April 8

At dawn we gybed South and are proceeding under main & mizzen with wind from the NNE at 20k on a heading of 170M over ground (which is actually 180True so is in fact Due South). We are hoping the gradual wind shift to the NE marking the NE Trades will occur soon and we can modify our course more to the West. Our desired course is actually 226M.

After listening to the morning radio network (on Marine SSB) we decided to pole out the genoa and see if it would indeed allow us to point further downwind. Indeed it was a success. We were reluctant because we have never been able to set the pole properly before. This time we used a foreguy and afterguy and it made all the difference. We are now sailing downwind with a poled out jib to port and main and mizzen to stbd with both booms extended. We also put a single reef in the mainsail just for caution as reports lead us to expect an increase in wind to 20-25k soon.

At 10:15am local (Pacific) time we are sailing downwind at 7.3k over ground on a heading of 197M and making appx. 204True over the ground. The winds are 15-20 from the NNE and the sea swell is app. 8-10feet nd lumpy. The cover has finally lifted and we are under a sunny sky with 75% clouds.

At 1:30pm local we are flying along in 20k wind making between 7.5 - 9k over ground (occasionally we touch 10k for a moment) running wing-and-wing with the genoa poled out to port as before. The swells are large (from 8-12ft) but are now coming from behind, although we occasionally get into a corkscrew oscillation which is not fun.

Between 2pm and 7pm we bounced along at 8+k mostly. Around dinner time we pulled in the mainsail a bit to reduce speed and continued on a course of 196M at 7-8k.