We are 950 miles south of Oahu and just over 100 miles north of Fanning. We made 133 miles in the last 24 hours. We should make landfall tomorrow morning and plan to enter the pass at slack water around noon.
Still stuck in big squalls. Looks like they are following us south. At least we are able to sail in this inconsistent wind and rain. The seas are also down to 4-5 feet and nothing compared to what we suffered in the middle of the trades.
Sure is hot on the equator. The thermometer in the cabin is reading 90… Our cheap “Tornado” fans we got off Amazon for $17 bucks are cranking hard to keep us cool. They sound like blow dryers but sure move a lot of air!
Replaced the autopilot with the spare this morning. It was a tricky swap removing the wheel while getting thrown around by a squall but it’s done and we have a working autopilot for the time being. You may wonder why we don’t use our Monitor Windvane to steer right now – it’s because these squalls are so inconsistent in wind speed and direction that the monitor has us steering to Mexico and then Guam and then the wind dies and it can’t steer without wind so it will gybe us – so that’s why it’s important to have BOTH a windvane AND an autopilot. Unless of course you’re a glutton for punishment and love long, wet, tiring stints at the helm…
The other finding that pissed me off was that the brand new stainless lower shroud I replaced back in Oahu is already tarnishing. Seriously. What bullshit. Less than 10 days of ocean use and it’s rusting?!?! It must have been low-quality Chinese stainless wire. I thought West Marine was better than to carry such crap. All sailors beware and do NOT buy your rigging wire from West. The real pain in the ass is that now I have to figure out a way to get 9/32″ 316ss 1×19 rigging wire to us in the south pacific – no easy feat. That one seriously chapped my ass and I am pretty annoyed that West Marine would carry such low-quality rigging wire.
While I’m ranting, I’ll fill you in on what has become a full-page to-do list. Usually after a long passage we have 5-6 items that need addressed once in port. Well, this time the list is 18 items long and includes things such as: re-bed genoa car tracks, fill hoses, stanchion bases, and starboard chainplates [we only did port in Bora Bora], make a new water-tight mast boot, replace the bilge pump and mount the float switch on the centerline, sew the ripped bimini, put bolt through monitor paddle to keep in alignment, rebuild autopilot, somehow get new rigging wire and replace the rusting lower shroud, et al. This was a rough passage and the sheer amount of water we took on deck sure showed us exactly where it can sneak below. At least there will not be a lack of boat projects to keep us occupied this season.
We caught a Wahoo yesterday. Freezer is now full and we are excited to make some delicious meals. A big thank you to Matt of CALYPSO at Ko Olina who gifted us the repala-type diving lure that caught it. I think we were dragging the poor guy for hours – he was so hydrodynamic that the bungee was barely being pulled. Alyssa noticed we may have a fish and we pulled the line in to find a 3.5 ft Wahoo! She stepped up and filleted him into small steaks, then took a much deserved hot shower.
We will be cleaning up the boat today in preparation for making landfall tomorrow. It’s quite a mess due to the rough weather we had for the first four days out. The dish soap also when flying somewhere and we can’t find it so the sink is full of dishes…..fun stuff right?
Tomorrow morning we should see the palm tree-lined motus of Fanning. We’ll raise the yellow Q flag and carefully enter the pass and drop the hook in flat, calm, turquoise water amongst cruising friends who also sailed south from Hawaii.
In the meantime I’ll be trying to sail through a procession of squalls.
Lewis & Lyss
May 2, 2015
05 35 N
159 08 W
17 KTS WIND FROM ENE
4-6 FT SEAS