From Kaohsiung to Puerto Galera II

In the afternoon the wind was gradually intensifying and before the dinner we had the second reef in the mainsail and genoa was replaced by a reefing jib. Even under the reduced canvas we maintained 5.5-6 knots over ground. The waves were growing by the minute and as Janna surfed down their slopes the speed was reaching 8 knots.
We had very delicious instant vegetarian rise from Jessica Ou, the Cape Horn windvane was steering very reliably. We were nevertheless little nervous if the wind and especially the waves are going to grow even further. The night was uneventful and soon we got used to the wind and the waves and we started to hope these conditions will hold. The watches were relaxing, one only had to stand up to look around and inspect each quadrant with a little more care so as not to miss a light due to the big swell. But we could see only one or two ships. Our strategy to sail further offshore payed off. When we had the north coast of Luzon on our beam we were about 70 miles offshore.
In the afternoon the wind started to weaken and in the evening we were once again battling with insufficient wind and still quite considerable swell, which was taking the wind out of our sails.
The next two days were spent by hypnotizing the sails. Whenever they bellied and stayed that way for more than ten seconds, we fixed our concentrated stares at them hoping to keep them that way. Then we felt Janna’s stern to lift on a swell and the mast whipped through the air. When the sails only collapsed, we were cheering. Mostly, though, the swing of the mast was faster then the strength of the wind, and the sails followed the mast as if it was a flagpole waved by a zealous boy-scout in a parade and then the mast swung back and a then came the loud bang. Janna shuddered and so did we. If this continued for a while and we couldn’t help it by steering, the sails went down. Whenever there was the tiniest of zephyrs we hoisted the gennaker made out of light nylon, but sometimes even the gennaker was too much of cloth for the joke of a wind.
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From Kaohsiung to Puerto Galera

We left Kaohsing at 9am. We have announced our departure for 8am, but who would’ve expected that the water hoses we used to leave on the dock would be so unbelievably dirty. Partially UV rays working on the plastic, partially the ever-present dirt of Kaohsiung. It took almost a pint of acetone to clean.
Just before eight o’clock Kevin arrived. I have greeted him in my swim trunks, because I was just about to dive to check our propeller and the state of our rudder. There’s a little play around the bottom hinge, nothing serious, but something we need to take care of when we haul out in the Philippines. I scraped only couple of tube worms from the prop, otherwise everything was quite clean, since Jana scraped the whole boat few days ago.
Just when I climbed out of water, the immigration officers arrived to stamp us out of the country. I wrapped a towel around my waist and stretched my hand to great them. There were three of them, two guys, who whole-heartedly shook my head, and one lady, who kept her distance from this water dripping man.
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