Pacific Crossing to Marquesas 05:04.5N 096:52.8W
Alan Franklin/Lynne Gane
Fri 10 Apr 2015 19:11
Dear Family and Friends,
Friday 10th June
With just over 3 days at sea, we have covered just over 400 log miles and probably nearer 500 miles with the SW current in our favour. We have about 2,500 miles to go and the first part of a long journey always seems the slowest. We have left the inter tropical convergence zone behind (we think!) and we are now getting steady trade winds of 15/16 knots from the SE. Yesterday our log reading, (the number of miles the boat has sailed since launch), passed 39,000 which means we have sailed just over 10,000 miles in her since we bought her. Wow!
SSB radio nets seem hard to hear for us with high levels of interference but we have managed to speak with another puddle jumper ahead of us, inbound for the Marquesas so that was good to know we are not alone!
Life on board progresses, we find jobs to do to pass the time, just one or two daily otherwise we’ll use them all up too soon! Coming from a life before travelling, that had too many things to do, this is a real life style adjustment, we seem to be making good progress on the ‘chill front’.
The remnants of our freezer failure, now in the turned down fridge are holding for the moment. Taking no notice of the dates on them, we are still alive and meat eating, but we will definitely be on the tinned meats or vegetarian meals by the time we arrive in the Marquesas. That is unless we catch a fish or two. Reports reaching us say that fishing on an industrial scale particularly for tuna, where they are using nets many kilometres long and spotter planes, is leaving many species on the endangered or close to exhaustion lists, so perhaps it is no surprise that our small efforts meet with no success. We certainly passed one such operation coming into Galapagos with lit marker buoys on the nets many miles after the mother ship. They were several hundred miles off the islands, passing at night there was a very bright light from the mother ship, visible for the whole distance of the horizon. Most nights we see nothing else on the sea at all, and you wonder why you are on watch at night but this night the vessel was right in our path, not transmitting an AIS position signal or showing any fishing lights, so every now and again you realise the effort is worth it. And of course there is course/sail management which goes on 24/7 but if the winds are steady you can do little except count off the hours.
It seems we are not quite done with the Galapagos Islands as during the dusk yesterday we spotted a tropic bird with its distinctive 2 single long tail plumes, white and grey plumage and bright red beak, chased off by a black headed gull and we even spotted some more of the small black/white swift like birds over 400 miles from the islands. They fly past us (when we are doing 6-7 kts), so I am guessing here but say they do 10Kts with a tail wind to help, that’s still a long flight out from the nearest land.
The latest worry is the restrictions on bringing alcohol into French Polynesia, looks like we may have to dry out on reaching the islands!
All our best,
Lynne and Alan