4 May, 2015 18:38
Tuesday, May 5th, 6:20 am
Position 03 09 N. 173 28 E. Winds 10-15 ENE, course 155, boat speed 5.5 knots Tracking map: http://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/Learnativity
People who have not made a long sea passage often tend to think that we will have so much time on our hands that we should be able to get stuff done while at sea. Even I tend to think so before we start out on a trip. But here it is dawn of day four already, and none of my projects has been started. We’ve been dealing with too many zigs and zags.
Our second day at sea was spent dealing with that steering issue I wrote about before. This boat, my new home with my new husband, is a complicated piece of machinery. LEARNATIVITY is a 52-foot Bruce Roberts designed steel motorsailor built by Kristen Yachts on Vancouver Island in 1993. She has a hydraulic steering system, and when I posted my last blog, Wayne had rebuilt the one hydraulic cylinder. We werehttp://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/Learnativity moving again in strong winds and big waves after four hours of slowly going backwards. That was the first zig. A couple of hours later after cleaning up all the tools and the boat, the steering went out again. Back to zigging again as the boat turned around backwards and backed her sails. That time Wayne thought it was that there was still air in the system. We added more fluid and after testing and checking, we got underway again. An hour later of clean up and the steering went out again. Wayne discovered the second cylinder was leaking and we were running short on fluid. Another zig into sailing backwards, and by the time he finished and cleaned up we ate dinner at 10:30 and I sent him off to sleep at 11:30 as I took the first night watch.
Day three was a totally different day with the winds calming by mid morning and becoming more variable. When the wind went light, we unrolled the two reefs out of the mainsail and Wayne patiently tried to teach me how to operate this in-boom furling system. Then the wind increased again and the full main was too much for the boat, so we had to try reefing again. Each time, we have to furl in the headsail. I was trying to do all the cranking, but I got worn out by the third time. Mostly we tried to find the best sail trim to ease the load on the steering and autopilot. By evening, we were enjoying appetizers as the sun set and the full moon rose opposite. I’d made a big pot of chili for dinner and we sat talking. We were sailing in the right direction, conditions were calm and we’d had the sort of day that makes people dream of the cruising life. It was so unlike the day before – and that made us appreciate it all the more. But it is these sorts of zigs and zags that makes us enjoy this cruising lifestyle. The sun is now rising on day four of this voyage. It has been a mostly quiet night. Wayne stood watch from 8-2:30 and let me have a marvelous sleep. We passed one tuna boat and we are now about 25 miles to the east of the island Butaritari. All the way around the horizon there is gray-blue sea with white caps and above is a pale blue sky with patches of pinkish clouds. The sun has just peeked up over the horizon promising another day full of new zigs and zags.