Sunday, May 9, 2021

Oh the way to Faaite day 3

Location 15.55s 144.34w
Time 1030 utc (1am local)
Boat speed 6.8
Wind 15 from 070twd with 095awa
Miles covered prior 24 hours 111 (sadly a new record for slowest day)

So we were going along fantastically the first two days and then wind started to back a little and fall off last night, then at midnight we got hit by a squall which lasted almost an hour. In the squall we had peak wind of 27 but afterwards the winds went to below 8-9 knots and they were blowing directly down the rhumb line. So we did what we've been getting pretty used to doing, we deployed the pole on the genoa and ran dead downwind. But this isn't the greatest point of sail for most boats especially SeaGlub. We made way at about 2 5-3 knots for the next 12 hours, and thus our slowest day yet at 111 miles. Oh well at least it was really calm and with the pole we were able to keep the sail from flogging around and making all kinds of noise. We'll have to pick up the pace to hit our desired arrival time at the atoll pass.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

In the category of....

Location 14.03s x 143.14w
Time 1000 utc (1230am local)
Boat speed 2.9
Wind 10kts from 025 yes north northeast!
Prior 24 hours miles covered: 148

In the category of.... Be careful what you ask for. The last post I mentioned how quickly we were making way and considering slowing down. What I also didn't mention was that we were talking about how salty the decks and dodger were from all the sea water we were taking on. Well today we got answers we really didn't want to find. The wind has considerably slowed down and we're now looking at arriving a day later than expected instead of a day earlier! That's how dramatically things can change at 5 miles per hour. And then tonight we got hit by a good squall at 1100pm which lasted an hour and we no longer have salty decks, or a dry a cockpit or dry crew! So is the life at sea.

The storm has now passed and left us with barely enough wind to sail so things are very calm and quiet, dark without stars as clouds still pass over. We'll take what wind we can get, we went to a poled out genoa earlier today as the wind then was backing to the north and thus pushing directly behind us on the rhumb line so we're still running the pole now without the main which has trouble staying full downwind without wind ;-)

SeaGlub sails on...

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Friday, May 7, 2021

To Faaite day 2

Location 12.27s x 141.43w
Time 1000 utc (1230am local)
Boat speed 6.4
Wind 17 from 070
Prior 24 hours miles covered 174 (I think a new SeaGlub record)

Sailing out of Hiva Oa and not going to Fatu Hiva was a tough choice. Several things factored in, Fatu Hiva was 50 miles to windward and we had just done 100 windward miles to Hiva Oa and didn't know if we wanted to do that again right away, the Tuamotus are calling (they're not going away but we do only have a limited stay here), and I know this will sound extremely spoiled and it is but we had just been to 4 of the most beautiful anchorages and were pretty satisfied to know that if we could we would stay in the Marquesas for several months like the European crew boats we have met. So onward with the trades further south we go.

The winds were blustery leaving Hiva Oa and we were absolutely jamming. In fact after 12 hours of averaging over 8.2 knots we intentionally slowed down, both for personal comfort and easing pressure on the boat, but also because I started to factor arrival time at the reef pass we are headed for. Ideally we will arrive sometime around 10-11am with high tide at 1pm giving us our best entry opportunity. At the higher speed we were traveling we were looking at a sunset arrival the day before we had anticipated. That would mean stopping the boat and just trying to sit still, heave-to, for over 12 hours. Just slowing down seemed a lot easier. So now here we are. Triple reefed main and double reefed genoa with 42 feet of waterline nicely making way... We're still running a bit quick but we're not even halfway so we can slow down more as we approach if we need to. Pretty comfy conditions out here tonight, we've got 16-18 knots of wind coming behind used on the port side with fairly
seas now after a rolly start yesterday.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Hiva Oa to Faaite in the Tuamotus

Location 10.46s x 139.53w
Time 1100utc
Boat speed 7.2
Wind 21 knots from 090twd

Left Hiva Oa midday and targeting Faaite atoll 560 miles away. Wind was strong leaving the anchorage and hasn't let up. We've now got two reefs in the genoa and triple reefed mainsail and we're still making 7+ knots on our desired heading. The ride is ok, we get the occasional sideways wave bashing the windward side (port) of the boat which throws up a nice splash but our bimini isinglass is doing it's job to keep us dry. And keep out the flying fish! Just had a big one thump the side of the bimini, bounce over the top and nearly fall in my lap on the other side of that boat. I escorted him back to sea. Weather forecasts show no real let up in the wind for the next several days which will make for a quick trip, but maybe too quick as we don't want to arrive in the afternoon, evening or dark. Entering the atolls is done through passes and the water inside the atoll fills and empties at certain times of the day and you ideally want to enter when that water is moving it's slowes
called slack tide. We're too far away at this point to start slowing down to time our arrival but it is something we'll be calculating over the next couple days.

