Position Report on Friday, 4th April 2014

The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Fri 4 Apr 2014 15:47

Position Report on Friday, 4th April 2014 at 0800


07:54.6S  105:43.9W


So far, we've done 1055 miles with 1,985 miles to go - over a third of the way.  In the last 24 hours, we’ve done 150 miles.  We’re sailing at 6.5 knots in 8-10 foot seas, still heading on a course of 260 degrees.  It's overcast at the moment, but there's a good chance that it will brighten up.  Here’s what we did yesterday and overnight.


3 April 2014   Galapagos to Marquesas (Day 8)

We've been at sea for a week now and the time seems to have flown by  - let's hope that the next two weeks fly past just as quickly. 


First thing in the morning it was very dull and overcast, but the clouds soon broke up and we had a lovely sunny morning rolling along in blue seas topped by white caps.


Everyone on the SSB Net is now around 7 degrees south and heading directly for the Marquesas - apart from "Hera" who are still up at 4 degrees and dealing with heavy rain.  Looking at the GRIB file, which I downloaded this morning, we'll have the same 15-20 knot winds for the next three days, hopefully with this nice sunny weather, but “Hera” still have to travel 120 miles south to get clear of the band of heavy rain.


While we were in the squall system a few days ago, we switched on our radar to try to look ahead for individual squalls, but the damn radar screen didn't show anything.  We've had problems with it in the past, so we've decided that it's time to retire it and buy a new one.  So, while Glenys was having her 2 hour nap in the morning,  I was reading the West Marine and Defender catalogues...


We've managed to avoid buying a large screen chart plotter up to now, but it looks like we'll have to buy one now to act as a radar screen.  The bad news is that it will probably cost us $3,000, but at least it will be a much better radar system and we get a nice new chart plotter that will integrate with our other systems like AIS.  I have to do more research, but the Raymarine system that I'm looking at will even link wirelessly to our iPad, so we'll be able to use our iPad to act as a slave screen in the cockpit - very trendy.


After my afternoon nap, we hove-to for an hour to run the generator and water maker.  The generator shouldn't really be run if it's tilted more than 20 degrees, so the idea was that heaving-to would be calmer.  However,  we were being bounced around nearly as much because the boat lay at 70-80 degrees to the wind and the big waves.   I tried various positions of the wheel and the stay sail - I even rolled the stay sail away  completely, but the damn boat refused to point any higher than 70 degrees to the wind.  It's a mystery.


The wind dropped to 15 knots just before dark, so I rolled away the stay sail and unfurled the genoa. It was a lovely night, but the big waves kept us rolling.  After midnight, the wind increased to 18-22 knots, so we were screaming along at 7 knots and surfing at 8 knots at times - it was boisterous to say the least.