Wave Days

Author: Mark
Date: Apr 18, 4am MST
Location: 06 23.90S --- 98 27.80W
Conditions: 12-15kts @ 135T, 5.8kts SOG, 2-2.5m swell with 9s period

We are into day five of our journey, with about 12-13 days remaining. The last couple of days have been what Michael calls "Wave Days". This is the kids new lingo vs. say "Snow Days" when school is put on hold. It wasn't a terrible day for the swell, but mom and dad were feeling a little lazy so we decided not to have school and let the kids get settled into the boat routine. The kids got into the audio book Eragon, and spent about 5 hours listening intently to the story. It is narrated by a British guy. The first thing Elizabeth said when we started the book was "Is this the BBC?". Hilarious.

For dinner last night we had BBQ chicken, baked beans, salad and broccoli. For desert it was fruitilla (strawberry) jello. After dinner it was "date night" for Sarah and Michael. They did a watch together and drank hot chocolate. Elizabeth and I had our own date night by her showing me the house she "built" for mom using MineCraft. After that I told her stories and scratched her back. It was good bonding time with the kids.

The outlook for the next couple of days is more of the same weather. It has been mild on the wind side. Not much more than 17kts in a gust, and mainly 12-15kts at about 145T. The seas are just aft of the beam, with about 30% of the swells being directly on the beam. That can make for some rolly slop and sails slapping. Clearly not the best point of sail or location for swell. We are now used to the roll, but it?s not optimal. Looks like based on the forecast we will have this type of weather for the next week. The farther west we go the wind swing more behind us, with seas 'hopefully' falling on our quarter vs. beam.

I messed around with a sail change with Carlos for over an hour today. We put up the Parasailor. Unfortunately, it was not as good as the code zero and main. Less sail area and slower sailing (.5-.75kts slower) than I wanted, so we doused the Parasailor and kept our other two sails flying. No, you can't run the main with the Parasailor at that point of sail, even with two reefs. We tried and the Parasailor would collapse more than sail. The long term answer? We need to upgrade to a larger Parasailor. We bought the 'middle' size, and while it works great at 160-180, but I would like to use it on the swing from 110-180. Don't get me started!! :-)

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