Position Report on Saturday 13th April 2014

The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Sun 13 Apr 2014 15:30

Position Report on Saturday 13th April 2014 at 0800


09:19.6S  128:18.9W


So far, we've done 2,405 miles with 640 miles to go.  In the last 24 hours, we’ve done 135 miles.  We’re sailing at 4-5 knots in 6-8 foot seas, still heading on a course of 265 degrees. It's another lovely sunny day.  Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


12 April 2014   Galapagos to Marquesas (Day 17)

It was a really lovely day, the wind dropped to 15 knots and backed 10 degrees, so that we were going more downwind.  This in turn had made the seas calmer and we rolled less.  The GRIB files that I downloaded this morning indicate that these conditions should continue for the next week, with the wind possibly dropping a little bit further.


At midday, we'd done 2,280 miles with 760 miles to go, so if we keep up this rate, we'll be arriving on Thursday, 17th - only 5 sleeps to go. 


I'm not 100% certain, but I think that the 18th is Good Friday followed by Easter weekend.  If that's the case, we'll probably not be able to clear in at Atuona on Hiva Oa until Tuesday, 22nd April, which would be at least five days of hanging around in an anchorage renowned for being very rolly and crowded - we were only planning on staying there a couple of nights.


So Glenys and I have come up with three options (in order of preference)


1.     Call in at The Bay of Virgins on Fatu Hiva - which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful anchorages in the world. However, we risk getting kicked out or even fined $200.  (We could try arguing that there's no point in going to Hiva Oa because we can't clear in.)


2.     Go to Hanamoenoa on the small island of Tahuata, which is an isolated anchorage about 10 miles past Atuona and is reported to be lovely and calm.  We'd then have to come 10 miles back up-wind to clear in at Atuona.


3.     Go to Atuona on Hiva Oa and probably be forced to wait five days in a rolly anchorage to clear in.


We obviously need to confirm that it is Easter weekend, so I sent our son Craig an email asking him.  I also raised the issue on the SSB net this morning and Dave on "Baraka" is going to email his clearance agent in Hiva Oa and ask if the authorities will be closed for a long weekend.  We've got a couple of days to make our minds up where to make our landfall - even in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we have to worry about bureaucracy.


The afternoon was a chilled out affair, I had a couple of hours kip as usual and then sat at the chart table, editing photographs and creating the pages for our web site, so that I can easily publish them the next time that we have an internet connection. 


We had a huge moon for most of the night and the skies were clear, so it was beautiful sliding along at 5 knots in the six foot seas, with the bright moonlight glinting on the waves.  The boat was still rolling every five seconds, but there weren't so many rogue waves, so to us it seemed relatively calm.