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Monday, May 29, 2006

May 30, 2006- Life at Sea

Black Squall

We need a good run today if we are going to make it to Singapore tomorrow. Ten knots of wind from a favorable direction will do it, or maybe a little less wind if that is asking too much, and less opposition from the current; we have had that against us most of this passage, a knot or two. That has been aggravating.

Yeah, with ten knots of southerly or SE wind we can do 6.5 and get through straits before the tide turns, but ten knots might be asking a lot. We've been sailing for six days now and the wind has been light most of the time, except at night during the squalls, then it has often been too high.

The first few nights down the coast of Borneo were not that much fun. The days were OK, a bit slow maybe, but the nights brought nasty squalls with black clouds, heavy rain, and gusty winds. The first one we used to get a boost, sailing towards it instead of tacking away, and it worked, we picked up a bit of wind and saw some good speeds. The next night we tempted fate again, or tweaked Neptunes tail once too often, and WHAM! We got caught in twenty nine knots of wind with full sail up. Overpowered, the wind still rising, rain belting down, no visibility, we reduced sail in a panic and then sat around waiting for it to pass. It wasn't any fun. Since then we have treated these squalls with a little more respect and they have been no problem. A little work maybe, several times a night, we wake up the off watch, go on deck, reduce sail, get wet, wait, then shake the reefs back out, get going again, dry out.

After The Squall

Yesterday was OK. Nice breeze, averaged ten knots I guess, and we sailed all day. We worked on the Singapore courtesy flag, and noon, had a nice meal of red bean chili. But the current kept our average speed over the bottom down to 4 knots. We need to do better today.

It doesn't really matter anyway, just one night more or less at sea, and we are into the routine now, we are comfortable with the passage and the sailing. We rest, stand our watches, go through the squalls, do our thing with the reefing and the jib. We have hit that sweet spot where the passage can go on and on and it doesn't worry us. So it is OK either way.

But still, we'll try to get to Singapore tomorrow if we can.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, On Passage.

01 deg. 55.7 lat 106 deg 22.3 lon

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