Tuesday, June 19, 2007

June 17, 2007 - Pacific Crossing, Day 15

Every morning we find flying fish on deck. This is the littlest one yet:

Last night the wind piped up and with it the seas built to the point that the autopilot was getting marginally overwhelmed by the combination of the sea state and higher wind. We were fine as long as we stayed deep down wind but when a big swell would kick the stern down, heading us up, the apparent wind would move way forward, reducing the pressure on the jib and increasing the pressure on the main, causing the pilot to use lots of rudder to bring us back down on course. We put a second reef in the main, which in this situation effectively moves the center of effort on the sails forward, helping the boat stay pointed down wind. The squall activity ceased around sunset, making night watch pretty uneventful though we are on the lookout as we have heard boats reporting squalls up to 40 knots on their approach to the Marquesas.

The seas settled down a bit today, so I took the opportunity to bake, making sticky buns. It was my first time working with a really wet dough. Mixing it by hand was the best workout I've had in, oh, 15 days. The yeasty smell of the dough rising and the buttery, rummy smell of the syrup as it caramelized was enough to make us salivate, long before they were ready to eat. Just as the buns came out of the oven, Sten landed a nice small Mahi this afternoon, which made us glad that we had released the huge bull Mahi-Mahi we had on the line this morning - it was easily as large as the one we landed on the approach to Bonaire and way too big for the two of us. We had been hoping for a Wahoo for a little variety but probably will not need to fish again until a day or so before we get in.

No comments: