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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Passage Stats, Tuamotus to Hawaii

Well we arrived in Hilo yesterday just at Noon. We were tied up by 12:30 and by 12:31 I was drinking a cold beer thanks to Jon on Pura Vida. The crew on Pura Vida took us out to dinner at Cronies restaurant for huge burgers and beers. I have to say that is the nicest landfall welcome we have ever had!

Here are a few statistics on the passage we just completed. It took us 23 days 3 hours and 12 minutes to travel from Anse Amyot, Toau to Hilo, Hawaii. If we had been able to go directly, as in an airplane, it would have been 2195 miles. But this was impossible since there were some islands to go around, and we needed to follow a different route to ensure good wind. So our original plan was to sail a route of 2541 miles. How far we actually sailed is kind of a hard number to come at because each of our various tools (knot meter, GPS, navigation computer) have their own opinions of how far we had to go to sail those 2541 miles. But here's what the various opinions are:

The Navigation Computer says we went 2743 miles. This is error prone because the computer just adds up the distance between points that it lays down every 10 seconds. Sometimes the points, because of minor GPS errors, are farther apart than they should be. With almost 13000 points in the track from Toau to Hilo the errors add up.

The GPS says we went 2530 miles, but this is only adding up our day to day total mileages.

The knot meter says we went 2668 miles. I think this one is most accurate, though it's probably a little long.

So using the knot meter distance and our time we get an average speed of 4.8 knots.


{GMST}19|43.89|N|155|03.18|W|Arrived Radio Bay, Hilo, Hawaii|Radio Bay{GEND}

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Days 22&23 Tuamotus to Hawaii

We had good sailing for most of this time. Sunday night the wind lightened a bit but it was still keeping us moving above four knots. The seas were smoother as well. We had another good day on Monday, but soon after sunset the wind started backing off until we only averaged four knots in our 8-9 PM hour. By that time we'd had enough and were ready to motor on through to the finish, if that's what it was going to take. By the time I came on watch at 0400 this morning it had been raining steadily. At 0730 the overcast lifted her skirts just slightly enough for us to say, "Land Ho!" at the sight of waves crashing on the shore of a spit of dark volcanic coastline.

We have already reversed the berths, moving all the junk stored for the passage on our Pullman sleeping berth (with clean sheets!), and returning it all to its normal place in the quarter berth (our garage while at anchor and our sea berth for long passages). The laundry bags are bursting at the seams from our mantra of, "everything must go!" - to the laundromat that is. Pura Vida is renting a car for a day and we will pitch in on the cost so that we can get all the laundry done in one visit.

We only have a little while longer to turn the corner into Reed's Bay! I'll send an official arrival entry after we are tied up in Radio Bay.

Day 22 Stats
Course: 307 degrees True
Trip Mileage: 130 nm
Water Temp: 79.2 to 79.7 F
Engine Hours: 0

Day 23 Stats
Course: 310 degrees True
Trip Mileage: 125 nm
Water Temp: 79.5 to 80.2 F
Engine Hours: 13

{GMST}19|41.5|N|154|56.1|W|Tuamotus to Hawaii Day 23|Day 23{GEND}

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Days 20&21 Tuamotus to Hawaii

These were two of the most difficult days of the passage. For the most part we sailed with only the deeply reefed main and the staysail. Before I came on watch at Noon on Saturday I lay in the quarter berth listening to waves breaking on the side of the boat and splashing into the cockpit. When one of these sent a fine mist of salt spray through the aft facing porthole I decided it was time to close it up tight.

A couple of hours later I had just finished recording our hourly progress in the log and was standing in the galley with the open book. A bigger than usual wave came crashing into the cockpit and pouring into the galley, all over me, the steps, the fridge, the stove, and the sink. A few drops even made it as far as the counter top where our TV is stowed. John also discovered a few inches had made it into the lazarette. We spent the next hour cleaning up that salty mess, and I'm sure we'll be wiping up residue from hidden nooks and crannies for weeks to come. After that we closed the top slider and put one drop board in the hatch!

