Flying to the Marquesas!

Rumpelteazer Pacific Crossing
Robert Holbrook
Tue 4 Mar 2008 20:18




Six days and fourteen hours after leaving the Galapagos island of San Cristobal, we finally got the wind we so desperately needed.  At 9.30am yesterday morning, Pippa had just finished her watch and was having breakfast with Andy when they both sensed a change, and rushed up on deck to discover wind building steadily from the South. 


Sails up, engine off, Rumpelteazer is now flying at an average of 7.5 knots in the direction of the Marquesas, in winds of between 12 and 18 knots from the South.  The GPS has recorded occasional surfs giving us speeds of up to12.7knots.  In the last 24 hours we have travelled 185 miles, up on our previous daily average since leaving the Galapagos of 135. 


For the benefit of any yacht following us, we got the wind at precisely 05:15.287S and 102:29.144W on 3rd March at 0930 Galapagos time.


Since yesterday morning we have been sailing on a close port reach as we headed south west to make sure we were well into the southerly wind belt indicated by the gribfiles.  Sadly we shredded our screacher in a gust so have reverted to white sails.  We spent last night with two reefs in the main and a well-reefed jib, a very prudent set up for the 13-19 knots of windspeed.


This morning we have shaken out the reefs and have borne away a bit.  We are heading directly for the Marquesas on a beam reach travelling at between 7 and 9 knots.


Our weather for the last few days has been very overcast – 85% cloud cover with occasional bursts of sunshine.  We have also had rain, quite heavy rain, particularly at night - we are glad we brought our light oilskins.  The sea has been lumpy, with big waves coming at us from our port side – makes for uncomfortable nights trying to sleep - but at least we are sailing!


Life on board continues to keep us busy – emptying the last of our diesel cans into the tanks, harvesting our banana tree resting in the dinghy, cutting the chafed bits out of the topping lift, preparing meals, baking bread, polishing the chrome on the staunchions, doing and drying washing, preparing fruit for our smoothies, and mending things… like the smoothie maker.  Before the wind came, drinks on the foredeck at sunset became a regular event.




We have gone completely off fishing for a day or so, for fear of catching yet another tuna.  When Max revisited his fishing rod yesterday evening, he immediately caught a fish, but it was another tuna, so Robert carefully unhooked it and threw it back into the waves. 


Only 1994 miles yet to go to the Marquesas!