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Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 8, Unrated Sail Area

Thursday AM

We've had a little passenger on NAKIA ever since leaving Socorro. A spider must have drifted out from the island to the boat on an Easterly breeze and took up residence between the backstay and the short wave antenna (HF Radio Antenna). He liked it there, because he built a very nice web which catches anything blowing in over the stern. We can see him in the center of the web, waiting patiently for a bug to get blown in. We're not sure if there are likely to be any bugs, but we hope for the best. In any case his web gives us an additional .5 sq foot of sail area.

Day 8 was pretty slow. We had 5 hours in the early morning where the boat went under 2 miles per hour. Our normal target speed is 6 mph. Amazingly, the auto pilot steered flawlessly and only got 'lost' once. When I say it gets lost, I mean it was unable to keep the boat on course and sounds a rather annoying alarm which wakes the off watch. And the on watch for that matter.

The wind filled in a little during the day and we spent the rest of our time going 4-5 mph. In these light wind conditions, we use a 'double head sail' configuration where we pole the jib out to one side and then raise our nylon drifter in the second track on the headsail furler. It's very effective down wind, and because we double reef the main, it is fairly quiet even when the sea rolls the wind out of the sails. Much quieter than having the main banging back and forth in any case.

The wind is supposed to increase Thursday, and then increase again Friday so it's likely we'll be pulling down the drifter soon.

{GMST}16|58|N|114|04|W|Mexico to Marquesas Day 8|Day 8{GEND}