Day 1 to Noumea
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sat 7 Nov 2015 13:00
Day 1 to Noumea, New Caledonia
After our emotional ‘farewell’ with Donald and Lotta yesterday, we had hoped to run away to sea unnoticed – that was not to be, at half past seven two canoes paddled out to see us off. They waved and waved, one of the hardest places so far to have to leave.........still a happy last picture of the Ni-Vanuatu – the people of Vanuatu.
By eight thirty Dillon’s Bay and Erromango were fading fast. Engine off, we were sailing in perfect winds, strange, as the forecast was for little wind dying off tonight.
The afternoon soon fell into ‘life at sea’ rhythm, Bear enjoyed chicken stew, beat me at backgammon, (grooowwwwlllll – oo I’m typing this on Bear’s laptop and he has proper brackets) and the winds picked up a bit. Promise of a pretty sunset as the afternoon light began to fade, Zeddy Bear snored gently and I settled to a really good audiobook that had me absorbed in minutes.
Sunset was indeed a pretty one. Bear enjoyed a really good sleep in his usual place, laying opposite me in the cockpit. I did have to turn my book up a notch to hear above the snoring, but I have never insisted he wear his Snore Ring – other than in bed. I went off at ten after covering twenty five nautical miles with the clouds looking like things may get a bit interesting. Bed was fun to say the least, Beez was leaning heavily to the right which makes getting up on our bed into a high, high jump, roll and flop against the wall padded with Bear’s pillows. Settled. Half an hour later I found myself more laying on the wall than the bed and it took a good fifteen minutes to get up. Had it been near two I wouldn’t have bothered but as it was before midnight - I went to have a word..........Oh, I’ll spill some wind. That would be good as there was no need to be doing seven and half knots as we have to time our way into the Pass de Yate in daylight...........OK I’ll do what I can. Bed round two. Things became more upright but a few short, sharp squalls made for incredibly noisy waves. It seemed no sooner than I had got my nest straight than Bear was calling me for my shift. Despite his sail changes he still managed to do twenty four miles.
Thoroughly enjoying my audiobook and always enjoying my two till six, I settled to big, steady winds, no squalls and millions of stars. I always love the deep darkness of this shift but recently have been seeing sunrise – a new experience for me. Well, colour me with an odd _expression_ - the weirdest thing. This was the skyline to my left at four this morning. I could see quite well across the sea by half past and switched everything to daylight settings by five.........
I got up at ten to a beautiful, sunny day with the sea a lovely blue and the sky with few clouds to mar the perfect hue. Over Bear’s shoulder I could see the first of the islands of New Cal – Tiga. We worked out that we needed to slow to four knots and Bear went forward to reef the main.
I haven’t seen Mr. Clam Mouth for ages, my giggling woke the ‘by now frowning, you’re mean’ face, and told him to lay down. I was only resting my eyes. Funny how you snore with that then.................
07:30 to Midday yesterday 21 nm
Midday to midday today 161.7 nm
Distance to go 118 nm
ALL IN ALL A MIXED OL’ BAG
I KNOW, BUT I STILL LOVE YOU
STEADY..........YOU’D BE SURPRISED WHAT I CAN DO WITH A FULL TUBE OF SMOKY BBQ PRINGLES........