May 26 – 1 day from land fall.
SInce last night, it has been blowing 25 to 35 from the east southeast. We picked up the southeast trade winds yesterday afternoon at at steady 20 knots. Iron Lady made light work of the waves on her beam. As forecast, an occluded front went thru last evening – no rain, but it did bring with it more southeasterly flow to reinforce the trades. Overnight, winds came up from the high 20’s to 35 knots from the east south east. The seas were not large by our standards – up to 4 meters – but they were very steep and short coupled which made for a sporty ride overnight. The aft staterooms were fine but I, being stubborn, stayed up in the master. It was like sleeping in a washing machine so not my best night. Will grab extra sleep during the day today.
This brings up a point however. The FPB has the speed to avoid such encounters by altering course in advance. Being realistic, however, there is no way you are going to get a perfect 11 day weather window for a 2200 mile jaunt across the Pacific. In terms of forecasts, 30 hours is about as good as it gets with some accuracy. That said, there are simply times it is best to live with what you get and push on as opposed to evasive maneuvers. From our perspective pushing on on the great circle route for an early arrival is worth 12 hours of being a little uncomfortable.
We began arrival preparations in earnest yesterday. Made up crew lists, personal crew electronic effects, duty free, and listed drugs in the she’s medical locker in Excel and printed them out all in triplicate along with copies of the ship papers and NZ clearance form as our last port of call. We dragged out and inflated the big ball fenders as we are likely to be med moored at the Taina Marina where we will be docked.
After his talking to, Shabby sulked most of the morning and did nothing. After lunch, I went down for my afternoon nap before watch and resolved to bench him when I got up. I had been down for about 20 minutes when the reel went off big time and soon after, we boated a beautiful 45 pound wahoo. Shabby had redeemed himself and his family honor. He was now looking very much like the Shabbys of old – his mylar skirt was torn up, most of his rubber legs were missing and the few that were left were pretty short but he still had his eyes. He reminded me of his grandfather, who, when he went missing had no eyes, no skirt and no mylar. The last we saw of him, he was headed north in the Pacific islands in the mouth of a very angry marlin. We had to cut the line or we would have been spooled. We miss him, but I am sure it was the way he would have wanted it as opposed to being relegated to the bottom of a tackle box.
Afternoon snack was wahoo. Dinner was wahoo steaks over risotto with a salad and we are presently determining how it will be prepared for lunch and dinner today.
After calculating distance a to go and our desired arrive at the pass at 0830 tomorrow at slack tide, we have backed the boat down to 8 knots at 1550 RPM. Steve is preparing to notify our agent and the port of our arrival time by sailmail or SSB.