Sunday, 29 May 2016

Minerva to Fiji Day 2: Spinnaker Day

Greetings!

I woke this morning to the sight of Max getting the spinnaker set up. The wind was down to about 6 kts, but our new spinnaker (bought from our new friends on Nirvana during our last visit to Minerva Reef) loves light air. It was a divide and conquer day: Max sailed the spinnaker, and I did the downstairs chores, and kept Benjamin out of the cockpit (and the UV). We flew it in perfect conditions until late afternoon, then just before sunset, we doused the it and mounted the spinnaker pole on the upwind side to pole out the genoa. As we had hoped, this job is getting easier and more automatic; we are getting the hang of where all the extra snatch blocks need to be placed so that all the lines (of which there are four extras) get a fair run without chafing the many other lines running up and down the deck.

It was a beautiful, tropical, hot day, the first one during which we really felt the need for cold drinks and electrolytes since we left Auckland. We are at 20 deg S, and finally feeling like we are in the Tropics again. We even left the sides of the rain enclosure rolled up tonight (I am still wearing a fleece, but I suspect the others will be in the cockpit in shirt-sleeves when they come on watch).

Victoria and Johnathan's keep-Benjamin-away-from-the-iPad-by-distracting-him experiment continued today, with good results. They played with puzzles, read books, and even built him a "tent" by stretching the lee cloth from one of the benches over to the saloon table. We had a bit of a meltdown around dinner time when he wanted a "turn" and they wouldn't let him, but it gave us a good opportunity (as a family) to discuss the arbitrary nature of some of their choices. There is a difference in Benjamin's eyes between not giving him a turn while someone else is using it and not giving him a turn when it is just sitting on the counter asking to play Octonauts and Max & Ruby! Peace reigned briefly in the evening when we let him use it in a low battery state until it went dark. He may only be two, but he understands about the need for charging, and happily gave it up to the 12V socket.

Our boobie stayed with us through most of the morning, flying away for some fish and then coming back, but then he left again in the afternoon, and we haven't seen him since. Perhaps he forgot to submit his Fiji Immigration paperwork, and has had second thoughts!

As I mentioned, we hoisted our spinnaker pole at sunset and have been sailing wing-on-wing all night. These are my kind of conditions - the maximum wind I have seen is about 12 kts, with an average around 10, the boat speed is hovering around 5 kts, the seas are calm, with only a slight roll, and I haven't had to adjust either the sails or the course since I came on watch!! Here's hoping that the rest of the night brings similarly calm conditions. Considering that some of the weather models didn't even predict any wind for this part of the passage, we are counting ourselves very lucky today with 10 hrs of spinnaker flying followed by a night of calm sailing :)

Love to you all,
Elizabeth
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At 2016-05-23 7:21 PM (utc) SV Fluenta's position was 23°38.53'S 178°55.98'W
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At 2016-05-23 1:45 PM (utc) SV Fluenta's position was 20°19.14'S 179°20.86'W

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