm tonight. Getting hit by lightening wouldn't hurt us more than likely, but it would probably kill our radios. we have two spare GPS units and batteries in a "Faraday cage" (our microwave)in the event we do suffer a strike, our navigation won't only be by sextant and reduction table.

So all is well - except that Carrie won't part with the Kindle, as she is devouring the Sookie Stackhouse novels. It's not fair. What am I to read? Kids are watching Harry Potter. More in a few days. Nite.


S 18 33.13
W 167 28.54
At 22:00 zulu

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1 comment:

westcoastmom said...

Hi Everyone,

We are still following your progress and please keep sending us updates. I love reading what your up to and where you have been and where your going. I'm living vicariously through your posts, wish I could be doing what you have finally done. Tell carrie, that I would love to lend her some books via the Kindle I have tons and I belive that some of them I can send to you for 2 weeks of viewing. All I will need is your kindle email address I think. So if your interested let me know.