Blog from Brad Wong (Oct. 22): It’s getting warmer! …
After a week and a half at sea getting splashed with the coldest water I’ve ever felt, the ocean and weather is finally getting warm! As we make our final approach to Tahiti, hopefully within the next few days, foul weather gear and multiple layers of clothing are beginning to be replaced with board shorts, rash guards, and in Kealoha’s case, a malo.
We had been staying south of 30 degrees until a couple days ago, when we began reaching up towards the Australs and finally Tahiti to avoid having to tack east within the tropics. Water temperature and clothing aren’t the only changes we have been noticing.
More and more mālolo (flying fish) have appeared gracefully gliding across the surface of the ocean, with one unfortunate fish smacking right into the hale on deck.
Stars are another noticeable change, as the southern cross can no longer be seen upside down as it appeared in Aotearoa; it now dips below the horizon. Northern stars like Vega and Deneb can be seen longer throughout the night, and Makalii doesn’t rise at such a steep angle any more.
With all the changes to our surroundings, crew morale continues to remain solid with jokes of a bear foraging all of our pudding and peanuts, and our bellies full with Uncle Gary’s cooking .(He somehow made malasadas this morning and chicken pot pie the other night. Don’t ask how, because we’re all still trying to figure it out).
This has so far been the most awesome 2 weeks on the ocean as we all get the opportunity to travel and sail like our ‘aumākua on the same seas and sky as they did. Every day brings new challenges and learning opportunities from those same ‘aumākua, Kanaloa and the other akua, Hikianalia, and of course Uncle Bruce. Let’s hope for another couple days of great sailing to complete the first leg of Hikianalia’s maiden voyage and to get to the nice warm lagoons of Tahiti.
Hikianalia Report: October 22, 6:00 PM
We are traveling fast despite using only the storm jib, double-reefed main and single-reefed mizzen. We are experiencing a bumpy ride and more demanding steering due to the confused seas becoming more developed. Many large splashes are coming over the rail washing down the decks and all the sailors in their path.
- time: 2012-10-23 04:00 UTC/GMT (18:00 HST Oct 22)
- position: 23 degrees 51.0 minutes S 151 degrees 40.2 minutes W
- course: 005 degrees True
- speed: 8 knots
- weather: mostly cloudy, low-level cumulus, 75% cloud cover, will have a few stars to steer by
- wind: ESE 20 to 30 knots with a steady pulse of gusts
- sea state: ESE 10 to 15 feet and choppy, SSE swells 8 to 10 feet, wind chop, confused seas
- vessel and crew condition: all ok (Faafaite also)
- Celestial Observations, Navigation Stars, Planets and Moon Phases: sun only. Today, we again steered principally by the wind and swells.
- Animal Life: None observed today.
- Sea Birds and Sea Life: Almost none observed today.
- Marine Debris: None observed today.