Sunday, May 04, 2008

May 4, 2008 - To Vanuatu, Day 5

On the morning net yesterday Khulula, which is a few miles behind us, mentioned that their latest weather fax showed a cold front coming across our positions this morning. Sten popped his head out to look around and noted the dark clouds on the horizon. I'd been steering through most of the net (our SSB reception degrades when the autopilot is running), and had been watching the clouds get darker and closer. After the net, we furled in the jib most of the way and waited for the squalls to hit. They didn't bring windspeeds much over 20 knots, but the wind clocked around 110 degrees and it was a wet ride for a while. Khulula reported seeing much higher winds. After the front passed over, we corrected course and spent the rest of the day rolling along in increasingly steep swell. To keep things reasonably comfortable on board, we motored for a few hours while we waited for the westerlies to fill in, which they did mid-afternoon. After nightfall one of our bookshelves disgorged its contents all over the salon floor - something that hasn't happened since our first passage. Around 11pm the wind lightened and over the next few hours the seas settled down again.

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