Monday, 4 August 2014

Rough Weather

When we left Palau, it was supposed to be in the wake of a developing low called Halong. Winds were SSW almost S and the sailing was easy. Skies were clear and squall free. Perfect. Or so we thought. Our buddy Halong, now Jose, had different ideas and stalled to the north, intensifying and then going south of a high pressure ridge instead of north and proceeding WNW instead of NNW. By the time it was 500 miles to our north, it was a super typhoon and sucking into itself the monsoon winds from the Philippine Sea, where our perfect weather window evaporated into 30+ knots and ugly confused 3 m seas.

Last evening, sea-soaked and cranky, we gave in and hove-to rather than running for the coast with a press of sail to make port tomorrow. Better to sleep well and let the storm rage outside while the crew slept soundly. Today, refreshed, we'll look outside, read the weather and decide how to proceed.

We are only ~75 nm from the coast but between us and there is a veritable armada of shipping traffic and hundreds of unlit FADS just waiting to be bumped. When we go, we'll go cautiously. Meanwhile we're happier and safer parked at sea.

At 8/4/2014 and 21:21 UTC (GMT) our position was: 07°47.94'N / 127°48.23'E.
We were traveling 106T degrees true at 1.8 knots.

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Friday, 1 August 2014

Carina Underway to the Philippines

It's very early morning and the muted lights from the instruments and the soft glow of the red cabin light down below barely illuminates the cockpit as we sail gently on a close reach towards the Philippines.

Late this night, long after the moon had set, we watched an electrical storm form on the radar screen and move inexplicably against the wind towards Carina; it's undulating amorphous shape on radar looked sinister. Somehow we managed to avoid this storm cell and its attendant flashes of lightening that turned an inky black night into day. Now, even though the radar screen shows no targets at all, lightning continues to strobe far away, so far that we can't hear the thunder and it is even sometimes hard to tell from which direction it is coming.

This is our third day of beating hard to weather in ideal conditions: wind between 10 and 14 knots and seas of only one and half meters. We're hoping our luck continues as we take advantage of this unusual weather window.

At 8/1/2014 and 21:07 UTC (GMT) our position was: 07°37.40'N / 130°43.43'E.
We were traveling 276T degrees true at 4.2 knots.

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