Ahhhh…down wind…FINALLY. Rolly – yes, a bit – but after two years of mostly upwind travel what a novelty to be able to point directly at our goal rather than choosing a tack that allows us to make the most miles made good. What an additional novelty for almost every mile sailed to be a mile made good.
Here is two sailors’ definition of a great passage: 660nm pass-to-pass as measured on a direct line, weaving around a half dozen small atolls, taking 4 days 20 hours for an average of 5.7 nautical miles made good per hour, 100% under wind vane under sail, sailing out one pass and sailing into the other (from pass to pass only, we did not sail off or onto our anchor). In mostly 15-20 knots of true wind, with seas starting at 2.5 meters and descending to 1 meter. We broad reached. We sailed wing-on-wing dead down wind. Maybe we’ll even admit to a tad bit of sailing by the lee. Glorious sun, only one night of light rain (the last night – which made it a nice end of passage fresh water rinse) and no squalls.
In our first leg of our 2014 WESTBOUND (and then northbound), we knocked off 660 of the 4000+ miles we will be sailing this year. A great passage to start with.