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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Better night

Last night (the night of the 5th) was much better. The wind backed off enough for us to set a little more sail and not feel like we were jumping off a cliff every third wave.

If anyone ever told me I'd be sailing hard on the wind into the trades I'd have laughed. Truth be told, we're not sailing as close to the wind as we could, if we were we'd be going even slower and have more problems keeping the boat sailing (both the autopilot and the windvane dislike having to sail close to the 'edge'). Be that as it may, we're still sailing upwind into the trades which is something I'd never have given us credit for.

We did a few things before this passage to help with windward performance which I'd like to mention to all the sailors reading our blog. First, we moved the anchor chain from it's normal position in the bow to the keel (NAKIA has a 15 gallon tank in the front of the keel that's never been used and holds our 250 ft of chain perfectly). Moving 450 lbs 12 ft aft changed the pitch of the boat quite a bit, the bow came up about 2 inches and I can tell as we go over the waves that the bow is staying up instead of slamming down into the water. Second, we 'stacked' the boat for port tack. All the canned goods, kitty litter and heavy spare gear are stowed on the port side as far outboard as possible. We also tried to keep it close, fore and aft, to the mast. Before we left Hilo NAKIA was heeling a good 5 degrees to port just sitting still. This helps lessen the amount of heel caused by the sails so we have a more comfortable ride.

Today we are at 15o 43'N, 151o 23'W and have made about 320 miles, giving us about 1700 miles to go.

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