Rolling in the deep

December 16, 2016

It is 6:35 am here and it has been a very long day. So nice to have Cliff and a couple of guys to talk to at the day’s close. We are about 45 min from sunset. It is raining hard as it has been most of the day. The rain takes some of the chop out of the water’s surface. Those 4 metre waves from the South West meet up with the 2-3 metre waves from the North East and create a terrible maelstrom of water that literally leapt up, in some cases, four or five feet.

The view across the sea was like icing on a cake only not so sweet. The wind came and went and we motored and sailed. At times WW II’s bow would be thrown 12 feet into the air while rolling 30 degrees one way then the next. I feel like I have been in a boxing ring all day. The one consolation is the air temperature  is around 20 C. I had my rain gear on but after 10 or 12 hours, I’m soaked right through.

Progress has been slow and hard fought – only 29 miles in seven hours. The wind is dying again now so will have to ask Perkins to step in. My migraine from yesterday has been hanging around and has decided to blur my vision a bit so I will have to go to the medicine cabinet and sort that out.

Dinner is next on the agenda although my appetite is a little off. Hoping things will settle down for the night.

10:00 a.m.

Was up most of the night guiding WW II through the remains of yesterday’s extraordinary sea conditions.

Around midnight the rain stopped and the moonlit sky showed a line of very angry clouds moving off to the east. Great flashes of lightning lit up the clouds for over an hour. As the night went on, we got an Easterly breeze and the confused sea fell away to conditions that allowed us to put up some sail and make head way. It’s 7:15 now and WW II is sailing herself with a somewhat reluctant Fleming at the helm. I have one reef in the main as there is not enough wind or flat sea conditions to make it worth while. If the wind comes up just a little and the sea goes down just a little I can carry a full main with no risk of it flogging (flapping back and forth). The skies are somewhat clear and the air is hot and humid, nice and fresh on deck and not too scorching.

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Flying fish taking flight

 During our tumultuous seas, Neptune left two small offerings on the deck which I will fry up for breakfast. Flying fish, and a good size about 10 inches long. 

We have 94.2 nautical miles to go to Rarotonga and at our current speed of 3 knots we will be there tomorrow. We’re struggling a bit to move forward with a dying breeze so will have to motor. As I have no fuel gauge, I’m hoping my calculations are fairly accurate. We’ve motored for 88 hours and we have fuel for 110 plus the spare 5 gallons. We should be fine.

I can hear some loud complaining on deck as I think the morning wind has died.

Just got back from rolling in the jib, taking a reef in the main and asking both Auto and Perkins to take over. Noticed a very large thunderhead forming in the Eastern sky. Quite magnificent.  I hope we don’t have a date with it later in the morning.

Well it’s time for tea, a grapefruit, and frying up those two flying fish for breakfast, and then a morning nap.

 

 

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