Wednesday 12 December 2012

Underway to Pohnpei

We departed on Sunday December 9 from Kosrae bound for Pohnpei in the FSM after bringing trash to shore and then taking a look at the Lelu Ruins. Given enough $, this national treasure could be maintained, but now it sits fallen to ruins. (Ooops, no pun intended.)

Motorsailing to gain on Cape Halgren, we ultimately sailed past it and safely out to sea before losing our wind the following morning. For two full days we battled calms and squalls and current. Many times Carina acted like a toddler confined to the clutches of an old aunt...she wiggled and squirmed and was just not happy. Large swell slapped us down and threw wind from her sails. We groaned continuously with frustration as we tried to keep the sails full and Carina moving at least west.

GRIBS continued to promise tradewinds so we stubbornly stuck to our rhumb line even if we drifted NE during some periods with the 1.5 knot adverse current. Squalls occasionally terrorized us.

Winds finally arrived on Tuesday midday and we've been sailing along nicely since. It is a thrill to see Carina breezing along taking each wave like a gazelle leaping over a bush. Last night the breezes were warm and the bright starlight cast a warm glow over the sea. If the winds hold, we should be able to pass through the reef at Pohnpei later today. Everyone, including the patient fat cat, would like that.

At about nine thirty local time last night a deep draft vessel, the Mt. Victoria, passed us on an exact reciprocal course to our own, going 9 knots. We sailed a bit south of our rhumb line to allow it to pass about 2 nm to starboard.

At 12/12/2012 and 19:34 UTC (GMT) our position was: 07°00.54'N / 158°53.16'E.
We were traveling 288T degrees true at 6.0 knots.

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Saturday 1 December 2012

Getting There

A trip of all conditions...but the most memorable of those conditions are the squalls. Looming eerily in the distance they advance in a cloud of driven grey water, often pushing large sea swell ahead. A wall of wind hits you and suddenly conditions get a bit dicey. Blinding rain envelops Carina and we struggle to ease sheets to lessen the sudden heel while we ride out the near gale-force winds. Once past, large seas come from different directions and bounce Carina around. We then tidy up and wait for the tradewinds to fill back in. Some days and nights this might occur every hour for many. A grey black squall is approaching now and Philip waits, the genoa furled, trysail and staysail trimmed. We are ready.

We're currently 55 miles or so away from Kosrae and expect landfall Sunday morning. We found out that Kosrae does not have propane for sale and we're pretty low. We won't be able to spend much time there before we'll have to leave for Pohnpei.

At 11/30/2012 and 23:38 UTC (GMT) our position was: 04°18.72'N / 163°31.04'E.
We were traveling 341T degrees true at 2.3 knots.

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