April 13, 2011

Sail to the South Pacific-Day 4: Betting Pool

The sun is rising through thick overcast. We've had the clouds almost since we left. They burn off enough that our solar panels can keep up with our needs--but not so much that it gets sunny. Our night time passengers have flown off. We carried three boobies through the moonlight and I think they ate all the flying fish and squid that landed on the deck. Yesterday we had seven flying fish and two squid, today I see none.

The wind is soft and shifting and cool on my skin. Right now it's strong enough we're moving at 7 knots in flattish swell. And waves slap and gurgle against our hulls and then roll out of sight.
The sea.

There's never been anything but the sea... It feels timeless out here. Like I should be notching the mast to count each sunrise and keep track of the days. It could be the way we sleep and wake many times through the day and night for our watches--is is a new day, the same day, some magically ancient day from the time of the explorers?

It's hard not to ponder those ancient sailors as we make our way to the trade winds. Part of it is the wonderful book Maia is using for home schooling on this passage, "Tools of Navigation" was not only written by a writing buddy (Rachel Dickinson) but it's filled with the history (and several great activities) from early navigation. So while we download our weather, and have friends using multiple sources routing us, a GPS keeping us on track, an auto pilot steering us and news from boats up ahead to guide us--we read about those who relied on simple mechanical tools and the stars to find their way...

We're still heading west in search of the trades. The wind is light but consistently present and the seas are beautifully smooth. It's truly gorgeous sailing and we're making 6-8 knots. But we had our taste of flying faster--of roaring along and chewing up the miles--and I think, despite the comfort of these conditions, we're eager to hit the trades and turn south.

Part of it is just for the magic. We sailed in the trade winds in the Atlantic and both recall the steady wind that made little Ceilydh come alive the way no wind had done before. But part of it is going West feels wrong--rather than a straight journey to the Marquesas we're doing a route that is more like an 's'. So rather than the nominal 2700 mile journey that I was certain we had already sailed through over 600 of, we still have over 2200 to go...

Which brings us to our audience participation question: "When will we arrive in Hiva Oa?" Because of the complexities of time zones we're going to calculate in days and hours (as an example our friends on a similar cat called Savannah made the journey in 21 days and (I think??) 12 hours. Typical passages can be anywhere from 19-25 days. And we'll call the trip done when our anchor is down. The winner (if you're a landlubber with an address) gets a t-shirt. If you are a fellow nomad we'll buy you a drink somewhere:)

So add your guesses to the comments.

Things are good aboard though. We're all settled in. I'm gradually fighting off a nasty cold. Our veggies are holding out fine. And we've made enough of a dent in our fridge that we're ready to start fishing today. Hopefully we'll avoid the seven foot sharks that WGD had to contend with...

position at 1500utc: 16d20N 114d08W

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Athena, Kynzi and Tom said...

25 days 8 hours.
Great posts of your voyage. Thanks for taking us along!

Ramsay said...

Flying squid!
If the boobies are stealing your calamari, you should roast them.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

21.8 days. Which means you have just over two more weeks left. :)

Anonymous said...

Don't be in a hurry! It will all be over way too soon. Enjoy and thanks for bringing us along on the ride. 24 days.

Anonymous said...

22 days 12 hours


Anonymous said...

23 days 1 hour

rwc said...

22 days
22 hours
22 minutes

Lori said...

23 days, 8 hours

Heather said...

24 days, 0.25 hours

Stephen Grant said...

29 days, 4 hours. Thought I might deviate a little from the other estimates. Enjoy the solitude and the wide open space. You may end up missing it later on ... Happy sailing.


dennis said...

Challenge: Here is my arrival pool entry and my challenge. Now I know that you have a first class crew with Evan, Diane and Maia - but can you beat the mystical crew of SolarPoweredBoat? We are an etherial bunch, not worried about wind, sea conditions, and crew comfort; so we sail at hull speed all the time - downwind, beam reaching and to windward. But we are minimalistic dreamers - we are a 1982 PacificSeacraft Flicka. So here is the challenge: we will race you to the Marqueses - boat for boat - first anchor down wins (drink or tee shirt). Assume we started together. Here is our elapsed time and computationn:

LWL : 18’ 2”
Hull Speed: Sq.Root 18’2” (18.16667) X 1.34 = 4.26216 X 1.34 = 5.711 kn

2,800 miles
________ = 490.28 hr / 24 = 20.428 days =

20 days, 25 minutes, 42 seconds

fair winds,

dennis said...

Recalculation of math error:

everything was fine down to 20.428 days
then blew it converting to da; HR; min;sec
should be:
20 days; 10 hr; 16 min; 19.2 sec

Diane, Evan and Maia said...

Dennis--I think you are our winner!! But we still beat your Flicka;) Guess you'll need to get that cat afterall.
I'll send you and email:)

dennis said...

Thank you for taking the ethereal crew of Heidi Lynn to the South Sea! I think Maia is the real winner!!