Latitude: 24 degrees 27 minutes South, Longitude: 171 degrees 21 minutes East.
Yesterday we donned our wet-weather gear (hopefully) for the last time as a nasty cold front passed over us with 25 – 35 knots of wind. Fortunately it only lasted about 10 hours, but they were a very uncomfortable 10 hours! Because the wind direction changes throughout the passing of a front, the seas become very confused, with wind waves coming from seemingly every direction. Combine that with two solid ground swells, a SW and a SE, and you’ve got a messy situation. We made little progress, and managed to get fairly wet in the process. Thankfully the crew’s stomaches are now rock-solid, so we were all able to tough-out the hobby-horsing motion of Khulula well enough. The one nice thing about cold fronts is that they move quickly, so by 6 o’clock last night things had calmed down, the seas sorted themselves out and we were again pointing towards Vanuatu and making good speed through the water.
Today the boots and rain pants were a distant memory; we’re all rocking shorts and bare feet!
Along with the warming temperatures, we’ve started to see evidence in the water of our steady progress to the tropics. Yesterday we spotted 5 coconuts floating in the water, and today a palm frond. Fortunately we haven’t made any sightings of the petrochemical variety yet, but we’ll report back if we do.