Thursday, August 4, 2016
Living on a starboard tack
We've been on a starboard tack for 685 miles, five days straight. With a stiff trade wind easterly wind the boat heels to the left. Along with the wind comes the waves running three to eight feet. The strike us on the starboard side also. When it's lighter, we open a few hatches to get some air circulation. If the waves build and start crashing over the boat top, then we are forced to batten down the hatches. You will hear a bang that sounds like somebody slapping the side of the boat with a 300 pound fish. The boat will jerk a little to the left and ... wait for it... the sheesshh, splat of five buckets of water hitting the cockpit, or the cabin top. Occasionally you'll be in the cockpit when this happens and you will find the need to move quickly, ducking behind the dodger for cover. Where you once were is now a dripping mess.
We are trying to get north of the persistent trades. They are fairly established this time of year reaching across from mainland USA west past Hawaii. We've got another day or so before we get across these winds. When we do, we'll be in a calmer area near the center of the high. Some motoring will be necessary, then eventually we'll get on the top side of the high that will be our sleigh ride home.
The boat is starting to move around quite a bit and I'm having trouble keeping the laptop on the table. Connie looks up and sees a cloud approaching. "Looks like a little rain ahead." The seas are jumbled. Then all of a sudden the rain comes. We rush to close hatches and bring in cockpit cushions. The seas calm down right away and the boat slows down. In five minutes it stops raining and the sun comes out. Our boat speed has gone from 6.5 to 3.5. In the sun, the wet decks start to steam as they dry.
We open the hatches and mop up the rainwater on the floor. The wind increases a little bit and before you know it we are tooling along again at 5.5 knots. I guess you'd call that a little squall.
Scott, Connie, and Randy
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