Back to Trade Wind Sailing

As mentioned during the last post, we did get the trade winds back on Sunday night. We began sailing around 9 PM and the full force trade winds came on at 1 AM. Instead of the 15 knots expected from our weather forecasts, we got 20-25 knots.It is strangely typical that the weather forecasts are 5-10 knots lower than the actual true wind we experience. We put double reefs in the sails when we get 20 knots of wind, especially at night. It wasn’t long before the seas picked up again as well.

The next day, we also found the start of large swells coming from the southwest. These were forecasted swells caused by a large low pressure system hundreds of miles south of us. They don’t do much except cause the boat to slowly rise and fall 3 to 4 meters (9 to 12 feet) every 10 seconds or so. Combined with the 2-3 meter waves caused by the high winds off our port side, and you’ve got a very interesting mix of waves bashing around, underneath, and against the hulls. It is loud, and makes walking around the boat a challenge that is both amusing and dangerous. We occasionally end up with bruises from bumping into things.

We spend our watches checking the weather, the sails, looking for squalls, and checking for other boats on the radar or AIS or visually. I periodically look carefully at the boat’s rigging for any wear and tear or other issues. We also have to run the generator every day or two to keep the batteries charged. But, this is more fuel efficient than running the engines. We are close to reaching the half way point, certainly a significant point of progress. We are always thankful for Tahina’s sailing speeds.

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