11 April 2006

11-Apr-2006 Position

  • 11-Apr-2006 Noon
  • 115nm made good last 24 hours
  • 1448 Miles from Z-town
  • 1776 Miles to Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands
  • NE 5 knots wind, 1ft N swell.
Spent yesterday motoring from noon on because all the wind died away during the deluge of rain that we had. At midnight were able to start sailing again. I have to say that yesterday’s rain is probably the hardest rain we have ever seen. There was so much water in the air it just took the wind away.

Today is nothing like yesterday. One small rain shower, the sun is out, and the boat is dry again.

Being this far out at sea, we are still surprised when we see another boat. Last night we passed what I think was a small fishing boat about 3 miles away.

Amy made our first loaf of bread. And she made a whole wheat loaf that was quite delicious with the last of her "6 knot” lasagne.

Our friends Neil and Jackie from the S/V Voyager told us that when their friends were doing a crossing, they would have crease parties. What's a “Crease Party” you ask? That's when your boat’s position on a paper chart moves over a crease where the chart is folded. Anyway, we only have one fold on the chart, and that was at 120'W longitude, which we just crossed.

As Captain Ron say's "It’s not going to break till you get out there". Our laptop somehow has a crack on the screen. It kind of looks like when a rock hits your car windshield and it splinters out. Anyway everything is still working for now. It just looks a little weird. When the boat’s motor is running, all cracks vibrate. My brother Ron has good news, as he says it will probably get worse. So something we are going to have to figure out in the future is how to get another laptop in the South Pacific

Today's Cruising 101 lesson is on our email set-up. Last week I wrote about how this gets posted to our blog. But how do you send email thousands of mile offshore? We write up our emails on out laptop. The laptop had a modem that hooks up to our SSB/Ham radio. We use a system called SailMail that was developed by fellow cruisers in the past. They have set up SSB/HAM antennas all over the world. SailMail is a non-profit company, and there is an annual fee for its use. Virtually every boat out here cruising uses SailMail. The hard part is finding which antenna to try to hook up to, as radio waves are affected by the sun. Making a connection at certain times of the day is impossible. The stations I usually have the best luck connecting with is Corpus Christi in Texas, San Luis Obispo in California, and Panama. Usually I have to wait until the evening, around sunset, for the best connections.

Also another great feature of SailMail is GRIB files, GRIB files are a weather fax that you can request. It will give you a 72 hour weather forecast for your position and for where you are heading. So as we are sitting here motoring, I can see on my GRIB files that there is no wind. Guess I could just stick my head out the hatch for that! (From Ron: Or use this)

See you in 24,

Tom and Amy

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