Good morning –
We got somewhere! Believe it or not, there is real estate out here and I’m 15 miles offshore scooting along past the southern point of Hawaii (the Big Island, as the weather people write).
I’m going to move northwest in the lee of the islands between here and Oahu, hopefully that will tamp down the swell and wind, as there is definitely swell and wind to be had ’round these parts.
Last night was a good run with wind in the low 20s and when squalls came through wind would jump to low 30s. That went on for much of the night, and I stayed with my micro sail plan so I could get some sleep in and not keep hopping up and down to adjust the size of the headsail, and, sometimes, the angle of the mainsail to the wind. When I was up early this morning to inspect things, I found that what was a nice quiet calm boat interior was hiding a 30+ knot squall on deck, lots of flying water and wind. Bleah! Turned on the radar to try and find the extent of the squall and it was a lengthy one extending about 10 miles astern of Beetle, I was at the last rainy bit of the squall, so I went back to sleep and let the squall go its way while Beetle continue on in the other.
Dawn was fun, there was the island, a low grey smudge on the horizon that didn’t move, the squalls I’d been looking at earlier were off on the horizon now and new set of squalls were coming in – but they missed me and I’m not unhappy about that.
It’s also nice that the swell has dropped off to a single roller coming in from the east, the north stuff is blocked by the island. The inshore forecast is calling for what I have now, 20 knots east near South Point, variable <10 further on up. I will be crossing the waters west of the Alenuihaha Channel between Hawaii and Maui, the channel forecast is calling for east wind at 20 knots, I don’t now how far out that wind will extend to the west (my planned route has me 55 miles out in the ocean, well away from the channel). It will also be interesting to see if there are any counter-currents swirling around the islands; I bet there are.
All is well on board. The deck looks good and organized, I can find all the sheets and strings and lines in the dark mostly because every time one gets adjusted any left-over tail gets coiled up and put bag in the sheet bag – so no spaghetti mess in Beetle’s cockpit! With the sea state way down the boat’s motion is smooth, and I’ve been moving around below-deck to stow all the gear that’s been gradually extracted over the past 2-1/2 weeks. Found the roll of Gorilla duct tape and put that back in its spot, wiped down the sink, and putting clothes into the dirty laundry bag that need to go there.
And here’s a novel USCG Marine Safety Broadcast that just came in over the airwaves: all vessels are required to maintain a safety exclusion zone (I think he said 300 meters) that extends out 300 meters from the entry point of lava flow into the Pacific Ocean. I’ve not heard that kind of informational broadcast and warning before.
I’ve got 184 miles to go to Oahu, hopefully can be there before tomorrow night! I’ve got plenty of fuel to burn, and the sailing is good right now so onwards!