s/v OCEANS pics. in the South Pacific

Blog from Captain Rick

Taiohae Baie to Hooumi Bay

We left Taiohae Baie at 3:30pm, 7NM to Hooumi Bay. We tried too sail out of the bay only to be reminded of sailing on Lake George, where 180 degree wind changes were common and often. This boat is wider than that boat was long. Quick fast tacks (turns) with out more crew are not quick. We motored into the wind the whole 7NM. Anchor down at 5:00pm. A peaceful beautiful mountain valley anchorage with one other boat there. No one was on it.

We decided to sail to Anahoe Bay. It’s a rainy, cloudy, dreary kind of day. So off we go! As we leave I am awed by our surroundings, again. We are traveling through a mountainous valley with cliffs, peaks, forested slopes and rock pinnacles on 3 sides of us. To travel through such mountain beauty and do it on a boat is unusual and awesome. As we leave the calm bay and begin to get to the open ocean, Teri, says to me ‘I’m glad it’s not rough out.’ I can’t stop smiling at this comment. I am so happy for her sweet sailing attitude. The waves currently are about 8 feet high on 6-7 second periods. Unfortunately, the sea state deteriorated significantly in the next 20 minutes. As the white caps engulf us, I note we are now in 180 feet deep water. We are mildly surprised to see on our port side 1,000 feet away a rock the size of a large pickup truck, just barely sticking out of the water. No markers, lights, or buoys exist here. It would rip the bottom out of a boat, and be the last day that unfortunate boat ever sailed. As the rock has been past and it appears we have open ocean ahead, the waves continue to grow and more concerning the wave period continues to shrink. (Wave height is the height of the wave, measured on the backside of the wave. Wave period (much more important to us), is the number of seconds from the top of one wave to the next. >7 seconds = Great! 4-5 seconds = Rough and <4 seconds = ride like inside of a washing machine). We are now in 10 foot seas. I decide to check that all is well and secured at the bows. All is secure and the thrill of Oceans launching skyward off the tops of the waves only to then drop 16 feet down between the waves with no slap, boom or harsh impact as her narrow hulls slice into the waves, then back to skyward. I was hooting and howling with joy, while having a very tight hold to the pelican striker. Comfortably and safely seated back at the helm, for 5-6 mins., when a massive wave came over the bow dumping 3-4 feet of water onto the trampoline I was standing on. It blew the rope lacing line that secures the trampoline in place apart in 28 places. The wave periods were down too 3 seconds, everything on the boat was being given a hard workout. Quickly changing course to go more with the waves and reduce more damage potential. Our next planned destination was 4 hours away. We quickly decide it was no longer desirable to go to Anahoe Bay. New heading straight downwind, we found it much more acceptable. It was still rather lumpy. We are sailing back to Taiohae Baie on a downwind run. It was delightful. Teri made a starboard turn at the bay, sailed us all the way to our anchoring location and remained at the helm throughout the anchoring process. She did it perfectly. I am so proud of her. At peace, safely and comfortably anchored it was time for lunch. What a great 1/2 day!!! RR