Getting Wind or Exercise?

Miles traveled day 3: 109
Miles traveled total: 251
Miles to Majuro: 1,552

After setting the jib in the spinnaker pole yesterday we had a really nice ride. The rolling settled down and we chugged right along. When I reported in to the evening ham net we had 18 knots of wind and were averaging 6.1 knots in the direction we wanted to go. Nothing to complain about there at all. When Rob woke me for my 11:00 watch the wind had all but died. The sails were just filling and dropping as the swells rolled under us. With the jib out on a pole it wasn’t too noisy, and we were managing about 3 knots. I think Rob reported 11 miles made good on his 2-5 am watch. The forecast is for the winds to continue light through today and nearly die tomorrow.

When I got up at 10:30 we decided to drop the jib and put out the spinnaker and try to squeak another knot out of it. The new Navionics electronic charts we bought for our trip north tell us ETA based on current speed, and we weren’t getting to Majuro until long after Turkey Day. We pulled the spinnaker out of the aft cabin and hauled it up on deck. Once we furl the jib the boat is really at the mercy of the rollers, so we got the spinnaker sheets all run and ready to go and pulled in the jib. Rob dropped the spinnaker pole and I switched from the jib sheet to the spinnaker sheet and redeployed the pole. As we were tying the spin sheets onto the chute the wind started to build. Suddenly I couldn’t see anything because spinnaker was blowing in my face too hard. Totally a sign that we shouldn’t hoist the chute and go back to the jib.

So down comes the pole, back in goes the jib sheet, back up goes the pole, out goes the jib and the wind dies again. Who knew? I thought getting out the spinnaker was an exercise in getting wind. Rob thinks it was an exercise in getting exercise. We rolled in the jib, dropped the pole, put in the spin sheet, hoisted the spinnaker and with the light winds were making the exact same speed as we were with the jib when I woke up in the first place.

Now the wind has mercifully piped up a few knots and with 13-14 knots behind us and the chute up we’re making 5 knots northwest. Maybe I’ll be home for fresh roasted turkey afterall.

The boat is here