Last night, at 10 pm, we encountered a sudden, intense squall that caused us to close all sails and drift under bare poles the rest of the evening. Captain Bob Perkins estimated wind speeds in the squall at 50 knots. It was “all hands on deck” to get the sails closed and the crew performed very well and safely under demanding, “no-notice” conditions. We drifted west 10.5 nautical miles during the eight hours we were hove to, an average of 1.3 knots. This morning, we have resumed our course of 340 degrees True (Nā Leo Ho’olua) under reefed working jib, double-reefed main and double-reefed mizzen – the smallest sail set we can fly without closing sails. Everyone is fine and did well in this terrific – if wet – training opportunity.
weather: Almost complete cumulous overcast (7/8 coverage). A few clear patches. Some wind-torn, mackerel mid-level clouds. No high clouds visible. Rain nearby, humid.
wind: northeast 25 knots
sea state: East 6 to 8 feet predominant, northeast 4 to 5 feet, southeast 4 to 5 feet. Wind waves and chop.
vessel and crew condition: all ok
Celestial Observations, Navigation Stars, Planets and Moon Phases
6 pm to 10 pm watch – Our watch had no steering stars. Our heading at the beginning of the shift was Nālani Ho’olua (340 degrees True, west of North). We were moving slowly in light airs, which then began to shift around forcing us to sail a course of 270 degrees True. As we prepared to tack, the winds again allowed us to resume our heading of 340 degrees True. Then, the squall described below struck suddenly and we closed all the sails.
10 pm to 2 am and 2 am to 6 am watches: drifted, hove to, under bare poles until 6 am.
Hawaiian Star Compass (Click on the link for an explanation of the names of the directional houses of the compass. Click on the compass for a larger image.)