Sunday 1st July - Approaching the End of the Road

Jon & Carol Dutton
Mon 2 Jul 2012 05:36

8:32.40S 135:02.14W

Sunday 1st July – We Can Almost Smell the Coffee

It’s now around 2130 ship’s time on Sunday and 0630 BST on Monday morning in the UK.  We have had excellent winds for the past two days – sometimes a bit more than we’d really like by night in the fairly frequent minor squalls – and have generally been making around 8 knots over the ground in 15-20 knots of wind from the ESE.  Patched-up Percy has been a star.

Right now we have about 250NM to run to Hiva Oa which is the largest island in the Marquesas archipelago and fairly central within the group.  We don’t want to head direct for Nuka Hiva – from which island Chris flies out on Saturday – because that is around 90NM to the NW.  Arnamentia will go to both in due course but the order in which she does it is moderately important.  In these easterly winds a passage from Hiva Oa to Nuka Hiva should be a piece of cake .  T’other way about will be distinctly challenging.

By this time tomorrow we should have well under 100NM to run and be looking to come to anchor in Tahauku Bay close to the port of Atuona, on the south of the island, sometime on Tuesday morning.  If that all works out the 3,000NM passage will have taken less than 18 days which is very respectable – an overall average speed of 7 knots.

Our clocks and watches all go back a further hour (to GMT-9 hours) at tomorrow (Monday) lunchtime – as you can see we have just crossed the 135º meridian.  We’ll put them back a further half hour once we get to anchor to conform to local Marquesas time.  So; we’ll be 10.5 hours behind BST from Tuesday morning onwards.