Crew View: Brenda

These are The Doldrums?

Yesterday morning (Nov. 12) as the sun rose, ʻOnohi observed, “These look like the doldrums, but there is wind!” We were lucky to have steady winds in the morning, which then died down through the day. By afternoon we were constantly jibing and changing sails to try to stay on course. Rain showers would come and go, and were visible on the horizon, no matter which way you looked. Okay, this is what we expected.

Then came evening. The winds started howling and gusting and worked themselves into a bit of a frenzy. By 9 pm it was pretty obvious that we were in for quite a night. Within the next hour, as we were seeing 14 and 15 knot boat speeds, the call came from our captain to lower the sails. The hoe was tied down, the sails dropped, and we proceeded to drift through the night. A solid swell was hitting on our starboard beam, pushing us west. Rain pelted us off and on, followed by times of clearing, when we could see the stars in different segments of sky. It was actually interesting to see patches of stars and try to guess our course. We’ve become so accustomed to where they are at different times of the night, we found that we usually knew our heading. Too bad there wasn’t anything we could do about it!

By sunrise this morning (Nov. 13), the gusting had decreased, and we were able to start putting sails back up and adjusting our course. While we were pushed ten miles west, we luckily did not lose much to the south. Through the day today, we have had strong trade winds from the northeast. We are back on a good course to Hilo. We still have reefs in all our sails, but are keeping a steady 8 knots. The seas are getting larger, and trade swell from the northeast is building and hitting on our
starboard, soaking the deck periodically. We are getting bucked around in our bunks quite a bit!

We are still only at 8 degrees north, so are not out of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone. We are prepared for the wind to change again, but are hoping that these trade winds will stay with us for the rest of our journey. I think we are all looking forward to getting to Hilo and seeing our families. Crew members are starting to talk about things they might want to eat that we don’t have onboard – ice cream is heading the list. We also will all appreciate a nice dry bed as nothing really
dries out when it is washed in salt water (us or our clothes!)

Aloha from the ITCZ,

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