With a quick crew changeover after successfully making it through the Panama Canal locks, our crossing team is officially on the long 3-week leg of their journey back home…
Captain Nick Shaw 10/22 @ 14:00 hours
With our Cummins straight 6 turbo diesel engines humming in synchronicity, and over 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board, we have lost sight of land. The seas are calm and the wind fair. The crew is rested, and the boat provisioned for a long 3-week transit.
After a brief visit and crew change, the Trilogy 4 delivery crew departed Panama City at approximately 1445 hours on 10/18. As we said a hui hou to Captain Jim Whipple, Captain RaGhoul, and Officer LOL, Kai once again became misty eyed with the reality of departing our three dear friends and fellow crew members. The crew now consists of Captain Denver, Captain Katie, Captain Kai, and myself, Captain Nick Shaw.
As I write, we are 75nm south of Panama with our position at 5deg.56’N 81deg14’W, and a compass heading of 231deg. SW. Captain Denver has set a waypoint of 3deg9’N, 83deg59’W. We should reach this position at 0400 hours tomorrow morning as long as we maintain 12knots. As you may know, Maui is at approximately 20deg. N latitude, so traveling south out of Panama may seem counter intuitive, but with plans to visit the Galapagos, and Marquesas on our way home, we must first head SW.....JUST KIDDING! Captain Denver’s plan is to take a southerly route to avoid any tropical disturbances (or as Captain Jim Whipple calls them: “little spinny things”) that may be in the Pacific during our transit. These low-pressure systems form near the Baja peninsula of Mexico and track west, but generally stay above 10degN latitude. Once we reach our aforementioned waypoint, we should be feeling a southerly wind pattern and will change our compass heading to approximately 270deg W, in preparation for an almost 3000nm broad reach.
With only 4 crew (and no LOL) on board, the boat is very quiet. Kai is still sleeping 18+ hours a day, and quickly approaching panda bear status. Katie’s LaCroix stash is already low, but now being the only person on board who likes the taste of carbonated sand, her reserves should hold out fairly well. Denver is happy to be on board, and to be without cell service for a while, and I can typically be found lying on my pink flamingo print bed sheets watching the Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia discography for the 1,000th time.
Day 5 update (10/23)
We have now traveled over 1000nm since leaving Panama. The seas are no longer calm, as we have found our southerly wind. The wind is blowing 15-20knots out of the SSW, and with a compass heading of 270degW, it has been a fairly wet past few days with both rain and the occasional wave coming over the port ama and washing across the deck and cabin top, spilling into the galley. The swell is 4-6’. We are flying our working jib, and mainsail in the second reef position. We are motor sailing and using only one engine at a time. Engine RPMs are between 1400-1500, giving us a fuel burn of 2.5g/hr, and helping us maintain an average of 10knts. The skies have been covered with dark grey stratus clouds for our entire trip, with the exception of a 15-minute break today, where we had the blessing of blue skies, fluffy white cumulus clouds, and beautiful sun shine to warm our skin. It’s incredible how even just a few days at sea can teach you how to appreciate the simplest things life has to offer. We’ve transitioned to a fairly loose watch schedule during the day (very different from the first leg), with each of us taking a turn at the helm at no particular time or for any particular duration. However, at night, we start our watches at 8pm and each of us is on duty for two hours on, 6 hours off, throughout the whole evening. The combination of an odd sleep cycle and grey weather has caused the days to slowly blend into one another, with only a few (very) small highlights to tell them apart.
Katie has been writing our day’s highlights on the cupboards in the galley. So far, it looks something like this:
Day 1 – Caught aku, saw dolphins
Day 2 – Caught mahi mahi (but lost it), saw dolphins
Day 3 – Saw humpback whale
Day 4 – 1,000 miles, 1/5 of the way home
Day 5 – Sun showed up (briefly), Shaw tried to hand feed bird
So as you can see… thrilling stuff here. ;) We are hoping for the wind to clock more to the South East in the next day or so, which will allow us to sail off the wind and with the swell, hopefully giving us a smoother and faster ride. There is a chance we will make it to Hawaii before our estimated Nov. 8 arrival date, however, we have all mentally prepared ourselves for a longer voyage… though it never hurts to be optimistic while out on the open ocean.
All in all, it seems as though everyone is settling into life at sea and is doing their best to appreciate the voyage. While our fresh food is running out, the wind forecast is looking better, and we are all excited that we could be surfing this newly built catamaran down the faces of open ocean swells at 15knots in the near future.
Stay tuned for more…
Edited by: Cyndie Ellis