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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Day 6: Downwind sailing

This morning I was happy to find nothing else broken. Let's hope this is the new trend.

I've been heading north and it's been getting colder. Probably has more to do with current weather than my latitude, but I felt the urge to head towards Hawaii, not circling around it. This would require some downwind sailing. Normally, I would attempt this feat using my asymmetrical spinnaker. My sailboat rig is a B&R rig with swept back spreaders, so it doesn't want to sail downwind. If you don't know what a B&R rig is, just take my word for it. My boat goes neither upwind nor downwind. A spinnaker helps with this problem, but furler is broken, so can't roll up the headsail, which is a prerequisite for deploying a spinnaker.

Luckily before I departed, I installed a spinnaker pole on my boat. This was to be used with, you guessed it, the spinnaker, but can be also do the same with a headsail. Basically, it pushes out one corner of the sail so the sail can catch a lot of wind going dead downwind. Anyways, took me a lot of line work to get it setup, but it works like a charm. I'm heading straight for Hawaii!Even pulled a little main sail out to help with the speed, my headsail is only fractional. Breaking the furler is like breaking a leg, but crutches mitigates it.

Anyways, been running this setup all day long with pretty good success (less some uncomfortable rolling), and I'm pretty excited since this is the first time Bella Marina has been running a pole in her 10 years. Also, I don't have much else to be excited about. Today was overcast and pretty dull.

According to weather downloads, the winds will get really light tonight and I might even have to motor for a day. Then I'll be beating into it hardcore in 15-20 (hardcore because I can't furl my headsail) before a day of motoring almost for sure around Saturday. Gotta keeps those motoring days down to a minimum, I've got a limited supply of diesel. I'm gonna watch a movie on my phone now, while I wait for the inevitable post midnight sail change.

Captain Petter from S/V Bella Marina