Monday 14 January 2019

Sailing downwind

Nicki here,
Rob and Jo have an unusual sail for downwind which is effectively a
huge double-sided genoa which they call the 'stingray', as it looks
like a white stingray swimming head-down when it is set, with a
spinnaker pole set to windward to keep it stable. It has a sail area
of approximately 129 square metres, which is close to the floor area of
our 3-bedroomed house in New Zealand (excluding the garages and
sheds)..... i.e. a massive display of canvas!
Just after dawn this morning as Jo came on watch to replace me we
experienced some squalls of wind under towering dark clouds, so we
reefed the stingray as a precautionary measure - and 10 minutes later
had over 20 knots of true breeze for which we might otherwise have been
somewhat overcanvassed. The squalls passed through within an hour and
we now have 3/8 cloud cover with mostly fluffy white clouds, blue
sky surrounded by deep blue water - no sign of any other vessels.
At 8am local I successfully received a weatherfax from the US NOAA in
New Orleans onto the iPad via the SSB radio, which I am very
pleased about as I had struggled to do so in Rodney Bay marina and
had very poor reception last night at 1600hrs local time. I
tuned the SSB to a higher frequency which had good propoagation at
that time of the morning and current weather conditions. This
weather information service is likely to be very useful to Tintin as
she travels west across the Pacific and it is also free!

Rob was 'Net Controller' for the WorldARC fleet this morning at
0900hrs local, completing a 'roll-call' with all the boats - again
using the SSB radio. The fleet is now sufficiently spread out that
VHF radio no longer has sufficient range.

All is well on board.

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