Sailing in the Glorious NE Trade Winds

Sat 7 Feb 2004 06:29
7th February 2004. On passage from Olimarao to Yap

Dear All

We are currently on passage from Olimarao to Yap, and about time as we are
about a month late, as usual! We are pushing on in the hopes that we
may get there by dark tomorrow (Sunday 8th). We were not expecting to get
there before Monday morning, but we have had such a good run in the glorious
NE trades that yesterday we did 164 miles in 24 hours so we may get there
early! We are currently doing 7.5 knots so there is hope!

There is nothing quite like this romping along. There is a full moon all
night and glorious weather during the day and we have so far caught a small
Bonito and a pretty big Wahoo so we are eating well as well!

Olimarao was Heaven. Except for the first day when some fishermen came to
hunt turtles from Lamotrek (40 miles away) we were completely on our own.
The place was absolutely alive with breeding sea birds. This is something
we have really missed since New Zealand. The tropics south of the equator
were almost completely devoid of sea birds and apart from the odd turn,
booby and frigate bird there was nothing worth mentioning. Here there
were10s of thousands of birds. Brown Noddies were nesting in the trees and
the brave parent stayed on the nest protecting its scrawny chick while we
peered into the nest and eggs on the lower branches. On the sand there were
breading White Turns, completely white with only black eyes and a beak,
Blacked Napped Turns, and Swift or Crested Turns, all of whom squawked over
head as we walked around the island. The Island was also home to the Wedged
Tailed Shearwater, which we don't think were breading but were there in huge
numbers. There were also a few pairs of Frigate birds and we watched them
having dog fights with the noddies forcing the noddie to give up its catch
to the Frigate bird, who can not fish for itself as it can not get its
feathers salty.

It was also a breeding beach for turtles and we saw many of their tracks up
the beach like that of a piste basher in France. Some of the tracks looked
quite fresh but we never actually managed to see one on land, despite seeing
a few while we were snorkelling.

But we couldn't justify staying in this bliss just for the sake of it so
Peter decided, what better place to rewire the supply side of the electrics,
fit the new alternator and new regulator. And it was a perfect place.
Three days later we had a beautiful Pingesk wiring system, all neatly laid
out with the alternator finally putting in a good amount of amps to our
brand new (in NZ) but crap batteries. It was well worth doing and why wait
until we get to a grimy port where we can not go swimming and we can only
spend money to do it. Peter has been seen taking the companionway steps off
to "check the engine," but I suspect it is to admire his handiwork!

So we are on the way to Yap where we will be until Wednesday 11the Feb
weather etc permitting and from there we will head to the Philippines. We
will be able to check our land based email in Yap so if anyone wants to send
us an email we would love to hear from you. Our address is
pingmarine {CHANGE TO AT} hotmail {DOT} com

So loads of love as ever from the Pacific Ocean

Katharine and Peter