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Monday, January 19, 2004

January 19, 2004-Departing Papua New Guinea

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Good Breeze

The wind was fresh and the day looked nice so we left Kavieng in a hurry, not wanting to lose the moment or the sailing breeze. With fishing gear still on the stern and the dingy still inflated and on the bow we weighed and set sail. We beat past town, out of the harbor and over the reef and soon the mountains and jungles of Papua New Guinea were behind us.

It was an exciting and exhilarating feeling to be under sail, finally heading out, bound for Palau, the Philippines, and Hong Kong, across the equator, into a new ocean, towards a world which would be totally new to us, after years of planning.

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Suddenly it is windy

Before long, however, the wind died and we sat still. Then the wind came back in the form of a daytime squall. We reduced sail but even with just the main we were flying. In a few moments though it blew over and we were becalmed again. This cycle repeated itself.

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Storm Clouds at Sunset
As the day wore on the sky filled with thunder heads. We could see that it would get stormy. It was time to get ready, no time for the dingy to be on deck.

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Black Squall

As darkness came upon us we found ourselves sailing into the hell of a huge black squall. We knew it would be night when this monster hit us and in the darkness we would be blind, unable to see or prepare, or even just know when to say a prayer.

The anticipation was worse than the squall, but the squall was bad enough; hours of howling wind and rain and Wings driving through the night under reduced sail. We two lonely sailors waited for the worst to happen, not even knowing what the worst was, but thankfully it never did.

It was just another night at sea.

wingssail image-fredrick roswold

It is never as scary when you can see around you and we welcomed the sun after the night of black squalls. On this morning there was still drama in the sky but we were OK; we made it through the night.

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Out of the Squals
By mid morning we had sunshine, blue skies, and light wind from the NE. This is the trade winds we were looking for, and it sure is nice to get it.
We tacked over and as the wind freed we eased the sheets.

wingssail image-Judy Jensen
Great Sailing
A bad photo, but a great day. The trades filed in and we set the kite and headed westward toward Palau.

What a mess!
That was nice but before long Neptune decided to take down our spinnaker. Well, "Old North" has served us well for many years, we got it with the boat in 1986, and it was old then, so it has seen some years. As bad as it looks, I was able to repair it and the next day we had it up again.

Repairing underway

That's sailing.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Western Pacific Ocean, on route to Palau

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