I think I’ve reached ‘peak upwind’. I now know how many days upwind I can do before I’ve had enough. It’s this many - and we have 1.5 left!
Its not that its been really unpleasant - sure the sea state has kicked up now and then, but that always happens. No - its the endless endless salt. We’ve discovered that we get an eddy from the sails which sends a fine mist of salt over the helm, instruments, radio, watch keeper which results in everything going slightly ‘sticky’. We wipe down frequently with fresh water, but the layer comes back pretty quickly. Its starting to spread inside too.
Anyway, enough of that - the day was pretty reasonable after an interesting night. Ania got hit by all the squalls. 4 in her first 90mins on watch. My two watches were sublime. What can I say?
Forecast for the day was pretty much unchanged from the whole trip, SE 15-20 knots. We had SE 10 knots which isn’t easy to sail when upwind in some swell on this boat. We put the donkeys to good use. During the morning the wind filled in, and then some - up to a SE7, so we were well reefed (having shaken the reef out of the main, we had to rapidly put it back in) and making good speed but the sea state was particularly angular. We coped - however in the last hour the sea has eased back a lot, but so has our speed. I think we’re seeing some full moon tide effect, such that the tide was with us earlier but now against. Could make the pass into the New Caledonia lagoon interesting!
We continue to push on as best we can. We think we’re on an OK angle for the approach, but the truth is that we’re now close enough to use the engines if we need to - and we won’t hesitate to punch the start button as we want to be there! All being well, we’ll be closing on the Dumbea pass sometime in the early morning of Tuesday - maybe 36hours from now.
All too soon it could be over. Do you think we’ll miss it? I hope so as we have to do it all again to get from New Caledonia to Fiji!