Passage to Pohnpei, Day 1

Miles traveled day 1: 143
Miles left to Phonpei: 653

Wow, that was a hard island to get away from. It seemed like one thing after another kept popping up to delay us again. Finally we had the entire list checked off, and just needed to recalibrate the compass in our autopilot. I had schlepped it home and shipped it off for repair in November. We finally got it back last week after they repaired something in the brain having to do with the compass module. So we go out and set it in calibration mode and start spinning circles so it can calculate the compass deviation. And we keep spinning circles (of no less than 2 minutes at 2 knots per hour) for about an hour, finally coming to the conclusion that the autopilot is still broken.

So off we are with an autopilot that still has no idea what heading it’s on. Which is fine if we’re using it while we sail and steer a course relative to the wind direction. But not so useful if there’s no wind and we’re motoring, which is when we use our autopilot. Luckily the weather forecast shows constant tradewinds for the duration of this passage, so hopefully we’ll get it shipped back to New England again and this time it won’t sit in the queue waiting to get on the repair bench for another 5 weeks.

The passage began with a very boisterous trip out the pass of the atoll into extremely lumpy seas. The remnants of the massive storm up north, combined with stronger than normal tradewinds, have left behind big and confused waves. Luckily we both had downed a dose of Stugeron before we got to the pass and neither of us felt sick. Last night was tough, with lots of rain squalls packing big winds and seas, keeping the boat bouncing and noisy all night. The first 48 hours are always the toughest on passage for us, and today I’m feeling pretty punky.

But we’re making good time, ticking off 143 miles in our first 24 hours. The wind is blowing 18-24 from behind us, so we’re scooting along nicely making 6 knots with just a reefed main up. We’ve decided to skip the stop at Kosrae and go straight to Pohnpei. We wanted to see Kosrae, but spent too much time getting ready to go. There are some interesting sounding ruins in Pohnpei we’re interested in (the ancient fortress city of Nan Madal), and likely we’ll make it a quick stop and be on our way to Yap shortly after that.

Today on Yohelah we’re getting our sea legs back after a nearly 3 month rest stop.