Less than 800 nm to go....but lighter winds for the home stretch
08 33.1 S 125 24.8 W
Not much to report…all is well with Sea Mist and crew…. which is both “boring” and fantastic!
Not too many marine life performances lately; last evening just before dark, we did have the enjoyment of a small pod (approximately 20) of dolphins that played right at our bow for about 20 minutes or so. I stood on the bow sprit and watched them below me….they are always interesting and sometimes fascinating to the eye. These 20 were a mix…some individuals on their own pattern…some 2’s and 3’s …one group of 5….all taking turns at Sea Mist’s bow…their favorite spot…just inches from touching but yet not touching. It was easy to recognize the members of the pod due to very distinct markings on their bodies. I was saying to Cheryl that this pod looked and behaved quite differently from most of those in recent encounters. Very mellow….just lazily coming into the bow position > criss-crossing as close as could be to both each other and to Sea Mist and then moving out a short distance to let the next group or individuals to have their turn. No airborne gymnastics….just enough embracement of the surface to gain a quick breath of air …..and carry on in their rhythmic maneuvers. They made me think of a pack of uncared-for dogs except for their calm passive behavior….their bodies were marked up a lot due to something through their years….fights/encounters or something of a troublesome nature. Most of them were smaller – say 4 feet or so…..but a few were a bit bigger….say 6-8 feet. Anyway, they were welcome stimuli to our visual day that generally consists of nothing more exciting than interpreting shapes in the odd clouds If any are around …..and the ever present swells/surf that always keep the power of the seas in your mind.
We are under the 800 nm DTG and that makes the passage seem almost over. Sometimes, our land friends can’t easily relate to the distances we travel on the water ….and what is this unit of distance called a nautical mile (nm)? Let’s use a couple of examples to compare the distance of this passage from Galapagos Islands to Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia:
Ø The distance across Canada from Vancouver, British Columbia to St. John’s Newfoundland is 2825 nm; this passage is longer
Ø The distance from the eastern most part of Russia on the Bering Strait to the California/Mexico border is 2886 nm; this passage is longer
Ø The distance from the United Nations Headquarters in Manahattan to Dublin, Ireland is 2869 nm; this passage is longer
Ø The distance from London, England to Kabul, Afghanistan is 3112 nm; this passage is shorter by about 80 nm
Play with your imagination for a moment: Now try covering those distances just mentioned on top of a rocking hay-wagon whose wheels seem to hit most every pothole as the wagon sways down the back country roads as it speeds along at 14 kph/8.5 mph and you have perhaps some sense of how long passages are experienced at sea…..OOPS!....not quite, you can get off the haywagon to stretch your legs……or, if you fell off, the worst case might be a few bruises….not the certainty of your life.
Nevertheless, this has been a most enjoyable, pleasant passage ….. as passages go!
We have further considered where to make landfall in the Marquesas and have decided on Fatu Hiva – the Bay of Virgins. This is not a “Port of Entry” but we have word from other boats ahead of us that the gendarme in charge of this island will let you stay for a short 2 – 4 days perhaps as long as you make it clear to him that you are then moving onward to Hiva Oa to handle the initial stage of the Port of Entry Formalities.
DTG to Fatu Hiva: 794 nm (converts to 914 miles or 1470 km)