Tuesday 29th May 2012 (GMT)
Since getting underway again early yesterday morning, I've had two excellent days of sailing in mainly bright sunshine, slowly calming seas and mainly good wind. Just as well: "Keep your speed up!!" I kept hearing from Dave & Trish on 'Chameleon', worried that I'd be overtaken by light winds and, later, headwinds....
This morning, I was able to shake out two reefs and then pole out the genoa for downwind sailing in veering, lighter, SSW-WSW winds.
The Low that caused our problems has now moved SE, passing close by our hove-to position on Sunday (see photo in previous post). It has now produced these good SW winds which are helping us to head due East. Winds are forecast to veer W & then become NW-N later this week. Finally, when the usual SE Trades re-establish near Tahiti, I'll be able to turn N to make landfall - that's the plan, anyway!
It's been very pleasant .. I can move around the boat this evening wth little difficulty, although this morning, on a very rolly, lurching foredeck, I had a maor problem raising the genoa pole. All had gone well until then...furl in the stays'l, down with its pole,...stow it, attach lines to the genoa pole end, furl in the genoa ... then the problems started as I attempted to raise the pole....
Should gave been fairly simple, but the jaw kept jamming in the ring-holder on the mast track - it kept twisting slightly... I even, at one point, climbed the mast a short distance with hammer in hand, thinking to free the jaw by banging it - but to no avail.... I raised and lowered it several times (not as simple as it sounds, single-handed!), ...finally it stayed free as I raised the far end and the mast end slid down its track... It took well over two hours before I had the genoa nicely on its pole. goosewinged with the mains'l. But the end result was definitely worthwhile with a good speed reached, downwind, of 6-7+ knots in 18 knots of SSW wind.
By this evening, under a bright half-moon and myriads of stars, we were making just 5 knots in wind that had slowly eased to 12-14 kt - but later, the wind reached 18kt again - and we're now sailing at 6.5-7.5 kt.
DMG today: 136 n.ml.; yesterday, having been sailing only since 7.30am, we made 40n.ml. to 1pm - not bad, in fact!
Distance to Tahiti at 1am NZT tonight: 850 n.ml.