You know it’s been rough when 20 knots feels pleasant to sleep in…
Our current position has us 390 miles N-NNE of Fanning Atoll. We have sailed 580 miles since leaving the Kona coast of the Big Island, four days ago.
The wind and seas have subsided a bit but are still heavy and Ellie continues to rock and roll her way up and over breaking wave crests. The going has been tough on her but she has handled these seas very well – seas that would certainly eat a lesser boat and break her to pieces.
We are still only flying the headsail, now at 100%. The monitor continues to steer an excellent course – I wish I could buy it a drink for its valiant efforts through these tough seas – that device is worth its weight in gold.
We are on the edge of the ITCZ and expect to find it in earnest sometime tonight. We are being hunted by a couple squalls to windward and the skies are overcast. The GRIBS are calling for a moderate to strong ITCZ due to the strong NE trades. Only luck will tell if we get hammered or are able to thread the needle through. The latest GRIBS are calling for a few degrees of convection. Better put the portable GPS in the oven…
The primary bilge pump is on strike. It wouldn’t be a proper passage unless something broke right? I thought it was a 5 lbs of blonde hair I found in the sump, or the dirt, or the grains of sand and small chunks of wood – wtf? After cleaning all that crap out it still wouldn’t pump. I took apart the hose and blew through the sections to ensure it was clear. Then I had to resort to getting into the engine compartment and disassembling the diaphragm pump housing. The flaps were a little dry so I lubed them up and put the whole thing back together. It worked upon final assembly but a few hours later it quit again, probably just to piss me off. I have it off for now and we can use the primary manual pump to empty the sump. We also have a high water bilge alarm that will start wailing if we forget to check the level. More water has found its way below deck on this passage than any other to date, most likely due to the huge breaking seas coming aboard and our angle to them (just slightly abaft the beam).
We tapped our keg yesterday in order to sample the fresh amber ale we brewed back in Hawaii. It came out great – a refreshingly light malty brown ale with northwest hop bitter and aroma – it sure hit the spot during Captain’s hour yesterday evening. It will certainly be a hit with our friends once we reach Fanning.
Will most likely be writing again from a tropical downpour. Good thing because I could really use a shower – I’m starting to smell up the joint.
Lewis & Alyssa
10 13 N
158 23 W
6.3 KTS SOG
21 KTS WND FROM NE
6-9 FT SEAS