HALFWAY to the MARQUESAS
Sun 4 May 2014 19:52
We have just completed 10 days at sea.. and are now over half way to the Marquesas. the position is what it was when I completed this epistle
We left Isabela, Galapagos at 12.30 (boat time, which happened to be Panama time) (17.30 gmt) on the 24th April...So we have just completed 10 days at sea
Headed south west with the spinnaker set as a genoa to try and get to the trade winds... well at about 4 knots boat speed and that at an optimum close reach sailing angle lasted for a very slow 180 miles and we got to the wind at 1am on day 2 (boat/panama time) ... and it was like going through an invisible wall... 1 minute, 5 to 6 knots of wind, the next 15 to 20 knots and headed by 20 degrees... just one snag... we had the spinnaker up at the time!!!!! ... so all hands on deck and some really good teamwork and down she came and got stowed away... and probably will not get used again on this trip! ..So still close reaching off we went in the night (no moon) at 7 to 8 knots with full sail up..... the following day gave a 20 knot plus wind so I helmed all day to get some miles under the keel.... but it was a real bumpy one... and we were charging across the main swell line with it coming directly from abeam.... well that put Lisa out of action for the next 7 days!!!!!!!
Late that afternoon 2 reefs went in the main and genoa and I gave the helm back to George (the autopilot) .... by the following morning the wind down to 15 knots ish and more or less that is the way it has been.... one day of rain .. since then mainly sunny with a few squalls .... the whole way to the half distance mark....sometimes shaking the reefs out of the genoa , other times putting them back in again as the wind fluctuated between 12 and 22 knots and very little change of wind direction .... just one day of rain .. since then mainly sunny with a few squalls ... but an amazingly cold wind... at night we have our full ocean musto suits on... I had a woolly-back shirt and thermal long johns underneath... + thick gloves and hat... after 6 hours in the cockpit at night we were still not hot!!!!! during the day in the wind we still needed our musto tops on ... and we are less than 5 degree from the equator!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1 day we managed a 190 mile run (with a good assist from the current) ... just 1 mile LESS .... grrrrr ....than our previous all time best (which was on the last atlantic crossing with Paul)
So we reached the halfway mark 1467 n miles early in the morning on day 9 (saturday) that is "boat time"
A couple of side notes... with just the two of us we let George do most of the helming... but every course change or wind strength or direction change.... I take over on the helm.... and rebalance the boat (sail trimming) to minimise the strain on the helm... and hopefully prolong Georges active life!!!!
We eat our evening meal quite early... then I go to my bunk in the main saloon (Pauls berth) so I can "feel" what is going on and be topside very quickly if need be.... Lisa then is "on watch" up top until 1 am... when I take over and she kips till usually about 8 am. ... and in 1600miles of ocean so far we have seen 3 trawlers and 1 other proper vessel ... all at night!
Boat time... ie the time WE are using to run our daily lives.... It started as Panama time and we did not change it in Galapagos so that we got up early in the morning to make the most of every day there.... It will finish on this leg as Marquesa time , which is 9.5 hours behind GMT.... So every 10 degree west we go we put our boat time clocks back 1 hour... so when we get to Hiva Oa, Marquesas we just make the final 30 minute change.
Days or more accurately "boat days"... are always 24 hours long (ie ignore the boat clock changes) and start at the moment we up anchored in Isabela ie 12.30 am by the then boat time ( now it would be 10.30 am by the now boat time as we have already shifted by 2 hours.... hope that makes sense!!!!!
After we passed the halfway mark everything started changing.... so lets see what happens over the next 1000 miles. ............