Day 3 - 14 18.590S 143 58.086W

Mike and Liz Downing
Fri 18 Jun 2010 02:05
Our noon to noon run was 136.3 miles - similar to yesterday, but the conditions have been quite different. The full main and full working genoa were up all night - the first time for a long time. The sea was quite flat, the stars were out in fantastic numbers and the wind a gentle 10 to 12kts. It was a gamble to keep all that sail up, but we were prepared to get it all down in the middle of the night if we had to - we're getting quite good at that now! At 07.00 we still had all the sail up, but by 08.00 we had reefed twice. Most of the day has been spent with 2 reefs in the main and a well rolled genoa. We even have the storm jib flying inside the genoa on the cutter stay so it's there when have to reduce sail further, which has happened a few times. The winds have been around 15 to 20kts, with periods up to 25kts. The sky is overcast and there are lots of squalls about in all directions. So weather-wise the night has become day and the day has become night. We would much rather it was this way around and have peaceful nights, although the advantage of rough conditions at night is that you can't see how bad they really are!

We saw our first sign of life yesterday afternoon when a boat appeared on the horizon and headed for us. We thought it was a French Navy patrol boat, as one had intercepted us when sailing along the coast of Nuku-Hiva a few days back. They just wanted to know who we were and where we were going, and had we seen any fishing boats - illegal industrial style fishing goes on in French Polynesian waters. However, it wasn't a Navy boat and it stopped 2 miles away. It ignored our calls on the VHF and just stayed there as we sailed off over the horizon. We think it must have been a fishing boat. It couldn't have been much else out here and it did have lots of lights on when it got dark, but we will never know.

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