Well, we've passed the 1/2 way mark for the passage. Actually, we've sailed more than 1/2 the distance as we looked for wind in the beginning. But we've now got 1,291 miles remaining, from an original route of 2,902.
Winds have gotten a bit flukey...shifts from SE to E have us jibing the genoa to the port side, poled out with our whisker pole, and running close to dead down wind. Depending on the swell, this can get pretty rolly and uncomfortable, so then we take down the pole, jibe the genny back, and the drill repeats. Yesterday we dropped the main completely, and just flew the poled out genny to port, and the staysail to starboard...pretty cruisy downwind sailing!
Our Hydrovane self steering system had been making creaking, crunching noises for several days. Not good. As the winds and seas increased, the noises got worse, and we could see one of the support tubes, held by a bracket at the stern working back and forth. Not good at all! We really didn't want it to work loose, and the only way to stop the pressure was to remove the rudder. So, in 12' swells, with 30 knot winds, we "hove to", to stop our forward progress, and Adam climbed down the swim ladder to reach and remove the rudder. A bit hairy, but all was quickly secured, and we were back underway w/o a hitch. Now relying on our excellent electric autopilot for steering, no worries.
With the variable winds, our progress has slowed a bit, with today's run at 146 mi, after 7 consecutive at 158-165. But we've had some beautiful sunny skies, and amazing stars at night, especially before the moonrise. Still no fresh fish to report...this area of the ocean is a famous dry spot for fishing. But we have seen 2 large fishing boats on radar since we left nearly 2 weeks ago, and that's all the ship traffic we've spotted....this is is a pretty sparsely populated corner of the planet!
Oh, here's the updated tracking info for folks to check our progress online:
All good aboard Bravo
Adam and Cindi