FPB 64-3, Iron Lady, has now passed the mystical “halfway point” on her voyage to Papeete. She is entrained between two high pressure systems, in a convergence zone, with heavy downpours, lightning, and crossing wave trains off the bow. For the day’s report on this, and the raw squid eating contest, read on.1200 position is 2 18 S 164 51 W. COG 046. Nautical noon to noon run 228, or 9.5 knots average. Barometer 1019 steady, winds NW 20 to 25. Seas 2 to 3 meters from the NW and confused. Sky conditions overcast with heavy rain showers about. Distance traveled since Whangarei roughly 1175 nautical miles – over halfway to Papeete.
We have found ourselves collocated with the convergence area between two high pressure systems that spawns lows that overtake us and then pass southward. The highs are moving at the same relative speed as us, so we are stuck in the middle so to speak. Last night brought torrential downpours and heavy lightening as the last low and front came through. In one watch, the wind backed thru 360 degrees and returned to northwest at 25 knots.
With the wind shifts, the sea state is composed of two competing wave trains. When they are out of phase, they tend to cancel each other. When they are in phase, they are additive and short coupled peaky waves are the result. We are keeping the waves on Iron Lady’s shoulder (roughly 30 degrees off her port bow) and she is very comfortable with that. Steve says she is the best behaved boat on that point of sail that he has ever been on – power or sail.
While the motion can be abrupt, the primary nuisance is when Iron Lady’s big Rocna anchor punches into one of the waves with a resounding boom most notably heard in the forward stateroom where I sleep, but I certainly wouldn’t trade our ground tackle for anything else.
As we passed 164 West today, we lose another hour and it is Steve’s turn to get a one hour break from watch keeping. We also performed some small maintenance chores including the repair of a blocked filter on our salon air con cooling circuit (we use fresh water and hull cooling for all our zircon needs -no saltwater). When Admiral Debby arrives, it would be bad news if the AC were inoperable.
We also suffered a mini squid attack today – they were all over the deck. Steve bet Roger that he couldn’t eat one raw. The end of that bet was when Rog had his over the-side disposing of the nearly ingested squid.
– Pete Rossin