All is well on board, we're trying to settle back into the irregular sleep pattern. SeaGlub is doing pretty well. We had more sail up earlier when the winds were at 15 and then as night fell the winds picked up and we've had 20+ ever since (130am as I write) so that's why we've got the sails reefed so much.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Nuku Hiva to Hiva Oa

Location 9.23s x 139.41w
Time 0830utc (11pm for me)
Boat speed 3.8
Wind 11-12 knots from 100 which makes our apparent wind 30 degrees!

Beating into the night. Seas are comfortable but this sailing direction is testing. We're just off the rhumb line and so losing ground. We have two options: hope for wind shift or sail current heading and then turn on motor once we're in the lee of Hiva Oa to head east and just hope we don't have too much ground to make up. Well I guess that's really only one option right now, sail current heading.....ok. It's a star filled warm night but we did have one cloud pass over and drop a bit of rain. No moon yet so pretty dark out. I've started sailing at night with my steaming light on so I can see the headsail. No one's out here so I'm not gonna confuse anyone with my light arrangement. SeaGlub is handling the conditions well, the fiberglass job on the rudder post support arm is holding up well so far so that's nice. We should make Hiva Oa before noon and plan to spend just a couple nights before moving on to Fatu Hiva

Hope you're all doing well and I look forward to talking to you when we get cell reception again

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Checking out Nuku Hiva

It's been a few days since the last posts appeared as SeaGlub has been out of cell phone reception since leaving Taiohae Bay Wednesday. We had a great time there, both being tourists and sightseeing, hiking, shopping and eating, but a couple days ago we left and traveled north to Anaho Bay (pictures later when we get very service again) but needless to say this place was spectacular. First of all, we finally found a calm anchorage, Taiohae is a great place and there's lots of help there, but a calm anchorage it is not. Anaho on the other hand was perfectly still. We spent a couple nights there and spent the one full day paddling around the entire bay, snorkeling, and of course doing some boat work up the mast. The coral around the inner side of the bay was cool, we saw octopus and sharks and manta rays! This bay was once lived in by Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island among several other books. After just two nights there we set out to complete our near
circumnavigation of Nuku Hiva, arriving in Hakatea Bay today where we plan to hike and see the highest waterfall in french polynesia tomorrow. Today is Friday and so Sunday we plan to sail overnight to Hiva Oa. SeaGlub is doing well as we're staying just ahead of the repairs she's throwing at us.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Day 21 again

Location Nuku Hiva!
Time 1500 utc or exactly 21 days from the time we left
Last half a day miles covered 107
Total miles for the trip 2945 (rhumb line would've been 2951)

We're here!! Wow we're actually here. And you know it when you arrive. The island of Nuku Hiva is impressive. Stark mountains rising sharply upward thickly covered in green foliage, clouds encompassing the peaks with rain ready to fall at any moment.

Check-in was a breeze and we had a really informative meeting with Kevin from Nuku Hiva yacht services. If you want someone who knows everyone here and anything about just about anything, get ahold of Kevin. Super nice and helpful guy.

So we're settled in, went for a nice walk around town the first day, our legs were sore from walking! Walking!! Today, day 2 here, we started tackling boat projects, the rudder post and a leaky deck cleat. In the near future we have an ancient ceremonial location to hike to and another day we're gonna have a local drive us around for the day. Sometime next week we'll take off for another anchorage.

Pretty amazing we're here but I'll admit this: for years and years including the days and minute before leaving I thought this was a very big deal. Now that we're here, the actual trip was less impactful on me than the pre-trip preparations. What I mean is that ultimately we left one day and went sailing, then we just kinda kept sailing. I didn't think of it as so far to go or so many days away, I just went sailing. It was cool.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Day 21

Location 8.38s x 139.26w
Time 0630 utc
Boat speed 6.9
Wind 14.5 from 070
Day 20 miles covered 176 (new record!)

