Hello Friends, Nate the engineer here. What an amazing day! Here we are sailing through the Tuamotu Archipelago. We started the morning with sunrise appreciation, very important time of the day. It is happening pretty early here, around 0530 in the morning. We have been sticking to the archipelago to get further east without having to deal with a head on swell and easterly trade winds. The Islands create quite an effect on the surrounding ocean, which works to our advantage. There are somewhere around 72 islands in the archipelago that span hundreds of miles. This really breaks up the swell from the East that gets built up by the trade winds.
Also the Islands warm more than the surrounding sea; this creates some rising currents of air which disrupt the Easterly trade winds. This is quite helpful for us as we are heading east.
From an engineering perspective, we had a great day. Ben was our student engineer; he got a pretty sweet opportunity to do some generator maintenance. Every 1500 hours of operation, our generators get a really thorough inspection and cleaning. Ben, Nolan and I had an opportunity to cleanse ourselves along with the starboard generator, as it was around 120deg F in the engine room. Ben also helped me wire up a switch for a fan which helps cool the generator. We rounded out the morning getting an LAN, or local apparent noon. This is a celestial navigation technique for finding our latitude. It involves the use of a sextant (fancy protractor), a watch and the nautical almanac.
The afternoon's excitement came with the call "Fish On." We proceeded to haul a beautiful bonito tuna onboard. Evan did a beautiful job fileting the tuna; he says it was his first time but nobody would have guessed that. Students and crew were full of gratitude for today's catch. As I am writing this blog, the stewards are preparing tuna steaks for the ships' company!
Just as sunrise came early, so did the sunset. I popped up on deck a bit before 1800 (6pm). There was a group of folks on deck enjoying a gorgeous rainbow formed over one of the atolls that we were getting a close look at. Sunset appreciation has a strong showing, even though there was a squall that got us a bit wet. We were keeping our eyes peeled for coconuts floating in the ocean, did not see any. We are collecting as many as possible to make fresh coconut milk!
Aloha and Mahalo,