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SHTP Day 21 - last one before the finish!

Friday 14th July (Bastille Day!)

Interesting! Looking at yesterday's log, I could copy the beginning word for word for today! Heavy rain, strong winds, big seas (even confused, this morning) over the night and morning, clearing up to give a lovely sunny afternoon, still with good winds but lessening seas. The strong winds have certainly given me a boost for miles run over today. We've been regularly doing over 8knots.

Before the clouds came, there was a brilliant, clear night sky - so many stars, a couple of satellites wandering across, a meteorite shooting overhead, warm air - so lovely just to sit in the cockpit and absorb it all. I felt it was an appropriate happy ending to my voyage - I even started singing!

During the day, as so ofen recently, a pair of sooty shearwaters came by, skimming the waves, and then, delighful to see, a pair of delicate-looking white-tailed tropicbirds flew around 'Nereida' for a time while I was relaxing in the sun this afternoon. They looked as though they were thinking of landing - but that's not so easy! They make a particular kind of clicking noise which caught my attention to look up & catch sight of them.

Bill on 'Ergo' has had a tough time protecting his forestay, with the strong winds veering and backing with each rainfall together with the rough seas knocking the boat about as they do. He even put a couple of reefs in his main - winds were 25 kn, gusting 30 kn, for quite a time. I hope he keeps following winds all the way in - he's about 17 mls (2.5hrs) behind me, so should also finish early tomorrow morning. The Race Committee shore party are all prepared to help him after he crosses the line - he's not been able to furl or lower his twin foresails as a result of his broken forestay.

It's a pity, but I'll definitely be crossing the finish line off Hanalei Bay in the dark - would have been nice to have had a view of the island on my way in. I'm hoping the wind doesn't change drastically as I get closer to shore - I've been warned there could be a night-time katabatic wind, which would be quite different from the ENE Trades we've had for days now. ETA is around 3-5am PDT (midnight-2am Hawaiian time). It will seem odd not to be on a heaving boat after all this time!

I'll sign off & go and collect up the few flying fish on deck from last night - a daily routine I forgot about today, with the bad weather this morning!

At 1945 PDT: 22 22N, 158 39W ; DTF: 48.2n.ml ; 24hr distance run by ship's log (to 0845): 164 n.ml.


P.S. Just found myself surrounded (at a good distance of 2-3 mls) by 4 US Navy warships! Surprised to see any boats after 3 wks without any! But there is a big Navy base near to Hanalei Bay so...

Written by : Mike

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