//WL2K

Hawaiian lullaby After 11 days of being lulled into ?preparing to leave? we finally made our break from Hawaii on Wednesday afternoon. After arriving there on Aug 15th, we had the boat ready to go within a few days as planned. But Mother Nature had other plans. Part of our preparation is of course checking weather, and as you may have read in the previous blog, there was a tropical storm threatening Hawaii and the surrounding area – so prudence prevailed and we waited it out. Which was not altogether bad at all! A night in the wonderful Marriott Hotel, some extra boat jobs done, a few more happy hours with our neighbours. Not bad at all! Trouble though when a new tropical storm started to develop right on the heels of the previous one; and another one behind that one! And in between these storms, you guessed it ? NO WIND. Now what – wait another week? Another 2 weeks? As I watched Cress pour over the weather information each day, and also watched his increasing straining at the collar to leave, I knew something had to give. Sunday, we thought we would leave Monday, Monday we thought we would leave Tuesday?.. On Wednesday afternoon at the internet cafe (checking the weather of course) Cress was assessing the next tropical storm ? ?Ignacio? – its location, predicted path and strength and it was one of those moments of ? ?Let?s just go now! If we leave right now, we will be 100 miles further away from that storm than if we leave tomorrow morning?. So that was it, we high tailed it back to the boat, topped up the water tanks, let the mooring lines go and away we went. It was actually a relief to be moving, taking action, making tracks! We knew that we still had 6 days to get ahead of Ignacio, and that should give us ample time to get completely out if its range ? that is assuming the forecasted path remains the same. It is now Friday afternoon, 2 days out and in fact the tradewinds have filled in (after about 24 hours of motor sailing), and we are 200 NM along our track. As far as storm tracking goes, we know that Tropical Storm Ignacio is still out there, about 800 nautical miles ESE of us ? tracking WNW. We are actually sailing across its projected path on a northbound course. In fact we are now crossing where the eye of the storm will be 5 days from now! At least that?s what the forecast says. Suffice it to say that we are keeping our own ?eye? on Ignacio ourselves, and right now all is looking good. It does seem weird to be crossing a path where you know in 5 days the seas will be a lot higher and the wind a lot stronger. It?s a bit like thinking you know the future. Kind of like crossing the street where you know there will be a traffic accident in a few days. Ahhhh, but we all know that predictions are just that ? predictions. We shall see how accurate the forecast is within the next week. In the meantime, we will enjoy the great sailing we are experiencing now. Wind from the NE at 15 knots, sunny, blue skies, puffy clouds on the horizon which make for gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, (we witnessed the reddest sunset ever seen last night) and at dusk last evening we had no less than 10 tropical birds of some sort land on the bow pulpit and hitch a ride with us all night! Not sure what they were, blue slender beak, mostly white body with dark wing feathers and red/orange feet. They were practically stacked double decked on each of the rails and fighting each other for a prime landing spot. Great entertainment, and never a dull moment out here. Irena

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