We had a fantastic 2 day run with the spinnaker up, moving at about 6-7 knots with 12 knots of wind on an almost flat ocean. It doesn't get easier than that. And then the wind died, again. It looks light for the next 4 days. Fortunately we have between a one and two knot current, so even when it feels like we are barely moving, we are still averaging more than 5 knots. It is a slow way to travel, but life on board is easy, so again, no major moaning from the crew. We still have 4-5 days worth of fuel motoring at low RPM's so we alternate between motoring and ghosting along on an almost non existent breeze.
On a positive note, Mike fixed a compressor problem we have been plagued by and in doing so remedied two other potential issues. Unbeknownst to me, he has been worried about a leak in the transmission since we left the Galapagos. There was fluid under the transmission and deductive reasoning would suggest that it was transmission fluid, although he couldn't find an actual leak. Meanwhile, in a corner of the engine room, not far away, he has been having to occasionally add coolant to one of our refrigeration compressors. We had a new gasket on the compressor installed in Trinidad and since then we have had coolant leaking out, somewhere. We expected it to be somewhere in the copper piping under the floorboards, but without pulling it all up, we've just added a little coolant here and there. Not the most effective way of dealing with a problem, but triage nonetheless. Today he noticed there was a little play in the compressor gasket and after its initially seating had loosened just slightly. Slightly was enough to let a little coolant gas out. That small leak also allowed a little compressor fluid out, which dripped down into a low spot in the engine room, right under the transmission. Aha! He tightened the gasket, no more coolant leak (we think). Fortunately the compressor didn't lose too much fluid and is still functional, even fine, and as a bonus we do not have a transmission leak after all. When do things turn out that well? Um, never on a boat. So the moral of the story is, when you find yourself with oodles of time, crossing an ocean at 4 knots, you can solve problems that once ashore, with the distractions of "fun things to occupy your time", you cannot!
On an unrelated note, while we have been sitting here watching the weather forecasts predict a pitifully slow Pacific crossing, our thoughts have started to wander to new routing. In hindsight we wish we had pointed towards Easter Island, 1000 miles closer, looped through Pitcairn, the Austral Islands, the Eastern Tuamotus and finally to the Marquesas before heading to Hawaii. At the time is sounded like more sea miles, but considering our speed, we may have been better off and we could have seen some more off the beaten path locations. If we had thought about this about 3 days ago, we would indeed be heading south at the moment, but alas we think that window of opportunity has passed us by and we need to stay the course! Turning south now would probably be more beating than beam reaching which differs in an order of magnitude in terms of comfort. Oh well, best laid plans often suck, and we are still headed to the Marquesas although I think Zander could get out and swim as fast as we are moving.
Tomorrow we expect to be 1/3 of the way through the crossing, our boat is adorned with hundreds of beautiful Valentine decorations, compliments of our constant crafter, and we are pulling out some ribeye steaks to celebrate. Ah, life could certainly be worse, maybe not less boring, but worse!
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The following pages chronicle the journey of the sailing vessel Pelagic and her crew. We are a family of 5; Michael, Amy, Zander, Porter and Anakena, taking our 42' Hallberg Rassy as far as we can comfortably go in three years. We left Oregon in September 2014, participated in the 2014 Baja Haha, continued on through the Panama Canal, into the Caribbean, up the coast of the US to Maritime Canada and from there crossed the Atlantic. After an arrival in Ireland we toured Scotland, then sailed down to France, Portugal and on to Morocco. In January of 2016 we slowed down considerably and enrolled the kids in a local Spanish school in Sanlucar de Guadiana for a few months. In the spring of 2016 we crossed the Atlantic towards the Caribbean. We are now in the Pacific, officially on our way home, albeit via a very circuitous path. We are currently in French Polynesia and looking at weather windows to Hawaii before finally making landfall back in the Pacific Northwest.
Currently our exact location is not available. Our spot coverage will pick us back up in Hawaii towards the end of May, 2017.
Our favorite sailing quote:
"If anythings gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there boss!" Captain Ron