After a beautiful night time run with the spinnaker running all night. Day broke and there were some dark spots appearing on our sunny days. A really dark spot off our port side where the wind was coming from. Looked like rain was already falling.
Christine is the net controller this morning. The net is time and frequency on the SSB radio where all sailors from around French Polynesia can checkin for safety and local advice and basic jib jab chatting. This Tuesday is her last day as a controller and there are lots of boats checking in, so just before the net we took the spinnaker down so _IF_ the squall got closer I wouldn’t have to interrupt the net. All good squall came and went with some wind and rain and Christine received a bunch of accolades for running the Tuesday slot for the last couple of years.
The day wasn’t the best on the passage, patches of blue sky. Wind was a bit strong for the spinnaker and the waves were building. But the boat was doing fine, every hour or so we’d take a hard look at the skies to see if would hoist the spinnaker again, but ended up just going slow and I was napping quiet effectively.
One hour just rolled into the next, until the sky looked inviting and the wind has stayed down for the past hour. Time to hoist the small spinnaker again. All was going to plan till the spinnaker decided it had had enough of me and decided to jump ship and go for a swim. What a fickle little guy. Yes, I know Sugar Shack is heavy with all our live aboard gear, but its his job to just pull the boat along. I guess he had had enough and needed to cool off! Grrrr..
So now that means we have to coax him back on board with uplifting banter and jovial promises of going on a diet, and when that didn’t work brute force ensued. Some profound language I’m sure was used as well. The connection inside the sock that the spinnaker lives had failed but luckily everything was attached to the boat. With the boat cruising along at 5 knots its impossible to pull a wet bed sheet for Shreck out of the water.. The jib was still pulling the boat forward so we had to roll that up and that was enough slowing the boat down that we were able to pull it all out of the water. Now waiting on daylight to see the state of the spinnaker.
So we were going to knock out some more miles with the spinnaker between dark clouds to give us a little wiggle room on the Thursday arrival (Friday in Fiji) so that we can avoid overtime charges for the government officials to come out to the boat to check us in. We will have to see what our options are for speeding up in they day time. Probably not going to take the short-cut through the islands and reefs as we will be hitting them at dark, opting instead to go for the Nanuku Passage as its the widest on the charts and doesn’t add too much to the distance to go.
180 miles to go to our waypoint, then another 5 or so to get to the town to check in.