Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Big Alsatian dogs and other stuff

"You smell like a big Alsatian dog" said Tori. Mmm that's nice thought I, nicest thing you've said to me all day. This was day two out on our trip. We were bashing to windward with salt spray caked all over the boat (still are and still have). Perhaps talking Tori into going back to NZ wasn't such a good idea. We knew this leg to New Caledonia from Guam would be hard. 2600 nautical miles to windward through the tropics. Luckily the wind has died to about 15 to 20 knots and the large swells of our westbound voyage have died away, although it has been up to 35 plus and down to zero with a lumpy chop. The Equatorial current is constantly against us, and the counter current has yet to be found.

But that's minor stuff really. We will pass the mark that puts us half way to Honiara soon. This means 900 miles and we can get some more fuel, 3/4 of a tonne of it, and we will use that amount to get there. So if the wind remains as it is now, nothing, we should be able to motor. Then pick up fuel if required and continue another 1000 miles to New Caledonia. Then it only another 1000 miles to Nelson in south island NZ, at least that will be cool. That's the real fun here. The boat is closed down as the spray is all over the boat, or it's raining in a squall. Temperature below decks sits at a cool 32 degrees . Humidity is about 80%. Oh you can feel the sweat pour off you as you enter the cabin. Your bed sheets are wringing wet within seconds and I do mean wringing. It doesn't dry as you can imagine and I feel it may smell a bit. Never mind only about three weeks (If all goes well) and we can change them! Just off to swim 20 laps of my bunk!

We are now south of 5 degrees north (latitude) and effectively clear of the Typhoon area. We have the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone to enjoy next which is an area of calm winds with massive squalls of wind, rain and lightening. Most awe inspiring to behold, but only if you spotted it coming and got reefed down in time! Good time to cool off and have a wash too.

Sight seeing has been sparse so far. Tori spotted a plastic bottle, one Jandal and a ship. I managed two ships and some dolphins, and we both spotted some squalls. We expect to see a few fishing vessels as this is a big area for Tuna fishing. The moon has put in an appearance again tonight and we should see more of it over the next week. This will help with spotting the squalls at night.

Well I'd better get back to do my watch, 20:00 til 02:00 and enjoy the evening. At least the Customs and Immigration Officers won't spend long onboard when we get to New Caledonia.


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