Tonga 4

May 22, 2019

It’s Wacky Wednesday! This is just a way to distract the children (or maybe just me) from the fact that our destination is arriving more slowly than we had hoped. Oddly, unlike car or plane trips, the kids almost never ask “When are we going to get there?” Maybe because, at least for them, we are already “there.” 

Everything they care about (apart from family and friends) is already with them, on the boat. They aren’t the kind of kids that immediately rush off the boat to explore when we arrive in a new place. 

Interruption – I was about to tell you how sticky and calm and cloying it was out. Last night, after I wrote, the wind picked up and we turned the engines off and sailed quite well for a long time. We mostly sailed today until a few hours ago when we started motorsailing.

My watch had just started and I was reducing my clothing because it was so humid and hot. Cobin was watching Kurgesagt videos (really interesting YouTube channel) and I was watching over his shoulder, learning if we are really alive (up for debate). I went back out to glance at things and start writing this when a huge cool breeze swished through and the wind changed direction by 60 degrees and jumped 10 knots. 

I called Joe to come up and noticed a giant wall of black clouds all around us. I knew there were squalls around because I had been enjoying a lightning show to the south and Chris had told me that he was watching something in front of us when he went off watch. I had turned the radar on but saw nothing at all and figured whatever was out there was a long ways off. Oops.

Now we are in it but on our way out. There was a flurry of activity as I ran around shutting ports and hatches and moving things inside that we didn’t want wet. The wind gusted to 20 and Joe put a reef in the main while I turned the boat downwind to minimize the impact on us. We had taken all the other sails down earlier since the wind had dropped to 4 knots.

So, normal sailing. “Long periods of boredom, punctuated by short periods of excitement.” Not sure who said that but it seems to be true. We are going at right angles to our destination now but once we get out of the storm, we will adjust.

Luckily, it looks like Sky was far enough behind us to avoid getting caught. Or perhaps they were doing a better job than I and took evasive action. In any case, I am watching them skirt the storm to the right while we plow through the middle. In fact, it is now reconsolidating on top of us with some lightning in the distance for good measure. At least the wind and rain is fairly light at the moment.

More later – off to do my job!

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