November 7: squally weather continues; passing a Korean longliner, at a distance
- Posted on 7 Nov 2012
- In Voyaging
Nov. 6 Sunset
We noticed a vessel on our Automatic Identification System (AIS) display on the laptop computer—the 170-foot fishing vessel Chung Yong Number 73 (a longliner out of South Korea.)[Wikipedia: Longline fishing is a commercial fishing technique. It uses a long line, called the main line, with baited hooks attached at intervals. … Hundreds or even thousands of baited hooks can hang from a single line. Longliners commonly target swordfish, tuna, halibut, sablefish and many other species]
The AIS combines Global Positioning System (GPS) location technology with Very High Frequency (VHF) radio communications technology. It broadcasts our name, vessel type, size, position, course and speed to other vessels with AIS aboard. It tells us the same information about those other vessels. It calculates when and how close vessels will approach each other if they hold their course and speed. Tonight, thanks to AIS, we had a safe passage within 4 nautical miles of Chung Yong Number 73.
The AIS is another modern convenience we have not had on a PVS voyaging canoe, or escort boat, before. It greatly enhances our safety.
- course: still being forced farther west than we prefer to go—east of north, heading 339 degrees True, Nā Leo Ho’olua; trying to head east of north as much as possible, Haka/Nā Leo Ko’olau
- speed: 5 to 6 knots
- weather: partially clear during the day with passing squalls not hitting us. Now, completely overcast with dark gray cumulous clouds all around, raining heavily on us now. No high clouds, warm, humid
- wind: East 10 knots
- sea state: North-East 4 to 5 feet, East 1 to 2 feet, South 1 to 2 feet, very gentle rollers – easy steering except when wind gets shifty.
Hawaiian Star Compass (Click on the link for an explanation of the names of the directional houses of the compass. Click on the compass for a larger image.)
Nov. 7 Sunrise
Steering at night was a great test for our crew, some of whom had never experienced steering in these winds, swells and speed at night. Although it can seem overwhelming, it helps to remember that, during the day, Hikianalia cruises easily at these speeds and it’s really only the nighttime and our change in perspective that makes it any different. Everyone is doing well and praying for wind shifts that will allow us to get more speed toward home – this capable canoe is certainly ready for it if/when we get the chance.
Celestial Observations, Navigation Stars, Planets and Moon Phases:
6 pm to 10 pm watch – Our heading at the beginning of the night was Haka/Nā Leo Ko’olau. There were no stars available, so we were steering by staying as high into the wind as we could without luffing in order to make easting. Just as we got off watch, the skies of the northeast horizon began to open up and steering stars became available.
10 pm to 2 am watch – We came on deck to a single- reefed main sail, storm jib and full mizzen. The squally winds were intensified by the night, and for our first two hours we sped along at 8 knots heading in Haka Ko’olau. At 1230, Captain Bob called us to drop the main to give an easier ride to our sleeping crew. Great teamwork had it down and furled quickly, and from then on we balanced out our sails and were able to sail at about 4 knots.
2-6 Watch – The beginning of our watch was as described above: small jib and mizzen only. We continued to keep the sails balanced and averaged 4.5 knots on a heading varying between Haka Ko’olau and Haka Ho’olua (NNE to NNW). The wind unfortunately did not allow us to maintain a more easterly course, as any attempt to steer up caused our speed to decrease markedly. All the usual stars and planets we have grown accustomed to seeing and using to steer were visible between thin clouds: Makali’i, other stars of Ke Kā O Makali’i (Orion), Jupiter, Hokulei (Capella), Gemini, and Hānaiakamalama (the Southern Cross). Later towards dawn, we used Venus and our namesake, Hikianalia (Spica). This watch marked the first appearance of Nā Hiku (the Big Dipper) when we saw Hikukahi (Dubhe) and Hikulua (Merak), two stars forming the cup of the dipper. We know for sure that the Northern Hemisphere cannot be far away now! (See Hawaiian Star Lines.)
- course: east of north, heading 005 degrees True, Haka Ko’olau
- speed: 5 to 6 knots
- weather: Cumulus overcast covers most of the sky overhead (7/8 coverage). Squalls in the area. Rain on the NE horizon. Still no high clouds.
- wind: North of East, 15 knots; some localized high winds associated with passing squalls.
- sea state: North-East 5-6 feet (building a little), East 1 to 2 feet, South 1 to 2 feet, rollers less gentle.
For Complete Sail and Education Data, see the Tracking Map.