Fun With Spinnakers

Yesterday was another slow day. Not our slowest, but still frustrating. We were running under asymmetrical spinnaker and reefed main all day and through the night. For dinner we had chicken, bean, rice and cheese burritos.
In the evening the wind picked up, and we had a few heavy rain squalls — at least we were moving! During the middle watch, Ville noticed a large “moonbow”, which is a rainbow but with the moon, rather than the sun, providing the light. Paul and Ville admired the faint colors for many minutes until it finally faded.
At about 7:00 AM today (July 17), the spinnaker halyard (her line that pulls the top of the spinnaker to the top of the mast) broke, sending the big sail into the water and under the boat. Daniel and Andrew managed to drag the waterlogged sail back on board, and spent the next couple of hours inspecting the sail for damage and stuffing it back into it’s sleeve, all without managing to wake either Paul or Ville. You can see in our google earth track file (attached) where we slowed way down during this operation.
About 9:30 all was ready, so we re-hoisted the sail on our spare halyard, both to sail with it and to dry it off. The winds haven’t fallen off after sunrise today as much as the previous two days, and the asymmetrical spinnaker provided good drive throughout the rest of the morning. With this sail, however, we can’t go as directly downwind as we wanted to (the wind was shifting throughout the afternoon), so rather than continue to sail south of our goal, we dropped the asymmetrical and put up the big symmetrical spinnaker. This spinnaker, with it’s big spinnaker pole, is letting us head directly towards Kaneohe Bay.
A milestone of sorts occured yesterday evening, when we crossed the Tropic of Cancer (Latitude 23deg 26.5 min N). It’s not the equator, so we didn’t have the ritual humiliation that is part of an equator-crossing ceremony, but we will take what we can get to mark the otherwise identical days (but of course, every day is different in so many ways).
We are now within 200 miles of the finish line, and expect to cross it late Tuesday or sometime Wednesday. It all depends on the wind. If we are too slow, we will gat caught in some very light winds (even lighter and more confused that we have been having). but we expect to beat this disturbance into port.
Our current position is Latitude 22deg 42min N, Longitude 154deg 42min W. We are sailing southwest at a bit over five knots.
The crew of VALIS


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