920 to go! That's the nautical miles under our belt so far (as of Friday, May 2, 2014 (our side of International Date Line) at 0900) as we make our way to the island nation of Tuvalu.
We left our mooring ball under sail on Wednesday morning at 1000 at sailed out of the Majuro Atoll, motor-sailed through the reef cut and then made our way back on the outside of the atoll. We had to motor the length of the atoll as the wind was dead on our nose and reefs were all along the atoll. But once we made it to the end of Majuro, the motor went off and we had a pleasant sail through the night and most of the next day. It is sunny, hot with a few cloudy areas here and there. The winds are very light though – barely reaching ten knots so its slow going. But the good news is that the seas are relatively flat so it is comfortable though slow.
Last night just around sunset, a squall was ahead so we were going to pull in some headsail. The furling line parted during this process and jammed. We got the sail in by hand. We managed to change the line after finding one small enough and long enough. This required pulling a line out of a preventer – (the spare preventer). The line is a tad thicker than the old furling line so it is not as smooth. We'll see how it goes over the next day or so and if it doesn't work, we'll put a long piece of spectra dynema on for the time being (this is our safety "jack" line– which we'll replace with the "preventer" line!) Lots of switching to find the right size and length. Something else to purchase! But it happened at a time that wasn't a crisis – so that was good – and in daylight!
We're getting our sea legs back and starting to get into the swing of another long passage. The sleep patterns with our watch system takes a few days to get used to. But it does get easier with each passing night of three hours on watch and three hours of sleep.
The passage should take us at least 12 days at this rate (probably longer if the winds turn southeast and stay light). We've already seen a few ships and this route always seems to have more boats to keep your eye on. Not much moon – but the stars the last few nights were glorious – quite a show. No sea critters yet – but we're always watching. We'll get a fishing line in the water in the next day or so – but first we have to empty the fridge a little.
All is well aboard and we are underway after close to six months in the Marshall Islands for cyclone season. It is getting warmer as we near the equator (our third crossing!) which should be in about three or four days.
Michael posts position reports daily.