The southern trades have continued to deliver, we're making record breaking time for SeaGlub but the ride is 5/10 when it comes to comfort. Good thing is we're making so many miles we won't have to be out here long. Overnight the wind shifted again to the ENE but we were able to keep our heading with a reefed genoa and a double reefed main.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Day 20

Location 7.11s x 137.21w
Time 0630 utc
Boat speed 6.9
Wind 19kts from 075twd
Day 19 miles covered 160

These 24 hours were extremely productive but the ride is still pretty uncomfortable. We ran the whole 24 hr period with the pole out on the genoa and the boom prevented to the opposite side, so still wing and wing as we were yesterday. We made a lot of westing and to start day 20 we took the pole down and started making our rhumb line to the Marquesas. Not a lot to report, weather continues to be very nice temperatures, muggy humid but only about 80F pretty much just like every day of this trip. As you can tell by the lat long above, we are getting close. Less than 200 miles to go

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Day 19

Location 5.30S x 135.06W
Time 0630 utc
Boat speed 6.9kts
Wind 17 from 105twd
Day 18 miles covered 159

After switching the sails back to WoW yesterday we continue to make some very good westing watch is taking us slightly north of Nuku Hiva. But this allows us a good angle into the islands it nothing changes with wind as expected. Tomorrow morning we will likely drop the pole from the genoa and turn just a bit to the south and be able to put the wind at about 110-115 apparent and have a good angle for the last 300 miles. After almost the weeks, it's honestly hard to believe it's been that long (we still have raw spinach, bell peppers, onions, potatoes, cabbage and tonight we had our last cucumber), but after three weeks we do have some issues which will need attention once we arrive. The one issue which will need some good attention has to do with the rudder post. Our rudder has been making a progressively worse creaking noise. Several inspections yielded no cause until yesterday. The Hylas rudder is skeg protected and stabilized in four places. Starting at the deck the rudde
r post
runs down 3' to the hull passing thru a support arm. After passing thru the hull the post goes down another 2' into a section which is fiberglassed to the hull where the post again is supported, then the post actually connects to the swivel part of the rudder. Given the forces applied to the rudder via the water and our boat speed, all this support is comforting. However, we found yesterday that the creaking is coming from the support arm located inside the boat, the one between the deck and the hull. For simplicity explanation, it's 12"x12" L-bracket with a hole through it for the rudder post. That L-bracket is separating from the wall it is fiberglassed to allowing play in the rudder post hence the creaking. I'm sharing this not to alarm people but just to keep these posts remaining as a true account of the experiences we live in while making this passage. We have no play in the steering, no sign of water ingress, and being aware we can now keep a close eye and monitor. We
do have
the ability on board to make a repair but we will need the boat to be perfectly still with zero pressure on the rudder. For now we have slowed the boat down, which actually helps our arriving in Nuku Hiva in the daylight, and we will keep a close eye. While we're on the topic, the only other item we're tracking on the boat has to do with the generator and the charger. After charging for 45 minutes or so, I'm receiving a TempTooLow warning from the inverter / charger and the charger disengages, which can be reset by rebooting the charger. It is definitely not cold here so I'll need internet to look up this problem once we arrive in Nuku Hiva.

We're both tired and very much looking forward to a night where we get to sleep more than 3.5 hours, but overall I'm really proud of what we've accomplished thus far. Nobody does something like this without expecting some hiccups, together we've made a great team recognizing situations and finding solutions. And now we're just a few days from a grand reward....

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Day 17

Location 4.54S x 132.16W
Time 0630 utc
Boat speed 8.4kts
Wind 19kts from 100twd
Day 16 miles covered 158

We were having a really good fast sailing day enjoying the trades and on a comfortable point of sail making the rhumb line to Nuku Hiva when, around midnight, the winds started to back up again and within a couple hours we found ourselves with the most northerly winds we've had the entire trip despite being at almost 5 South latitude! The wind was so north (030) and light that we could only make a course of 180-190 so after sunrise we gybed and now had a course heading out 260. Check out out track on the Where Are We link above. Yes our tack angles sucked but SeaGlub doesn't move well with very light wind from astern. We even joked, and received funny jabs from friends, that we had given up on the Marquesas and had decided to go to Hawaii!! :-)

After trying a couple different sail configurations, we settled on wing and wing again and this allowed us to make a heading just north of Nuku Hiva and pick up 1-1.5 knots. As the day went on by noon we were making a comfortable 5kts again and feeling pretty good about our set up. And a sneak peak into the day 18 update: at current we are still WoW and making 8.5-9kts!!

All's well and we're looking forward to our first sleep of more than 3.5 hours at once in almost 3 weeks....

