Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 18 - How far have we come?

As if someone is playing a cruel practical joke on us, one half hour after recording our Day 18 stats with only a day and a half to go (approx.), our 'speedo', or instrument that measures our speed through the water, has stopped working. This means that we can no longer track how many miles we've come. We think it stopped working after a particularly large jolt from a wave, but we're not sure. We do know that the instrument is still there, as you can check that from under the port forward berth - in fact there's a way from that vantage point to pull it out of the water and stop up the hole where it goes, but Michael wasn't about to try that now and I'm thankful for that. I don't think I am ready to deal with the little bit of sea water that pours in as you take out the speedo and quickly replace it with the stopper. It'll wait until we make landfall. This speedo thing is not new to us: Whenever we've been at an anchorage or a dock for a long time and sea growth has been allowed to build up, the speedo is no longer able to turn freely. A little cleaning always solves the trick. I don't think it's possible that there is growth on there this time, though, given that we've been moving non-stop for the last 18+ days. We are wondering if the jolt just locked the spinning part.

We shouldn't complain, however. Our friends on s/v Ceilydh lost a rudder yesterday. Luckily, being a catamaran, they have a second one on the other hull, so they haven't lost complete control of their boat. However, maneuvering with only one rudder on a catamaran can be tricky, and while they are using their autopilot, it too has been acting up on them. They have now decided to skip Hiva Oa and make landfall on an island that is about 40 miles north west of Hiva Oa called Nuka Hiva, because the anchorage is larger and therefore easier to maneuver in with only one rudder. Added to this is the fact that it is a more comfortable anchorage in which they will need to spend upwards of two weeks until they get their replacement rudder sent in from Papeete in Tahiti. The South Pacific makes Mexico look like a cake walk for getting parts. Once again, however, it goes to show you: It ain't over 'til it's over.

In the meantime, we've decided to change course as well. This is partially due to Ceilydh's change in plans, but also because the point of sail to Nuka Hiva is a much more comfortable one and we have had enough of the jolting and tossing that getting us to Hiva Oa was dealing us and our boat. This also means we will likely not get to Hiva Oa at all, which is a bit disappointing as there are perhaps some of the best archeological sites in French Polynesia located on this quaint island. This is the life of the cruising sailor, however, and we are being dealt with these types of routing decisions early on.

7 degrees 52.148 minutes South
137 degrees 37.538 minutes West

Day 18 Stats:
Distance: 138 miles; Total trip: 2753 miles; Average daily distance traveled: 153 miles
Average Speed: 5.6 knots; Average overall speed: 6.4 knots
Sea Conditions: Morning light brought a squall with rain and 25-30 knot winds and heavy seas for about an hour, and then the heavy grey cloud cover remained until about 4 p.m. with occasional drizzles. Seas have calmed a bit but still fairly choppy and confused and still uncomfortable, even with our new course heading further away from the wind toward Nuka Hiva. Winds today were mainly from the ESE in the 14-18 knot range. Because of the weather conditions, we've pulled in our jib part way so there is less stress on our rig, and that has us moving slightly slower than yesterday.
Incident Report: (1) Our speedo stopped working. Therefore this will be the last day for accurate distance stats. (2) We changed our course and are currently heading to Nuka Hiva instead of Hiva Oa. Better ride for the boat, better ride for us. (3) We threw about 8 pounds of matzah overboard. With this trail of crumbs, we'll never get lost. (4) Our long life hamburger buns have molded, but we are still left with 8 loaves of long life Bimbo flaxseed bread. I'll never know what possessed me to buy so much given that Passover took up 8 days of this voyage, plus there are warm baguettes everywhere in French Poly. Those might be going overboard pretty soon too.
Fish caught: It's still too choppy to try landing a fish if we caught one so the lines were not put in today. Our total remains one.
Total Kitchen Garbage Bags Generated: Three - still have not filled one large green garbage bag yet.
Produce Inventory: Lost one carrot to mold. Otherwise, we've done remarkably well. Ate our last tomato today and wish I had bought more. We had guacamole today and incredulously the avocado we used was still good. We used the last 2 zucchini. We'll use our last two oranges in the morning. We are now living on cabbage, potatoes, carrots, celery, jicama, onions, apples and pears. We also still have basil, jalapenos and garlic.
Meals/Snacks: I was not around to cook any of the meals today, nor was I around for any of the snacks, as I tried to sleep (unsuccessfully). Here's what I think happened: Breakfast was banana, nut and flaxseed pancakes with maple syrup, apples and oranges. Lunch was bean tacos with guacamole, tomatoes, and cabbage. Dinner was Ichiban Ramen soup with tofu, zucchini and jicama for Michael and the kids, while I had the leftover spaghetti and bolognese sauce. Conditions for cooking are such that we need to make things as easy as possible. Plus we're just tired of the whole thing.
At 4/28/2011 03:26 (utc) our position was 07°23.77'S 136°56.04'W

1 comment:

  1. You're looking like a couple slow sail days away on the map, but awfully close to land! Hope the swells calm and life aboard literally settles down. Sounds like you need a spa vacation right about now!! What a voyage, and only the beginning of many more (thank heavens shorter ones) to come.

    Thought you should add one thing to your list: Write cookbook "1001 ways to use avocados". Oh, you actually already have! LOL

    Land HO!!!!!!