Cruising the South Pacific with Tackless II
Tackless II, along with her two captains, Don and Gwen, cruise from Fiji to Australia
Friday, October 24, 2008
23 October 2008 - Day 3 on the Road to Oz
0731 UTC/1831AEST: S 23*05'; E161*12'. Last night was one of those absolute gifts Mother nature sends along now and then. We managed to sail along at 5-6 knots in 7-8 knots of wind! Definitely one of the miracles of sailing. With the breeze out of the N-NW, we were actually close hauled, but with no sea to speak of, we had T2s full main and genoa out all night. Bioluminescence sparked in our wake, and here and there were the occasional explosions of phosphoresence that I haven't seen since the Virgins. Overhead, the stars glittered clear and bright with only an occasional incursion of cloud, and a yellow planet in the western sky -- I am guessing Saturn-- set around one a.m stealing a tremendous amount of ambient light. But by three the waning moon was up lighting the cockpit for Don's watch. I write all this tonight in an effort to remember how grand it can be.

Because it isn't now. We drove through the frontal barrier about 8am this morning. It was a relatively non-event, just a long line of clouds and rain, that was surprisingly narrow. On the back side the wind began to build out of the west, right on the nose as predicted. We motorsailed awhile and then finally fell off in hopes of sailing. The good news is the engine has been off all afternoon. The bad news is that it has been a bumpy ride in thewrong direction. However, as the sun sets, the wind is inching toward the south, and we are eeking our way back around on course.

Tomorrow the wind should be out of the south, a better direction, but we are forecast to get the big swells. Oh, joy!

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