Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The ocean

I continue to be amazed by this Pacific Ocean that does not resemble to
anything I could imagine. We were told not only of the clear sky and the
blue water, but also of the long swell with 16 seconds period, and the
leisurely ride down the trade winds.
In fact, apart from the cloud cover that I won't curse any more since I
learned from our private Weather Service that it is it that brings us
much needed wind, there are many more things that surprise me.
Sometimes, we are in an area with no more than 4 feet seas and a nice
ESE 18 knots wind. Withing minutes, it becomes choppy with 2 or 3
different systems of swell and 12 foot waves. And then again, after a
short period of time, all that disappears and we find ourselves in an
almost calm sea.
Sometimes, the sea is covered with white horses but we don't feel much
wind, and then next, the sea appears calm and we have 25 knots of wind.
There are times of course, where it is quite normal, with the sea, the
waves and the wind in sync.

Today was a good day. We covered 148 nm over the ground in spite of a
lousy start yesterday afternoon. We have closed on Fatu hiva by 145 nm
and it is now only 965 nm away. We could get there on the 19th, but the
grib files near the Marquesas don't show all that much wind, and from
behind to make matters worse. and we could very well be crawling to the
The sea temperature is now up to 82.4 and the air at 83. We are
definitely in the tropics.

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