As the days turn into weeks.....

Graham Shaw
Sun 15 May 2011 00:06
The Marquesas are the group of islands which form the northeastern extremity of French Polynesia, and are the first thing you come across heading westwards from the Galapagos.  If one were to sail all the way round the world (which this one is not), the gap between the Galapagos Islands and the Marquesas is the greatest distance which would have to be covered in the whole circumnavigation.  Three thousand miles of open ocean which cannot be avoided.  So after three wonderful weeks at Academy Bay on the island of Santa Cruz in the Galapagos we set out on May 3rd.  Yesterday (May 13th) we passed the halfway mark.  All being well, another ten days to go.  The weather has been good so far, with relatively light winds behind us all the way, and only the occasional squall (no more than 30 knots of wind so far).  We have been able to fly the spinnaker most days, and progress is not too bad. 
This area is very much off the beaten track for commercial shipping, so we were surprised to see this eastbound Maersk containership a couple of days ago.  Surprised, but pleased to see some signs of life.  I'm afraid this uninspiring photo is the only one we've taken so far, so it's the only one to feature in this episode!
Despite this being the only life we have seen, we are not alone out here!  We check in every day with a "net" on the SSB (long range) radio, along with up to about twenty or thirty other boats all heading the same way.  Some are still in the Galapagos, and others are already at the Marquesas, but most are somewhere in the middle, like us.  It is nice to keep up with everyone else's progress, and uselful to hear what the weather conditions are like elsewhere.  The radio has become very useful on this trip, and we have been able to have conversations with friends up to about two and a half thousand miles away, so I am very pleased with it.
We are (not very) busily passing the time cooking (including making bread most days - one of the crew would eat nothing but, if he were allowed!) and eating, and putting the spinnaker up and down.  And Lucas is busy eating, drawing, occasionally writing his name almost unassisted now, playing with cars, trains, etc., and watching dvds - favourites being either Thomas the Tank Engine or Top Gear!  Lorraine and I are grateful to have a large selection of stuff to watch as well - it helps pass the time.
So far we have not done any fishing on this trip - the reason being that we wanted to finish all the fish which was still in the freezer following the previous passage, which we have now done, so it is time to get the lines out again. 
Watch this space next time for more exciting news....