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Monday, October 18, 2010

Hawaii bound

It's a bit of a blue day on Nakia as we have decided to postpone our dream to return to Mexico yet again. John crunched the weather faxes and grib files for the upcoming weeks and couldn't come up with enough days of southerly winds to justify the attempt from where we are now. Beating into more of the NE and E winds just didn't sound appealing especially now that those winds and seas have increased, making for a rougher ride. Turning off the wind to sail due North at Noon today was a relief to both our bodies and the boat.

The other factor is that the Cape Horn broke early Sunday morning. John knew before we left FP that the metal rod that failed was already cracked, but he just couldn't see paying hundreds of dollars in shipping and customs duty for a free replacement part. This actually wouldn't have been so bad for sailing to MX since our wheel lock does very well steering the boat upwind. But if we needed to use the auto pilot much we would have been draining our batteries and our fuel supply of gasoline and diesel would have been stretched beyond the limit to keep them charged for another month or more of sailing.

We have plenty of fuel to keep us charged up for the next 10-12 days of sailing to Hawaii. Now the issue is not being able to transmit on the HF radio when the auto pilot is steering. So we're back to the old days of Linda hand steering while John checks-in to the radio nets and sends/receives email. Since I don't particularly like standing out in the wind/spray/rain for this duty, I may not be generating as much email as I have been!

Now our only decision is where to make landfall, Hilo or Honolulu. We'll see what the weather looks like when we get closer before deciding whether or not to bypass Hilo and continue on to Oahu. Our next major hurdle will be crossing the ITCZ. The two boats ahead of us spent 36-72 hours motoring through it, and we really hope we don't have to do the same.

The good news about making Hawaii our near term destination is getting to see the birthday girl and all our cruising friends again!