Pacific passage: Galapagos to Marquesas: Halfway over

Jan Morten Ruud
Tue 16 Mar 2010 10:20
Position 06:29.35, 114:08.87W
Sailed distance: 1500 NM
Distance to Marquesas: 1500Nm

Dear readers,
Halfway - what a thrill. We can already start to smell land. After 8,5 days at sea, the passage of the first half have been fast. We have to admit that the weather has surprised us a bit, with quite a bit of gray sky's. Mads, our weather router have though promised us that it will change to the better now.

The life goes on and we are now completely into the duty schemes on board. The times fly fast away out here also. A typical day looks like.

Boat watch 3 hours
During night you have a watch duty together with a fellow crew member. The work is typically to secure that there are no obstacles in our way, maintain trim of the sails, watching the radar for other boats and squalls, watching the chart plotter for correct course. Check the power sources on board, and start charging if necessary. During squalls, reef the sails and prepare the boat for wind and rain. Maintain listening watch on VHF, SatPhone and SSB. Quite often we sail in a group with other boat, right now we are 4 boats in a group. Maintain contact with the other boats and secure position in the group (not too far and not to close).

Free time - 4,5 hours at night, 6,5 hours during daytime.
During night this time is used to sleep. If needed, you will also use some of the free time during day to have some more sleep. Other popular activities is to watch a move, listen to a sound book, read and the kids do school and homework. Another popular activity is fishing. We keep the lure out almost all day, and when we hear the famous bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, the sound of 100 meter of line being dragged out of the reel, all runs to the cockpit.

Social activities
Each day we have some social activities which all have to participate on. This can be singing some tunes, playing some games, watching a move . On this passage we do a concert each day on VHF for the other boats in the vicinity to listen in on. It has become quite popular.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Due to the boat watch duties at different times, we do not have a breakfast together. Lunch and Dinner is always together in the cockpit. We have a list of responsibilities for making the food and doing the dishes.

Last night we found our self in a large fishing fleet, 1400 Nm out at sea. There where hectic activity on the VHF between the boats in the group. Which way are the going ? Do they have nets of lines out ? Where are they from ? Why do they not answer on VHF ?
After a while we found out that they were large factory boats from Korea which had put out several miles of lines. The lines where marked by a red and white flashing buoy, One of the boats passed one of these at only 3 meters distance. Everything went well, as usually and after 2 hours we had passed the whole fleet.

We have a grate time, enjoying life at sea. The weather is fair and we have good wind in the sails. Not much more to ask for as a sailor out at sea.
The very best from Patrik, Stian, Snorre, Vilde, Vibeke and Jan Morten