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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

June 2, 2004-On Passage to Hong Kong

On Passage to Hong Kong June 02. 2004

I'm sitting at the chart table writing with one hand and hanging on with the other to keep from being thrown out of my chair. The boat has a wild motion, the result of 20 knots of wind and pretty big cross seas, and the fast reach they have produced for us. We are flying along, making great time to Hong Kong. Before we reefed last night we were sailing in the high eights, but Judy and Carol (our crew member for this trip) voted for a reef, which we put in at ten PM; now we are just hitting eight knots.

The sky is clear, the sun bright, and we are sailing right up the rhum line to our destination. Sometimes it amazes me how wrong the weather forecasting can be. These days, on board WINGS, we have weather forecasting from Taiwan, Tokyo, a weather router in Malaysia, and the weather computer model results, in near real-time, from NOAA's big system in the US. They all said there was going to be no wind in the South China Sea on our way to Hong Kong, So we stocked up on fuel and were prepared to motor. Well, they were wrong. We've got solid wind, between 18 and 22 knots, and we've got great sailing, so I'm not complaining, but, like I said, I'm still amazed.

We left The Philippines on Monday, a couple of days earlier than planned because the forecast, while bleak, didn't look like it was going to improve, and there was an area of low pressure out east which could turn into something in a few days, so we decided to get underway rather than get pinned down later in Bolinao, in the North of the Philippines. The low hasn't done much yet, but this high in China showed up and turned out to be stronger than anticipated, and the wind filled in on Tuesday afternoon. We've been on this fast sail ever since then.

We are hoping to get to Hong Kong tomorrow, and we'll be glad to get into port. Even though this is nice sailing, the motion is tiring, you spend all your time holding on for dear life, plus, it has been hot and humid on this trip, and the boat is stinking; we can't air it out in the rough seas. Oh well, that's sailing.

Fred & Judy & Carol Pearl, SV WINGS, On Passage to Hong Kong
19 deg 29.3N 117 deg 08.1E

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