Friday, July 5, 2013

Great Northeast Channel - very tough going - currents, wind & swell


So Madrona is getting a bit of a tough go coming down the Great Northeast Channel. This passage is seriously not for the faint of heart. We sailed fine until we had to turn SW. Then it was fine until the wind came up to 25 knots out of the SE. The westerly moving current, combined with swell and wind made it so we couldn't make out course, and have had to motor for many hours now.

The currents are fierce and the seas are rough. For a while it looked like we were being swept inexorably towards Warrior Reefs.

As it stands right now we still might not make our course (angle of 206 degrees true, so we have developed a back-door alternate plan where we would escape this narrowing channel through Tancred Pass (10 01.183 S, 142 57.595 E), where we would then pass into the waters west of Sassie Island and then proceed SW until we meet up with the main shipping route down by Beresford Shoal. If we do take the alternate route it wouldn't be for something like 7 hours from now as we are moving very slow against tide and current and wind.

Of course we much prefer to make our course. We will let you know what happens.

We also had to replace the starboard sheet (line to the headsail) today because of a very strange fluky thing. The line got caught in the workings of a "block" (a nautical pulley. Anyway the line was shredded. we just happened to look over and saw it caught in the block's workings. So we had to replace that line with some mountaineering maneuvers.

Owen & Carrie & kids
at 13:05 UTC July 6th
9 45.095 S
143 11.921 E

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