Month: April 2016

Beach House – Ship’s Mini Blog & Position Report – Beautiful but Ugly!…:-)

April 30, 2016

AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/04/30 18:17
LATITUDE: 04-43.26S
LONGITUDE: 100-52.58W
COURSE: 258T
SPEED: 5.5
MARINE: YES
WIND_SPEED: 7
WIND_DIR: S
WAVE_HT: 0.0M
WAVE_PER: 0
SWELL_DIR: S
SWELL_HT: 3.0M
SWELL_PER: 8
CLOUDS: 35%
VISIBILITY: 20
BARO: 1012.6
AIR_TEMP: 31.7C
COMMENT: Beach House – En Route – Marquesas Islands – Day 4 – 155 nm – 2265 miles to go.

As exhilarating at our 194 mile day was, the last one has been physically beautiful, but “ugly” slow.
We’re “at the lay line” which no sailor wants to be as it limits our directional options. This issue with being at the lay line is that we are against one side of an imaginary and dynamically changing triangle.

We like to be able to not be near the sides of the triangle (whose apex is our destination) until we have to be or want to be – quite close to that destination. Now, with 2265 miles to go, we’re up against one side of the triangle and our only option is to stay as close inside it as we can or hopefully not have to sail far outside it as it just adds miles to the trip.
So now you know what being on the “lay line” is all about in our daily planning.

The good news is, the wind will change which moves the sides of the triangle, but the bad news is…it may get worse before it gets better.
We’re “close hauled” (as close to the wind as we can sail) and fortunately, in very flat seas. The seas themselves are flat, but the predominant swell from the South at 12 feet (3 meters more or less) is like sailing over a slow moving carpet that someone is undulating up and down across a room.
This isn’t dangerous or even uncomfortable – it’s just a bit strange.

The day is lovely, the company fabulous and the engines (which we used for 5.5 of the last 24 hours) seem to be ok, despite their obvious crankcase pressure issues which we’ll resolve in Tahiti. (Again – Thank You Ken Dickinson for your “vent tube” idea). Of course, the “issues” this season just don’t seem to stop, so in line with that, our port engine “house battery” alternator isn’t charging the batteries. It’s why of course we have redundant systems.
The starboard one is working fine and charging as well as the solar panels and the (thank heaven) generator.

Nikki’s found several ways to use the plethora of excess bananas we have from the “farm” at Isla Isabela. Banana Bread and much more. Mostly she’s using them for throwing practice over the side. There’s an old British superstition about how it’s not good to have banana’s onboard. We’ve knocked wood and for the most part, they’re all gone.

So drop us a note and thanks for all your support out there!
More tomorrow from the slow sail, but gorgeous South Pacific. You can almost hear Crosby, Stills and Nash singing “Southern Cross”….Google it!
Scott and Nikki

Beach House – Ship’s Mini Blog & Position Report – Settling In…

April 29, 2016

AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/04/29 18:04
LATITUDE: 04-19.70S
LONGITUDE: 098-25.06W
COURSE: 271T
SPEED: 8.3
MARINE: YES
WIND_SPEED: 13
WIND_DIR: SE
WAVE_HT: 0.5M
WAVE_PER: 5
SWELL_DIR: S
SWELL_HT: 3.5M
SWELL_PER: 8
CLOUDS: 50%
VISIBILITY: 20
BARO: 1011
AIR_TEMP: 30.6C
COMMENT: Beach House – En Route – Marquesas Islands – Day 3 – 194 nm

We always think it takes till the end of day 3 to settle into a passage and this one is going just great so far, early on engine issues aside.
Our first full day sailing and we made 194 nm. Half way through yesterday, we were on track to do 230 nm!, but the wind powers that be
took the night off. The current is more NW than yesterday as well when is was more westerly and giving us a straight push.

So far the wind today has been up and down and I suspect it will be for the next several days. As such, I think the last 24hrs run, might be the fastest day we’ll have for at least awhile. Last time “Beach House” did this trip, the first 4 days were all over 200 miles/day.

As a note, the swell has grown in size to 3.5 meters (just about 12 feet) out of the south, most likely from some very distant southern ocean storm. Not a worry for us, just strange that we sail up and over it as it approaches at a 60 degree angle to our course from the port side.

One friend our ours ahead is sailing slowly with his “jury rigged mast”. He broke his head stay, (the wire that holds up the mast from the bow) and another lost their self steering and are “hand steering” like the days of old….too tiring.

All is well and we’ll keep the light on for ya’…
Scott and Nikki

Beach House – Ship’s Mini Blog and Posiition Report…When Pigs Fly!

April 28, 2016

AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/04/28 18:12
LATITUDE: 03-49.62S
LONGITUDE: 095-14.45W
COURSE: 268T
SPEED: 10.2
MARINE: YES
WIND_SPEED: 16
WIND_DIR: SE
WAVE_HT: 0.5M
WAVE_PER: 5
SWELL_DIR: S
SWELL_HT: 2.0M
SWELL_PER: 8
CLOUDS: 60%
VISIBILITY: 15
BARO: 1012
AIR_TEMP: 31.1C
COMMENT: Beach House – En Route – Marquesas Islands – Day 2 – 168 nm, 2601 nm to go!

Our engine issue is currently much better due to Ken Dickinson’s trick he recommended of venting our crankcase with an external tube.
We’re burning or passing through less oil and seem to be leaking none – Thank You Ken! The engines will have to be completely re-done when we get to Tahiti to find out what the issue is. My guess is bad parts? (not likely), something left inside an oil galley/breather tube or improper assembly?
Something completely unexpected or a different issue? But why both of them….ummm.
Judgment shall be reserved for the experts.

Having said that, we finally found the trade winds last night at 8 pm local time at 3 deg 30 min South x 093 deg 30 min West.
As such, “Miss Piggy” is flying under full sail! We’ve the full main and reacher and with 16 knots of wind, 13 apparent on the port beam, we’ve been averaging around 9.8 knots the last 4 hours. Favorable currents are always appreciated!

The big water maker is giving me a bit of an issue, but I know how to fix it, the little one is working fine. Nice having two!

The weather is good, the winds look to be consistent (if not a bit too southerly for my ideal liking), but hopefully no stronger. We just don’t need any more (unless and until it goes straight out of the East). Our strategy is to head more westerly when it’s rough and tumble and more southerly when it lightens up – which it undoubtedly will at some point.

We sail MUCH faster than we motor and this is the kind of conditions where “Beach House” gets to stretch her legs; she’s a true Ocean Greyhound.
Starting to settle into the daily routine.
KIT,
Scott and Nikki