Position at time of writing:
Speed 6.5 knots
Wind 10 – 12 knots from SE
There’s been a flurry of activity on board Hydroquest over the past two days. Yesterday was project day for the boys: Will installed another fan in the main salon (kudos to him for attempting electrical work in the middle of the ocean!), and Ben made a fish gaff. Katy and I have yet to start our big project – the hatch no-see-um nets – but we’ll probably get around to that tomorrow.
Yesterday we did a lot of motoring and experience more rain squalls. I was starting to get anxious about the amount of fuel we’ve burned already (35 gallons) because of this new southern ITCZ phenomenon that I hadn’t mentally accounted for. I pulled a total false alarm at 10:30pm when I saw the winds at over 10 knots. “Let’s get sailing. Unfurl the jib! Turn off the engine!” Poor Ben and Katy had to endure my not-great-call, sailing along at less than 2 knots for an hour or two. Clearly the winds I saw were part of the passing squall and non sustained at all. My bad.
So in the middle of the night we were all up again, checking the engine oil and turning her back on. “Am I going crazy, or does this look crazy?” Will called to us from the cockpit. The entire ocean around us was aglow. I think it looked like hundreds of dull chinese lanterns hanging just under the water, while Will remembers it is a more overall luminosity. Regardless – it was beautiful and strange. I felt like we on a different planet.
When Will and I woke up at 11:00am (after the best sleep of the whole trip so far), the sun was beaming back down on us and the winds were blowing from the SE. Finally through the ITCZ! It was spinnaker time. With all hands on deck we hoisted it up in the sock as usual. Less than 10 seconds later –
BANG!, like a gun shot. The vivid blue and white spinny fell from the sky into the water below. This was followed by and hour of the boys pulling the soaked sail out from the water (not an easy task), trying to figure out how to re-sock it on deck, and re-run the lines properly. The culprit was our first fully chafed through line, the spinnaker halyard. We are now using spinnaker halyard #2 which was already rigged and ready to go for this type of scenario. The good news is, the spinnaker didn’t suffer any damage at all.
It’s amazing to have sunshine and wind again. Onwards we sail!