We have a few reasons to celebrate today: It's been one week at sea; at noon, the 1,000 mile mark ticked over on our GPS's trip log; and finally, the wind has returned which means the engine is no longer running.
In reality we're not doing much to celebrate. In fact, the conditions are frustrating. The wind has been up and down - one minute 20 knots, the next 5 - and it's causing the sea to be rather unsettled so we're rolling around, falling off the back of one steep wave only to be jerked up by the next and pushed over onto our side by the following. It's not a nice clean series of waves coming at regular intervals from the same direction; it's just disorganized slop. The wind is slow to shift to the west, too, so we're tracking a bit further north than we'd like. What we're aiming for is to sail on an easterly course (or just north of east) on the top edge of the approaching front. We want to escape the worst of it - the 35+ knot winds at the center of the system, further south - without getting so far north that we lose the wind completely. In certain conditions, wandering some miles off course or away from the rhumbline (the straightest course from point A to point B) doesn't bother us. But today we have to be particularly attentive to any wind shifts, which affect the boat's course, and respond by trimming or changing sails, or changing the course that our self-steering wind vane is set to. And this can get tedious when the wind behaves so inconsistently. Several times in the past 12 hours we've made changes that only have to be undone a half hour or an hour later. When you're on watch alone at night, this is especially irritating. Things should start to get more regular in the middle of the night when the wind kicks up and sorts out the sea. But I don't foresee it being the most restful of nights, and we'll postpone our celebrating until after this weather passes.
For a cool visual of what the wind is doing here (or anywhere for that matter), check out this live map: https://www.windyty.com/?-32.436,-159.126,5
On another note, we've been receiving emails from many of you. We love reading them! (Checking the email is the only non-food related highlight of my day.) Unfortunately we are only allotted 90 minutes per week on our SSB radio connection, which we also use to download weather, so we may be a bit delayed in responding to you. It's great hearing that people are reading along, though, and we'll be in touch as soon as we can.
At 17-May-16 1:42 AM (utc) our position was 32°02.17'S 167°20.12'W