Hawaii to Fanning Atoll – Day 2

It is Day 2 of our passage and we have sailed another 128nm in the past 24 hours with 680nm to go.

The wind and seas have increased (20-28kts, 8-12′ seas) and moved more ENE, allowing us to sail slightly downwind for a more comfortable ride.

Lewis put out one of our last Skabenga lures since we were sailing 6.5kts and within 2 hours we had hooked a monster Mahi! This thing was much bigger than all of the fish we have caught so far, somewhere in the 5-6′ range. Unfortunately, just as Lewis was pulling the fish near the boat, the beast dove down sideways and our metal crimp on the line chafed through the 300lb monofilament, releasing the fish with hook in mouth as he thrashed away. It was probably for the better. As of right now, we don’t have nearly that much space in our freezer for that much fish. Not only was it a monster, but it was gorgeous with bright flashes of yellow, blue and green. We’ll throw a wire leadered cedar plug in the water today in hopes of catching a small tuna for some sushi. I had our GoPro rolling the whole time, so we’ll see how the footage came out! I also took a long GoPro of my morning sunrise shift in the rough seas, for those of you wondering what it’s like. Yes, it’s a little rough, but it’s very peaceful and the beautiful sunrise makes it completely worth every night at sea. Can you tell it’s my favorite shift?

I’m a third of the way through a new-to-me book, Under the Tuscan Sun. A term I learned I thought appropriate for our passage: Festina Tarde, to make haste slowly, used in the Renaissance. It was often depicted by a dolphin entwined with an anchor, a snake with its tail in its mouth, or by the figure of a woman sitting with wings in one hand and a tortoise in the other. Is sailing not making haste slowly? Sure we can push the boat near hull speed every day, but a sail boat going 6.5kts is still very, VERY slow. Taking time to see the ocean, mother nature, and remote islands at our own pace, taking time to watch every sunrise and read a book, is very different than taking a 747 to Australia. A plane will get to our destination months before us, but misses everything in between. I think I like this term.

It’s going to be another relaxing, mellow (but rolly) day at sea for us. A large wave just slapped against our hull and sent a wall of water into the cockpit. I have a perfect spot behind the dodger that almost never gets wet. It’s fascinating to watch the water splash up with the sun behind it, revealing the same bright blue/teal water you dream of in shallow lagoon anchorages. We’re really looking forward to setting up our “fort” in Fanning and camping out for a couple of weeks. All of our toys will be coming out of deep storage, sailing pedal kayak, our new paddleboard, both hammocks for the cockpit, shade for the boat, the dingy, spear fishing gear, dive/snorkel gear, and maybe even the kite board.

We’re expecting to hit the ITCZ around 9N in another day or two where the weather will be inconsistent with many squalls. We’ll sail when we can and motor when we can’t. We have plenty of diesel since filling up in the Big Island, so aren’t afraid to turn on the engine. After the ITCZ, we’re hoping to finally see those “doldrums” of glassy seas people keep talking about. If it really exists, we may simply hang out for a day, watch Waterworld and go for a swim.

In the meantime, I’ll keep my eye out for the smokers. I just watched a cargo ship pass 13nm N of our position.

Festina Tarde,
Alyssa & Lewis

April 28, 2015

18:50z
14 53 N
156 56 W
176T
6.5 Kts
21.1 Kts Wnd
9-12 Ft Seas

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