Day 7

Southing!

Our current position is 16.37 n 120.27 w. That places us about 1000 miles north of the equator and 1000 miles from our departure point in San Diego. We feel good about hitting the 1000 mile milestone after our first week, especially given our couple of days of slow going early on. Hiva Oa is only 1900 miles away!

We made 168 miles in the last 24 hours for an average speed of exactly 7 knots. We still have that 20-25 knt breeze coming from the NNE. Last night there was a NW swell that combined with 8 ft. waves from the NNE to mess things up a bit, so we decided to take it easy and sailed with 2 reefs in the main and a full jib throughout the night. Right now the swell seems to have disappeared and the waves are down to 6 ft, so we are running since sunrise with a full main and jib at 7-9 knots with a very comfortable motion.

If you’re following our progress on SPOT, you can see that we’ve been heading almost due south for the last 2 days. With the wind coming from the NNE, it places Sophie in a position to sail in that direction on a broad reach, Sophie’s fastest and most comfortable wind angle. In other words, we are “southing”, sailing easily and quickly while getting warmer and warmer. The temperature is now 72 degrees in the shade in the aft cockpit, and everyone is down to t-shirts and shorts (or sundresses, in Hazel’s case). We are surrounded by flying fish and birds, so you know what’s for dinner tonight …

The wave action is actually pushing us west by about a mile an hour, so we are slowly making some westward progress to the Marquesas while on this course. We spoke with our weather routers this morning, and they said that our current wind and sea state will prevail for the next 36 hours and will then transition to 10-15 knts from the E or ESE. So we’ll continue southing for another day and a half and then switch to our spinnaker and head downwind on a much more westerly course to our final destination.

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