Then Ziggy began his usual routine at 4 PM of bugging me to feed him dinner. I normally manage to hold him off until at least 4:30, so I petted him some and then ignored him as he sat on the table watching me eat some canned peaches. Well, I guess the stress is getting to him too because, quick as lightning, he decided to viciously attack my right forearm. All four fangs sank deep into my skin with either additional teeth or a few claws also leaving their mark. My angry reaction was to swat him in return, which only sent peach juice everywhere as he beat a hasty retreat. I couldn't believe the degree to which my arm started throbbing and felt like it was on fire. I doused all the puncture wounds with alcohol and rubbed Mupirocin into them (an antibiotic ointment our vet recommended for just such events). John wrapped me up with gauze and tape so I wouldn't get blood on the sheets when I went off watch at 5 PM. Needless to say I asked John to feed Ziggy and I've been keeping my distance ever since. Anybody want a free cat?

The good news is that as of this writing (Sunday afternoon) we are still on track for a Tuesday arrival. We are pushing as hard as we can to make that happen before sunset so that we can get tied up to the wall in Radio Bay. Pura Vida arrived safely after sunrise this morning, and they report they are the only boat there! We are looking forward to joining them for some food and fun.

Day 20 Stats
Course: 308 degrees True
Trip Mileage: 132 nm
Water Temp: 81.7 to 80.6 F (trending down)
Engine Hours: 0

Day 21 Stats
Course: 307 degrees True
Trip Mileage: 131 nm
Water Temp: 81.0 to 79.2 F (trending down)
Engine Hours: 0

{GMST}17|02.6|N|151|27.6|W|Tuamotus to Hawaii Day 21|Day 21{GEND}

Friday, November 01, 2013

Days 18&19 Tuamotus to Hawaii

We've been sailing with the "second" reef in our main sail; the staysail; and a scrap of jib which gets trimmed in and out for squalls. Second reef is a misnomer because our main sail only has two reefs. The first is a reasonable reduction and we sail with it in often. But the second reef wasn't calculated correctly and it brings the main down to almost the size of a storm sail (itty bitty). John has been meaning to add another reef point in between the two to increase our options.

18-22 knot winds bring boisterous seas and we are now in the hard home stretch to Hawaii. If you've ever flown there from the mainland, these are the conditions you look down on from the comfort of your jumbo jet and say, "I sure wouldn't want to be in a sailboat out in that!" Nothing dangerous, just messy white caps and waves breaking on the side of the boat now and then (soaking the cockpit). Down below we keep a firm grip and/or brace ourselves against two opposing points with our legs/feet to keep from being thrown across the boat because we never know when one of those waves is going to hit. We can expect another day or two of this and then we're hoping it backs off a little.

Thanks to everyone who confirmed official reports of my comet/meteor sighting. Even though I thought it was spectacular, it's nice to know that it was significant enough to make the news.

I can't remember if I've mentioned this before. If you're interested in more details about our weather conditions and progress, go to http://www.pangolin.co.nz/yotreps_reporting_boat_list where the Pacific Seafarer's Net is tracking Nakia. John (HAM call sign KE6HUA) reports in with them by HF radio every evening with our daily stats and they post it for all of you to see. This is a HAM net run by dedicated volunteer amateur radio enthusiasts all over the Pacific. In case of an emergency, they are the best people we could hope to have watching our backs for us. We can't thank them enough for being there every night of the year!

Pura Vida is way out ahead of us and hopes to be in Hilo by Noon on Sunday. If we can keep up our current rate of progress we're looking forward to making landfall sometime late Tuesday night.

Day 18 Stats
Course: 310 degrees True
Trip Mileage: 127 nm
Water Temp: 81.0 to 82.0 F (trending down)
Engine Hours: 0

Day 19 Stats
Course: 309 degrees True
Trip Mileage: 127 nm
Water Temp: 81.0 to 81.5 F
Engine Hours: 0

{GMST}14|18.8|N|147|53.8|W|Tuamotus to Hawaii Day 19|Day 19{GEND}