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Day 16

Location 4.09S x 130.00W
Time 0630 utc
Boat speed 7.2
Wind speed 15.2 from 080
Day 15 miles covered 159

Our entry into the southern trades started off fairly rough, after coming through the ITCZ and having one last good bye squall we found a shift in the wind from the 050 we had been getting to 090-100 which helped us take a great big turn to the west. However that shift also came with big quartering seas and the ride was pretty uncomfortable. Today the wind continued but thankfully the seas subsided somewhat and we had a really good day of sailing. Because the sea state was better, today we shook out the reefs in the genoa and main sail and enjoyed 120awa all day. We even tried fishing again but no luck this time. Arrival into Nuku Hiva looking Tuesday morning.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Days 16

Location 03.00S x 127.30W
Time 0630 utc
Boat speed 7.6kts
Wind 18-20 from 105twd
Day 15 miles 149

Thar she blows.... said Ahab

Pretty true for us as well, we started the day pretty uncomfortable with mixed 3-5' seas and wind which was still from NE forcing us to head further south than we really wanted to be going. Then we got our third rain squall of the day, this one a pretty good one, and when that cleared behind it we received wind from the east!! And hence: thar she blows!! We're now seeing 18-22 sustained from 100-105 and with shortened sail, about one reef on each the genoa and the main, we're running with an apparent wind angle of 130-140 with a heading taking us just north of the Marquesas. Forecast is for these conditions to stick around until we arrive, guessing around Tuesday.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Day 14

Location 01.25S x 126.11W
Time 0730 UTC
Boat speed 5.3
Wind 12kts from 050twd
Day 13 miles covered 136

Crossed the equator!!! So fricken cool! After so many years of dreaming about this, it happened this morning, SeaGlub sailed across the equator. It was a beautiful sunrise and then we did it, we sailed across in good wind with a gorgeous sunrise backdrop. For decades I've dreamed about this, from conversations with my buddy Jeff going all the way back to junior high school or incessantly bugging my bro Andrew while we worked at the Rusty Pelican parking cars in the 90s, today it happened. I'm lucky to have the beautiful Ms. Tara Lee to accompany me on this journey, together we've made a great trip of this so far. The prior 24 hours saw some good sailing conditions but we're still waiting for the winds to turn easterly. We're still getting wind from the NE which causes us to sail more south than we would like, however right now that's not a problem, but a couple more days of this and we will be forced to gybe (turn right in our case) instead of just being able to sail direct t
o the
Marquesas, which adds distance which adds time. So here's to hoping sometime soon we start getting the wind to clock out of the SE.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Day 13

Location 0.38N x 124.51W
Time 0630 utc
Boat speed 7.0
Winds 15kts from 105twd
Day 12 miles covered 130

Yesterday was another very pleasant light wind sail with the spinnaker up all day and thru the night. Seas continue to be very calm in the 3' range but long period so quite smooth and when you're down below you barely notice any movement, almost feels like you're at anchor in one of those anchorages that has jet skis buzzing around. We dropped the spinnaker tonight just after sunset as winds have started to pick back up as expected and we're now doing 7 knots with a great wind angle and still calm seas, we've picked up the southern trades and making our rhumb line to Nuku Hiva! Of note, when we last flew the spinnaker we noticed there was a chafe area near the end of the halyard where the head of the sail attaches. This time flying the spinnaker we intentionally hoisted it so the chafe area would be in a different place and tonight when we brought it down there is new chafe evident. Maybe the shiv where the halyard enters the top of the mast? Anyway we shouldn't need this ha
again before we get to Nuku Hiva so this project goes on the list. Otherwise all is very well on board.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Day 12

Location 1.59N x 123.37W
Time 0700 utc
Boat speed 5.6kts
Wind 10kts from 080 twd
Day 11 miles covered 145

Just the kind of day sailing you dream of when buying an offshore cruising boat. Big blue ocean, sunny skies with billowy clouds and light but consistent trade winds blowing 8-10 knots just abaft midships. And the sea is so calm you can put your glass of water, ok rum cocktail, down on the counter and not worry about it slipping around and spilling! While technically probably still inside the ITCZ we have gotten lucky to get what appears to be the southern trades making a push just north enough to come pull us south. The winds freshened around midnight last night. The actual wind direction is 150-160 on the boat but our speed is making us see 090awa so we're cooking with the asym out and doing her job. Looks like we're about exactly 24 hours from the equator crossing which puts us at a nighttime transformation from pollywogs to shellbacks.... (Google it!)

