May 5, 2012
Day 7 will be one that will never be forgotten. The relentless seas only grew bigger and rougher during the day and by 4 pm the waves were 20 feet high with winds gusting to 35 knots! We had the third reef in the main and the jib rolled up to the size of a handkerchief and were still doing 7 knots and rolling down waves at over 9 knts. at times in pouring rain squalls.
It was all good until huge west bound waves developed and started broad siding us and washing over the helm station! Free saltwater massage in the cockpit everyone! Not fun!! a few of these we turned west to smooth out the ride, which put the wind on out stern sailing 160 degrees off wind.
The highlight of the day was getting soaked at least 3 times and then finding out all the fresh water went down the drain out a deck valve that was somehow opened with the jib sheet on the foredeck! I turned on the trusty water maker to find a Low Pressure pump fault! I had just tested the system and put new primary filters in so I was baffled at what could be causing the trouble?
An hour later I finally traced it to a broken sending unit wire that decided to part on wave 12432? or 33 I am not sure which, but A simple wire splice solved the problem and hot showers we ordered for all. Daria cooked up a tasty mahi diner with a fresh salad and we ate recounting the days events.
By now we are all more than ready to get to land and take a few days off. We have spent 4 of the 7 days in rough seas and covered 1200 miles.
To our dismay we received an e-mail from the Comadore of the Niue Yacht Club telling us the only landing dock on the island will be blocked for several days as the supply ship starts unloading on Saturday. What luck! Our friends on Braveheart diverted to Vavau, Tonga due prior commitments but my opinion is like when the settlers first saw the Indians, “I didn’t come all this way to turn and run with the first signs of trouble” So, we will be in Niue in 24 hours waiting on the supply ship to move.
Our position at 4 am as I write this is 23.20 S 172.10 W and we are on a heading of 003 N doing 7 to 8 knots under triple reefed main and jib in moderate seas (calmer than yesterday) 234 miles from Niue.
Out living the dream (sometimes a scary one) on Downtime,
Capt. Pete, Daria and Steve