August 4, 2011

Aitutaki Passage Day 3

This has been our slowest passage to date. Since leaving Bora Bora we've averaged 5.5 knots, including a few hours of being becalmed last night between mild squalls. They were more like boat washes really. But the rain was so heavy and the night was so black it was hard to get our bearings--not even the radar seemed able to see through the squalls. Or, as the radar seemed to show, there was only one small squall which attached itself to our mast and threw buckets down on us at intervals. The good news was despite reports from other boats we saw no lightning.
Lightning is beautiful at sea--but only from the perspective of watching it far away and knowing it's already passed.
This morning we have 112 miles to go. And we've sped back up to 7 knots. Which means at some point we'll need to slow down. But the weather maps are riddled with thunderstorms and cut through with a sheerline--which shows the wind dropping to nothing and changing direction and then dropping again. It seems there is none of that clear-sailing stuff up ahead.
But for now the seas are long and rolling and the sky is bright blue, thunderheads loom on the horizon but they don't seem to be menacing us. It's by all definitions gorgeous out here. Perfect sailing.
100 miles is the distance some people regularly commute in a day. But for us it's still an unknowable expanse of ocean that will take us somewhere we can't yet imagine.

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