All is well aboard

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Day 11

Location 3.55n x 122.23w
Time 0600 utc
Boat speed 6.3
Wind (motor on) light wind from ENE
Day 10 miles covered 131

Good day of light wind sailing and dodging thunderheads. Passing to the left, passing to the right, passing in front of us and passing behind us but today we didn't get wet. A couple of times we saw the wind go from 8-10 to maybe 15-16 briefly but otherwise the squalls pretty much left us alone. Unfortunately the ITCZ is widening as we attempt to cross so likely a motor day tomorrow and hope that we can find some wind on the other side further south. All systems and crew good aboard SeaGlub. It's definitely warm but not terribly hot, just gotta stay out of the sun in the daytime and at night it's cool enough to sleep with a sheet on. Speaking of sleep, we've gotten into a nice watch routine where we have dinner and watch the sunset then wait about an hour to start watches. We go 2 hours on 2 hours off then 4 hours on and 4 hours off which gets us well past sunrise.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Day 10

Location 5.43N x 120.42W
Time 0400 UTC
Boat speed 4.5 it's
Wind 10kts at 090 twd
Day 9 miles covered another new record 172!!

Yesterday morning we gybed the mainsail over after running wing and wing for two days and left the pole on the genoa to help us run deeper. Well it helped as we set a record again for miles covered in 24 hours at 172!! We got hit by our first squall at 1am and got soaked as we weren't quite ready, I mean we hadn't seen wet stuff from the sky since October. All was well and things dried out by midday the next day. So we're in an area called the Intertropical Convergence Zone or ITCZ. In this area the air flow from the northern hemisphere high pressure converges with the air flow from the Southern hemisphere high pressure system. In both systems there's a lot of energy and where they converge you typically get less consistent wind strength and speed and a lot of thunderstorm activity. For sailors it is an area we watch with great interest and try our best to time our crossing as we go from one hemisphere to the other. Right now we're sailing through this area, that's why we had
rain last night. For us it looks like it will take us about 3-4 days to pass through the ITCZ and as of now we're about halfway through. On the other side the trade winds to the Marquesas await...

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Day 9

Location 7.35N x 119.0W
Time 0300 utc
Boat speed 7.8
Wind 18kt from 035
Day 8 miles covered 163

Yep yesterday was a record day for SeaGlub in the Miles Covered category at 163. We're in the trades and found a good sail set up running wing and wing all day and keeping the wind at 180 degrees to SeaGlub. The ride was not the smoothest with 4-6' following swell rolling us 25 degrees heel at times but we made excellent ground. We're definitely in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) as well as we can see lightning storms well off in the distance. Of course we don't like lightning but given that storms can cover 100 miles and move 30-40mph we're more concerned with downdraft winds associated with the storms here in the ITCZ. For now we keep an eye on them and be prepared for sail changes if necessary. This morning the winds clocked just enough to allow us to gybe the boom and therefore mainsail over to the same side as the genoa. This changed our track sightly but also smoothed out the ride considerably. We expect the wind to continue to clock more easterly the next day
or two
and then we possibly hit the doldrums between the northern hemisphere and Southern hemisphere weather systems. Into the night we go, flying along at almost 8 knots....

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Day 8

Location 9.15 x 117.46
0730 UTC
Boat speed 7.3
Wind 18kts from 050
Day 7 miles covered 130

Back into the wind the best thing for us to do was to set up the whisker pole and run the wing and wing. The winds started out light in the afternoon but we expected themo to pick up all night and into the next day, which indeed they did, we also expected the wind to clock more easterly, which it did not. However the WoW set up compensated nicely for this and we were able to make a great course even in the lighter wind part of the day. By morning we had consistent 15 knots pushing SeaGlub at times over 8 knots of boat speed. Those winds have sustained and at noon tomorrow I expect to report our best distance covered day thus far. For breakfast we had pancakes and bacon and for dinner we had red Thai curry chicken, it was spicy!! Up until today the ocean had been fairly calm but with the wind picking up and SeaGlub heading further south we found some uncomfortable sailing conditions exacerbated by easterly swell from last week's very strong Tpec condition in southern Mexico.
Throughout the day we had our following wind swell but that was crossed up by a 4-6' easterly swell making the boat swoon from 25 degree heel one way and quickly to back to 25 degree the other way. Definitely not a day for those with weak stomachs.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.