Pacific Crossing Day 22: Sloppy Conditions

The sea state has become increasingly uncomfortable as the wind dies down. Without enough wind, we struggle to keep the sails trimmed as the boat rolls, leaving us with loud, floppy sails and fluctuating speed. We noticed the snubber on our preventer had snapped this morning. It seems like our equipment is as fed up with these conditions as we are. 

Another overcast morning, followed by our sails shading the afternoon sun, prompted us to run our generator. We hate feeling reliant on the thing, but during a long passage like this, there’s not much else we can do. When Ray went to start it, the battery was dead again. He used the jump pack to get it going before investigating the issue. Both engine batteries and the generator battery use the same charger. Since the charger does not sense the battery levels individually, it seems the charger saw the fully charged engine batteries and shut off, leaving the generator battery low. We’ve been discussing getting some foldable solar panels or flexible ones attached to a large piece of Sunbrella; we could stash it down below when not in use and lay it out wherever the sun is hitting when needed. It would be a nice diesel-free option for future passages. 

We triple-reefed the mainsail and brought out the gennaker after lunch.  

We flew it for a few hours before furling it in once the wind speed dropped below 10kn. We brought the main back to its first reef and got the jib out. We’ve begun to feel bad for the mainsail battens as they slam from side to side. Our relatively new sail is getting beat up as Lagoon’s policy requires us to use it in conditions where we should be running headsail only, moving the addition of running backstays to our “high priority” list. This crossing has been a vastly different experience than we’re used to. We’re learning that we need to make some modifications if we expect to continue our predominantly downwind route around the world comfortably. 

I think having a cup of coffee while I make dinner will be the weirdest habit I’ll have to break when we’re back on anchor. Out here, the evening does not signify the end of our day. I only drink one cup a day, it just happens to be at 6pm. We had dinner together in the cockpit and are waiting to watch the sunset now. After five days of 6-9ft+ seas, things finally appear to be calming down. We’ll see what tomorrow brings! 

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