At noon on Thursday, March 31, we were at 2-40N
146-51W steering 141 M at 6.4 knots.
This morning, the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone finally spit us out the other side. Boy was it wet in there. The boat was so clean from the rain, it squeaked.
Now we are seeing 12-knot trade winds out of the southeast and more modest seas of about 3 to 4 feet. Both are about 30 degrees off the port bow.
About 5 p.m. local time tomorrow, we should cross the equator at about 145 degrees west longitude.
We took advantage of calm water in the ITCZ to replace a failed engine room ventilator motor. We had a spare on board, due to prior failures of this 12V motor.
Since we left Hawaii, we have not seen another boat. Those of you watching yotreps can see others converging on the Marquesas from California and Mexico. We can hear the boat ham radio stations better than those on the mainland, so we must be closing in on them.
At noon on Wednesday, March 30, we were at 5-09N 148-15W steering 142M at about 7.5 kts.
Wind decreased to about 15 kts as we entered the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone this morning. This is where trade winds from the northern and southern hemisphere bend together in a band, about 4 to 8 degrees north longitude. It is humid, cloudy and raining. The good news is that we have seen no lightning. Squalls cover the radar screen. We expect to be past this tomorrow.
This was a perfect day for high energy chores - electric that is. Downpours caused us to shut all doors and windows, so on came our trusty 16 kw Northern Lights generator, air conditioners, washer and dryer, coffee pot and the watermaker. After all, it is good for the generator to have a substantial load when running. These creature comforts make cruising and ocean crossings a pleasure, and our Nordhavn the perfect platform
At noon on Tuesday, March 29 we were at 7-42N 149-33W steering 142M at about 7 kts.
East winds continue at 22 kts on the port beam. Last night was breezier
with 30 kts most of the time. Seas were up accordingly. We varied course to deal with the swells.
My older brother has been in contact with info about weather ahead. We are watching weather maps that come to us over our high frequency radio. The goal is to avoid problems in the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone. It looks like our current track would put us in the ITCZ Wednesday evening. Nordhavn's Jim Leishman sent an e-mail message with a weather outlook for milder conditions. Our sturdy boat is doing fine, but calm seas are always welcome.
We are sorry that our freezers are filled. This morning there were four flying fish on the back deck. Was a predator fish chasing them? Seems like we should be dragging a fishing line.
Radio conditions were excellent this evening. Our contact with the Pacific Seafarer's Net was very clear. We could hear most of the other six reporting boats and all of the net controllers along the west coast. My dad would have been pleased. The Seafarer's net posts boat reports and a graphic of boat positions on its web site each night, at:
We had a bright red sunset, tonight.
At noon on Monday, March 28 we were at 10-06N 150-53W steering 142 magnetic. Taiohae Bay on Nuku Hiva is about 1300 nm and we have completed over 800 nm from the marina.
Winds have been a persistent 22 kts on the port beam, so we spend time hanging on and occasionally washing down the accumulated salt spray.
Having lots of fresh water on board is one of our Nordhavn's luxuries. Our FCI watermaker, supplied by Long Beach Marine Electronics, has the ability to produce 1,000 gallons per day. This high capacity allows us to refill our tanks in the evening, while the generator is on to cook dinner, run the dishwasher and wash and dry clothes From our perspective, having competent
and responsive support for the watermaker, as well as other electronic equipment, is an essential consideration when choosing a supplier or contractor. We have enjoyed excellent support from Long Beach and FCI.
Last night, we passed through our first squall line on this trip. We had over 30 kts for a while and some rain. As we approach the inter tropical convergence zone, in about another 150 nm, we will expect to see more convective cells.
Other than being bumpy, all equipment and voyagers are doing well.
At 6 a.m. Saturday morning Hawaii time (March 26) we were at 15-21N 153-49W, 243 nautical miles south of Hawaii. We are cruising at 7 kts on a course of 142 magnetic. 10 kt wind is 15 degrees off port bow.
Reflected light from the full moon last night lit up the wiggling sea. A cold front is forecast to cross the Hawaiian Islands this weekend. We may be far enough south not to notice.
Boat and passengers are doing well. Mahi sashimi and baked with papaya/macadamia chutney for dinner last night. Life is good.
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At noon Hawaii time on Sunday we were at 12-23N 152-08W, 440 nautical miles south of Hawaii. The route from our marina to our present position covered 650 nautical miles. We are cruising at 6.8 kts on a course of 142 magnetic. We have an 18 kt wind 60 degrees off the port bow. Clouds are mostly cumulous, which indicate fair weather. Small squalls are showing on the radar beside and ahead of us.
The forecast cold front passed us early this morning, with 27 knots wind right on the beam.. We hope that is behind us, now. We installed our portside storm plates before leaving Ko Olina, for two reasons. Prevailing weather here typically would come from the east and our boat has an
asymmetrical design, with the saloon extending to the port gunnels. The starboard saloon windows are accessed outside by a walkway, so installing those, or the front pilot-house plates along the way, would be relatively easy. The heavy glass windows could take quite a blow without failing, but having thick storm plates installed gives comfort.
We found that our plastic storm plates would not fit the bolt pattern on the boat. The plastic material is dimensionally affected by temperature and we had to elongate the holes with a Dremmel router bit.
The past two nights we have been able to contact the Pacific Seafarer's Net on ham radio. The net controllers log the location of reporting boats on their web site at: www.bitwrangler.com/yotreps/
Take a look and see if you can find us. We have no idea how long contact with the net can be maintained. The net begins at about 0320 UTC at 14.313 MHz.
Boat and passengers are still doing well.
Our voyage to French Polynesia began with a stop for the night at Hawaii Yacht Club, where a score of envious sailboat owners toured our Nordhavn 50. Our boat draws compliments wherever we go. On Wednesday (March 23) we departed for an overnight run to Honokohau, Hawaii, which is a small boat harbor near Kailua/Kona. After topping off with diesel, we departed early
Thursday afternoon. Seas were expectedly rough passing the south end of Hawaii, but improved as we pulled away from the island.
On board with us is Geoff Curran, a retired Pan Am and JAL pilot, sailboater and licensed captain. Geoff jumped at the chance to join our trip. He is seriously considering a Nordhavn for his next boat.
At noon Friday, Hawaii time, we were at 17-11N 154-52W, about 114 nm SSE of Hawaii. Course is 142 degrees at 7.3 knots. Winds and seas are favorable. Next stop is the island of Nuku Hiva, Marquesas.
We put out fishing lines at first morning light and had a double hook up of mahi mahi a half hour later. They are resting in the freezer, waiting for us to enjoy. Fresh sushi is planned for tonight's table. The bad news is that our freezers are full and we have to stop fishing for a while. I guess we could throw out the steaks.
Equipment and voyagers are all doing fine.