Pacific Crossing Day 18: Stinky Sailors

Last night was pitch black- no moon, stars, or bioluminescence. I could hardly even see our headsail as we flew through the water at 8-9kn, surfing down steep waves. The sun rose, giving way to a beautiful morning. 

20kn of wind and 6ft seas pushed us along while I watched hundreds of flying fish catapult themselves from wave to wave. I’m thrilled to report that we did not make a single sail change today. We used our main on its first reef, and the jib pulled out onto a barber hauler, SOG 8-10kn. My sore hands and limp arms were grateful to have a break. We switched off resting and keeping watch at the helm.

The sea state continued to grow as the day progressed- we were seeing 9ft waves by noon, bobbing around, still ~1500 nautical miles away from Hiva Oa. Conditions are expected to be like this for the next few days. 

Our sails shaded our solar panels all afternoon as the autopilot continued sucking power. We had 64% battery and 10 gallons of water, but we couldn’t run the watermaker or the generator in these conditions (they would suck up too much air). If only we still had our wind turbines… We shut off the cockpit fridge and the inverter to conserve power. 

After dinner, it seemed like the seas were beginning to lay down. It was by no means calm, but we figured it was calm enough to get the generator going. We went to turn it on, but it didn’t start. Ray went up to the bow to investigate. It ended up being a dead battery, and he used the jump pack to get it going. Knowing the generator could run, we decided to give the watermaker a shot. It had an airlock from sucking up too much air when we tried to run it this afternoon, but Ray was able to bleed it and get it going. At this rate, we’ll be taking showers tonight! 

Oops- I spoke too soon. The watermaker has sucked up air as I’m posting this, forcing us to shut it down. We might be stinky for a while longer! 

9 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Wow had no idea that the motion of good sailing would challenge power and utilities so much! How about wishing you smooth sailing!! Thanks so much for keeping the updates coming!! Cheers

  2. Hi – thanks for the pictures. Seams like you never get a break but at least your not using fuel and getting closer to a boring anchorage.

  3. Wow! How exciting, wind! It must feel good to finally set the sails and get going. Earlier this year,we had the generator not start due to a dead battery. We found that the fuse in the battery charger blew and it it was not charging even though the charging display light said it was! The fuse is a little hard to find but if you haven’t found the cause, you might want to check it out. Enjoy the ride! Stay safe!

  4. Really enjoying the daily updates, gives great perspective on the ups, downs and challenges of making a crossing. Hoping for sunshine so you can recharge!

  5. everyday out here can be a completely different day with different conditions! it’s a pretty wild way to live! well done! you guys are crushing it!

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