Thursday, April 12, 2012

Light and Dark - Day 23

Three full pages in the log on day 23 - mainly devoted to describing sail and course changes to deal with squalls. Two of these had enough rain for showering and catching and I blocked a scupper and topped off the starboard tank during the second one. Last night, the stars were repeatedly blocked by towering walls of blackness and we slept little. I woke a couple of times to Rani's frantic plea for help and a frightened 'doe in the headlights' look on her poor little face. We sailed the whole night through under 2 reefed main and 1/2 furled jib - maybe 225 square feet of sail, easily pushing our 10 tons of boat at 6 knots through the pitching blackness.

Our friend, Kurt, requested some comments on the changing 'starscape'. The stars are indeed different below the line, with the southern cross being the most notable. The milky way is stunning when the moon is not yet risen, but I am sorry to admit that I have been too sleep deprived and busy with keeping the boat going to delve into constellation identification. In fact we welcome the bright, star-obscuring moon of the last few days as it better shows up the squalls. More on stars, perhaps, when we reach port.

On the light side, we can see the end of the tunnel. Our progress through 'squall alley' has been very fast with a 135 NM run in the last 24 hours. We are less than 270 NMs from our destination and may even reach Hiva Oa in the daylight on Saturday. A green and tranquil vista will be most welcome! Our position at 1430 Zulu on Thursday April 12 was 06 22 S 135 19 W.

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