Sailing on, Sailing Off

Early Sunday morning the winds picked up and we began truly sailing for the first time. We had a really great sail with just long lazy swells and enough winds to average near, or above, 8 knots for 24 hours. We even hit 10 knots a few times. During our second 24-hour run we made 189 nautical miles (including the earlier motoring part at a slower speed). On Monday morning we had a few squalls to contend with, but the shifts in direction and speed were compensated by the boost in wind from the squall winds.

Monday afternoon was a different story though. We had several bigger squalls. But, these bigger rain clouds just sucked the wind out of the air. We had to make several changes to our sail plan and change our course constantly. The changes in wind were somewhat compensated by a few minutes of excitement in which we caught some fish. We simultaneously caught two small Mahi Mahi (which we let go), and then a few minutes later caught another pair only slightly larger (which we again let go). Unfortunately, no larger keepers were caught before it got dark. In the early evening we completely lost the wind and ended up motoring most of the night. During our watches it was pretty peaceful with a bright moon, starry skies, and smooth seas. But, we were all wishing for the wind we had been promised in the forecast and were not having to run the engines and use fuel.

Early Tuesday morning, we finally found some wind and got to sail again. Our forecasts had said we should be getting 12-14 knots of wind all night. Finally, we had found the wind! But, after only an hour it dropped off to 10 again. Our route had us turning west at this point, but the winds had not shifted to the south as expected. So, we’re continuing southwest hoping to find more wind. If we have more wind, we can just pull out the spinnaker and go west and still make good speed downwind.

Everyone has been doing pretty well. Lara had a bit of seasickness the first day out. But, was feeling better on Tuesday. Jason was feeling bad the second day – mostly a headache. He thinks he had not been drinking enough and got dehydrated. He was feeling much better on his shift Tuesday morning. Karen has been feeling tired, but has been doing some extra sleeping. For my part, I have been doing just fine – especially when we have been sailing well. Sailing along with the blue ocean water rushing by the boat, making way using nature’s gift of wind, watching the constantly changing painting of the sky day and night, is one of my favorite ways of communing with nature.

We still have plenty of food, and even fresh fruits and vegetables at this point. After another few days, the fresh stuff will be harder to find. But, we have plenty of other good food stored aweay when the fresh stuff runs out.

We are reporting in over the radio to share our weather conditions and position with other boats on this passage. So, I’ll sign off now and report again within a day or so.

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