It's beginning to feel like we're really sailing again and not just being shoved and battered by the sea. That's not to say things are settled. The swell has grown quite large over the course of the day and the wind has been blowing steady between 20 and 30 knots. But we are sailing downwind with a more regular following sea so the roughness isn't making our lives as uncomfortable as it could. We gybed early in the day to get back on an easterly course and are sailing now with a double reefed main and just a tiny scrap of jib. All things considered, it's an awesome day out here. Big seas, wind, sunny skies, and dozens and dozens of shearwaters (and the occasional albatross) gliding and darting about in the wind around the boat.
The wind is forecast to drop off a bit over the next few hours and we should see more consistent, mellower westerly winds for the next few days. It's looking like things could get sort of tricky as we approach Raivavae (still approximately 1000nm away) as there is another, larger low pressure system moving this way. It could affect as far north as the Australes. If so, we'll probably have to rethink our plan of attack, which, it always seems, is a just a continual rethinking of our plan of attack.
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