Crazy Sailing

We had a couple of wild passages back in the Pacific Ocean in 2010/11. The beat to Hao to see the solar eclipse was one. And the 25 knot beat to Vanuatu was another. But, this many day trip across the Indian Ocean has really set a new mark for wild rides. Thank God Tahina is a strong and seaworthy boat! We have had some wave bashes and rocks that would scare the crap out of an inexperienced sailor. So much that one of our rudders got knocked out of whack causing our autopilot to lose response and forcing us into an accidental jibe in 27 knots of wind! We have a hydraulic system, so it just involved our getting into the aft compartment and re-centering the rudder, and resetting the autopilot, but it was a bit exciting for a few minutes. Of course, this happened at night.

We have also had some fast sailing. With 25+ knots of wind, even with reefed sails, going downwind, we have regularly surfed up to 15+ knots. On several occasions up to the high teens, and once we hit 18.8 knots while I was at the helm. That was really awesome!

The sea continues to be a topsy-turvy mess with swells from the southern ocean coming from one direction, and pretty big swells and slop from the winds behind us. White horses (white-caps) are everywhere. The noise inside the boat is loud, outside it is so loud we have to shout to hear each other. And then there’s the occasional squall with rains and higher or lower winds. We will get there eventually, we just have to slow ourselves down to keep the speeds and conditions from getting out of hand. There are some slightly lighter winds in the forecast the next couple of days.

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