Sail Mail - March 25, 2015

Location: 4.03.2N - 141.10.6W - 800nm North of Nuka-Hiva - 1200nm SW of Hilo HI
Course: 0
Sea: 5ft
Wind: 5-9kts from anywhere

Last Port: Nuka-Hiva
Destination Port: Hilo HI

Despite stopping on the equator yesterday, the days run came out to be a "not-too-shabby" 194nm. The progress for today is going to be a lot worse though. We are in the ITCZ (inter-tropical convergence zone) with little to no wind and lots of squalls. It'll be another 100-150 miles before we are out of it so lots of motoring is in our future.

Most of the time, surprising sounds are not what you want to hear on a boat. There is at least one big exception: the energetic buzz of a fish frantically tearing line off the reel of a trolling pole. This morning around 8AM, it went off. Something was on the line. We got the boat stopped and the fight began. Johnny pulled in the hand lines to clear the water and realized that it wasn't just the pole that had a fish on......two of the hand lines also did. Apparently we had run over a school of chunky skip jack tuna. 20 minutes later, we had two of them on board...about 20lb each. One got away which isn't too bad considering that we have enough skip jack tuna to feed a small nation. The fish tacos we made for dinner barely used a 1/4 of our stockpile.

A new boat tradition has begun. Johnny brought virtual iPad "Risk" with him. For those that don't know what "Risk" is, its a multi-player strategy board game in which players try to conquer the world from each other. Each of us has chosen a random flag from the boats inventory of international flags. The winner of the days game gets to fly there flag. Johnny's St. Lucia flag is flying right now.

As we were playing risk today, we were surprised at sunset by a friendly squall. It brought lots of rain, not a lot of wind. With everything on the boat caked with salt, it was a very welcome surprise. As it passed over us, the scenery with the sunset + rain on the lazy swells was amazing. The main sail also funnels water down to the deck which emerges as if sprayed from a fire hose at the gooseneck. Outdoor showers were had by all.

Once we make it out of the ITCZ, the wind is looking good for getting us all the way to Hilo. Landfall might be Tuesday the 31st or Wednesday the 1st.