Passage to Tahiti: Days 3-6

Saturday lunchtime (Day 3) we had covered another 132 miles during our full second 24 hour period at sea and remained happy with our progress. Was a beautiful sunny day with the wind staying steady at around 15 knots combined with flattish seas. An absolutely stunningly perfect day at sea. We thoroughly enjoyed it particularly when it was crowned by a spectacular sunset and red night sky.
Saturday night was bright as Mr Moon decided to stay up until 2am. We had reefed down before we started our evening shifts as there were rain clouds around and some squalls. But, throughout the night, the squalls came and went with little rain and only a small uplift to the wind. So we continued to make good process. The most important element of the calmer conditions is that we both slept well.
Oh yes and we have two stowaways – first I spotted Gordon the gekko on the starboard rail – he was at least three inches long. Latter on I spotted Buddy the baby gekko on the port stern seat and he wasn’t even an inch long. Not sure what they are eating as this is a bug free zone unless they have an emergency escape stash with them from Hiva Oa LOL.
Sunday morning (Day 4) and the sunrise was obscured by dark and heavy rain clouds – as per the forecast. The wind remained constant until a huge squall came through around 7 ish with 32 knot winds and torrential rain. Thankfully it was short lived. Throughout the morning strong squalls came and went and we got pretty adept at dodging them as they came through behind us. By lunchtime we had clocked another 137 miles in the previous 24 hours so still making good progress.
Squalls continued all day and then the wind shifted north which meant we couldn’t hold our course. We ran to starboard and settled there for a while…. Squalls were now all around us and we could no longer outrun them, so we had to face them head on. Lightning started and became a constant companion so we put away our secondary navigational equipment and the Iridium Go! unit just in case we took a strike as the only thing out here. So if you spotted the tracker wasn’t working that’s why – sorry!
The night brought with it more of the same and it was quite miserable with the rocking and rolling and quite a bit of rain, making sleep difficult once again.
This morning, Monday (Day 5), and it remains miserable. We are still awaiting the shift in the wind back to a normal easterly pattern but doesn’t look like that is going to happen any time soon. We gybed back towards the rhumb line and will see how long we can hold that course. Our speed has reduced along with the wind strength being sucked out by the squalls all around us and so progress now is slower than we would like.
This morning’s forecast – downloaded at 8am – made gloomy reading with rain and no wind forecast for a few days. And it was spot on as the wind almost simultaneously dropped to five knots and we are now motor sailing. But at least it is not raining! We have done 513 miles so far and there is about 350 to go……
Bye for now Jan