The first bus

Miss Molly 4
Bob & Peggy Wilkerson/Geoff & Merel Pettifer
Sun 20 Jun 2010 22:31
22:37.23 S
156:46.55 E

Since the wind has come is has not died off. On the contrary, it keeps getting up a notch as was forecasted. It is consistently blowing from the Southeast and the winds are up to 26 kts steadily with the odd gust, so we are being sent in the right direction allright, averaging 9 kts. Miss Molly is now flying towards the waypoint, still 230 Nm away. Only yesterday we were still 430 Nm away, which means Miss Molly has done a 24 hr run of 200 miles.

This morning we finally made it across Banc Nova, the most Southern part of the Chesterfield reef, still part of New Caledonia. We have now left Caledonian waters and are winding our way down to the next bit of reef about 80 Nm ahead called Bird Island which, according to the charts, contains at least 5 wrecks. Let's not join that gang.

On his night watch James experienced his first "bus". That is what we call when Miss Molly gets hit by a big wave on the aft quarter, rolls over a lot and back the other way with a lot of noise from everything that is shifting down below. It really feels like she gets hit by a bus. Last year leaving New Zealand we had them so frequently that it was not funny anymore. Forgot to wish for a bus free trip on that starry night a few days ago!

Tonight is not as black as yesterday, there are actually some stars visible. But not near enough to see them shooting out of the sky. Nice to have a bit of light to sail by, though.

We will keep you posted,

Cheers from Geoff, Merel & James