Day 27 Waves from three directions 9/28/13

Sept 28, 2013 near Kiribati

West Wind II’s position showing Christmas Island (Kiritimati) to the south (red marker).

Position: 07. 24 N, 150. 25 W 

We’re moving again and I’ve been running back and forth along the deck. The problem I’m having is the size and direction of the waves coupled with the relatively light winds. Setting a full main is just barely doable as the waves shake all the wind out and the thrashing is unbearable. To avoid that, I keep a few reefs in the main to keep it under control, but then I lose speed.  The same is true for the jib. I tried to use the spinnaker pole to control the shaking and slamming but I found that some of the screws on the track that holds the pole on the mast  have backed out. For now, I can’t raise or lower the pole. When it gets a lot calmer I’ll have to go up there and screw them back in place.

The waves are coming from three directions, from the north east at 2 meters, from the south east at 1.5 meters, and from the east at .5 meters. This is quite unusual but very difficult to make any head way against. West Wind will get some way on and then get hit by  a wave that almost stops her in her tracks and then she slowly works up speed again.

In a fit of frustration I rolled up the jib and unfurled the stay sail. It pulls very well and does not get the wind shaken out of it. Sum of which is we are moving forward at a respectable 4.5- 5 kts and the rig is not being shaken out of the boat. 

Hard work but we are making our way. Trying hard to stay out of the sun.

Course: 220 Speed: 4 kt Waves: NE 2M, SE 1.5 M, E .5M Wind: E <10 kts Cloud: 60 %  Baro: 1011 Temp: 31 C Miles last 24hr: 120nm

The Line Islands (Kiribati)

Note: Glenn will be sailing close to Kiritimati (Christmas Island), part of the Central Line Islands of Kiribati. Kiritimati has the distinction of being the largest atoll in the world at 217.6 square km and has a population of about 5000.

Kiritimati (Christmas Island) Kiribati




  1. Kathleen Ward says

    Hi Glenn: Sounds like you are having quite the adventure! Are you cooking the fish that you scoop up off the deck? I am enjoying your blog and especially reports of the birds and wildlife you are seeing. 31 degrees and sun sounds great right now – Victoria is raining hard and blowing 70k at Gonzales. Wishing you good winds and calm seas, the 4Wards!

    • MaryLou Wakefield says

      Welcome 4Wards, glad to have you with us. We shared a few adventures kayaking with our kids that I will never forget. Hope you’re all doing well. Makes me smile just to think about the fun we had kayak and wilderness camping for 2 weeks in Barkley Sound in the Broken Group of Island and catching salmon from a kayak and how great we smelled after two weeks of camp fires! Some of the best holidays ever. So glad we did that. Thanks for your note.

  2. Thanks Glenn,I look forward each day to your postings.Thank you Mary Lou for e mailing us Glenns articles,Glenn’s writings exceed those of the Smeetons & John Gusswell’s .Wayne Dunsmuir

    • MaryLou Wakefield says

      Thanks Wayne! Very kind of you to say so. I’ll pass it on to Glenn. You just made his whole day! Glad you’re enjoying the adventure.

  3. Margaret Long says

    Thanks for the daily blog Glenn, I really enjoy following your progress from back home in Victoria!

  4. Hi, Glenn:

    It appears you are sailing on pretty close to a broad reach. Have you tried sailing with just the foresail? In my limited experience, that gives a lot smoother ride than with both sails up in choppy conditions.

    • MaryLou Wakefield says

      Thanks for your suggestion about flying the jib only. It’s a good suggestion under the right conditions. I can and have used that configuration before many times. The difference here is the wave patterns shake the jib just as much as the main making it difficult to make headway.

  5. You’re doing well Glenn. I’m following from a beach in Australia. You’re wise to reduce sail and not break something. There’s a long way to go.

  6. Mike & Mary Hanna says

    Enjoying your daily blog immensely. What a great adventure!


    Take care!

    • MaryLou Wakefield says

      Thank you for your interest and I hope this answers your question.The staysail stay is set about three feet back from the forestay to a stainless steel bar that goes through the deck and hull and is attached to the bow curve with a plate and two bolts so it would never pull through. I have a Harken roller furling gear on the stay and the staysail was made in England by Peter Saunders. It’s very well made and it fits great. I judge the height of the waves from the altimeter on my Casio watch. (Just kidding). The wave height is on my Grib files that I download every day but seen from where I don’t know. They are only an estimation and there is a percentage of error. Wait til we get to the Southern Ocean where you could get a nose bleed from the tops of the waves there.

  7. Sally and Geoff Dolman says

    Hi Glen,
    Christmas Island is where the majority of Australian asylum seekers arriving by boat are housed (detained). Be careful you are not mistaken for one of their boats and look out for hitchhikers. With all the best from the Dolmans Dowunder. Sal, Geoff, kate, Chris, Bart and little Hugo (11 months)

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