Downhill all the way

Rumpelteazer Pacific Crossing
Robert Holbrook
Thu 6 Mar 2008 19:52



Yesterday was our first 200-mile day (205 to be precise).  Today we are on schedule to do slightly less, around 196 miles, travelling at an average of 8 knots.  We are 1,615 miles from the Marquesas, nearly halfway from the Galapagos.


The weather is sunny (around 35°C) with 10% cloud cover and winds of 15 to 20 knots from the south-east.  We are on a broad reach with the wind coming over our port quarter.  This makes for slightly slower speeds but having torn our streaker a few days back, we are not risking our symmetric spinnaker, yet.


We have made up a lot of the time we lost through our longer-than-planned stay in Panama, and windless first leg from the Galapagos.  Our present estimate of landfall in the Marquesas is Saturday 15th or Sunday 16th March, on target for our arrival in Tahiti on 23rd March.


We changed our clocks two days ago to ‘Mountain’ time – GMT minus 7 -  and will put the clocks back a further two hours before we reach the Marquesas.  The exact timing of these momentus changes is at the whim of Captain Bob, not always shortening his own watch.


We have now settled into our life as sailors, and the only engine noise is that of the generator, switched on twice a day to top up our batteries.  Our fridge and freezer are high energy users, as is George, our inveterate self-steering mechanism, who never complains of tiredness.


Having seen no other boat since leaving the Galapagos nearly 10 days ago, yesterday we saw two.  We had spotted a yacht (allegedly a 60 foot charter catamaran which had left the Galapagos 12 hours after us) on the horizon before night fell on Tuesday, and during the course of yesterday we got to within 3 miles of them on our starboard bow.  Eventually we passed them during the night on our port beam.  Robert was particularly disappointed that we did not pass them during normal ‘chatting’ hours.  The other boat, probably a deep-sea fishing boat with extremely bright lights, crossed our stern while we were having our barbecued pork fillet dinner on the aft deck.





Having spent much of the afternoon polishing the brightwork on the starboard side, Max spent some time playing his guitar on the foredeck while 'the grown ups' enjoyed their sunset drinks on the cabin roof.  Another 9 days before landfall!