Thursday, 7 November 2013

nz day 4: somewhere over that puffy cloud

The one good thing about motoring is turning off the engine and hearing the waves hitting the hull and the wind as it fills our sails. Okay, that and not having to sit dead in the water. Our day started, or I should say, my watch started with Nyon barely sailing at 2 knots in 3 to 6 knot winds. Rick kindly agreed to turn on the engine while I picked up gribs on SAT email. We hate motoring, but we need to make headway south so that when the forecast SW winds show up, we won't be trying to sail directly into them to go to Opua.

At 1100, the sun is shining, and I've got a smile on my face. It's funny what a little wind from the right direction does for this sailor. We are finally sailing again, and not only that, we are going in the direction we want to go! We do try to keep a positive attitude whatever the conditions, but who are we kidding... Good sailing conditions are FUN. (And our windvane Wendy Darling does a great job steering for us.) That and since Beaker died (that's our tiller pilot), whenever we have to motor, we also have to hand-steer. And that is tiring after 4 hours.

Hand-steering is made easier when there is a land mass you can use as a landmark; steering by compass alone is challenging in rolling seas. Now what do you do when you have to hand-steer in the middle of the ocean? At night? Well, if the sky is clear you can use stars, it's amazing how much better I steer when a bright star leads the way. In the daytime, clouds can be handy, although using constantly morphing puffy white bits in the sky can sometimes lead you astray if you don't pay attention. (Of course, I always pay attention.)

And that ladies and gents, is today's report.

Position: 28* 55.296'S 179* 56.894'E
Distance as of 1200 NZST: 98 nm
Heading: 184*T
Speed: 4.7 knots

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