The Day After

Author: Mark
Date: June 14, 11pm NZT
Location: 26 24 S - 172 03 E
Conditions: 18-21kts @ 145 TWA, 330T COG, 6 kts AVG SOG, 3-4 m swell

We unfortunately don't have any more news on the search for the MOB on s/v Platina, the boat that was knocked down yesterday at sea. The NZ rescue service had Orion planes searching for two days now, and the person has not been found. These weather systems can bring sudden surges of wind at times, and this is apparently what happened. We heard from our friends on s/v Rehua, that the winds were 75km/hr across the deck on Platina. That is serious wind. Knowing the wind was only 45nm from our position, a very sobering thought.

For Field Trip, we sail extremely conservatively in these type of conditions. When this knockdown occurred to Platina, we only had a Genoa flying, with 3 reefs. If we had that same wind hit our boat, it may have ripped the genoa, but there would have been no harm done to our vessel or crew. It can be frustrating to sail relatively slow, but knowing that we can get slammed with a strong gust out here at the edge of the front, we are careful. So family and friends, please don't worry about us, we are warm, safe and mostly comfortable.

Speaking of comfort, our biggest issue has been the rolly seas. It has been very messy out here with a mixture of swell, wind chop and just confused seas. As the wind shifts directions, as it has over the past 72 hours, especially when it is blowing 25kts, the sea state gets sloppy at best. This causes us to toss around more than we normally would during a downwind sail. The good news is we are getting plenty of rest, food and no one has been sea sick! Uncomfortable at times, yes, but we have a bunch of salty sailor kids now, and they are doing great.

So, we are heading into the final stretch of our sail to Vanuatu. We expect the winds to continue to slowly abate, along with the sea state over the next couple of days. We'll give you another update tomorrow on our progress.


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