LANDFALL - NUKU HIVA
Blue Sky's Voyage
George & Michael
Sun 7 Mar 2010 01:07
Hello Everybody "8:55.1N 140:05.9W"
Thanks for waiting - you've been patient (we hope) while we were our of satellite coverage. We're now far enough west to get the necessary beam on the Pacific Ocean satellite and we hope to get some WiFi whilst in French Polynesia.
When we warned you about communications, we'd enjoyed good wind for almost a week and were covering a steady 180 -190 miles a day. Since then we've had rather light wind and very much from astern, which as the yachties will know, is not a happy sailing condition. So we've been gybing our way to the islands in light winds for the last 600 miles or so.
[For those blog readers not of a nautical persuasion, sailing dead downwind is almost as difficult as attempting to sail directly into the wind. The boat rolls and the apparent wind is reduced by your speed. It's much better to put the true wind 30 degrees or so on the quarter. Then the speed of the boat brings the apparent wind up further and you get better boat speed and a more comfortable motion with a steady press on the sails. It's also less time to
your destination, despite the greater distance.]
Our careful work - or to be specific the work of Alex and Simon - in careening the hull before we left Costa Rica, has been much appreciated as Blue Sky has slipped along well at 6 knot speeds in only 10 knots apparent at about 120 deg. Shortly after the last blog we put the sky blue spinnaker up and it's been up day and night since.
Alex was the first to spy land as the sun rose this morning - Ua Huka glowering at us out of the wreathing clouds. Unfortunately the winds have been really, really light since then and with only 20 miles to go, we reluctantly started the engine. We did wait a couple of hours for the wind to return, but were rewarded with only uncontrolled roll and flogging sails. Anyway, the engine will allow us to arrive comfortably in mid afternoon.
This is the south east tip of Nuku Hiva...
Our crossing took 27 days and 8 hours, covered about 3,850 miles over the sea bed
and about 3,650 miles through the water, with the benefit of some good favourable
currents. We used something over 30 imperial gallons of diesel - which is about half
our supply, including 4 jerry cans. We must confess that we started out, knowingly,
with only half full water tanks, such is our faith in the watermaker and power systems
and the tanks are now full despite free water usage and daily showers.
Here's our anchorage in Baie de Taiohae
It's just possible that we'll take a glass or two this evening to celebrate our journey,
so don't email too early on Sunday morning ! We'll catch up on email replies over the next couple of days.
George, Michael, Alex and Simon