Position Report on Sunday 6th April 2014

The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Sun 6 Apr 2014 15:39

Position Report on Sunday 6th April 2014 at 0800


08:11.5S  110:33.5W


So far, we've done 1,345 miles with 1,695 miles to go.  In the last 24 hours, we’ve done 145 miles.  We’re sailing at 6 knots in 7-9 foot seas, still heading on a course of 260 degrees.  It's just another pleasant day in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  Here’s what we did yesterday and overnight.


5 April 2014   Galapagos to Marquesas (Day 10)


It was another beautiful morning with 15-20 knot south-east winds - very nice sailing conditions.   Unfortunately, our joy of life was dampened when we found that another length of the sacrificial strip on the foot of the genoa was flapping about.   The hand-stitched repair that Glenys did a week ago is fine, it's the zigzag stitching on another section that has perished.  We've obviously not paid enough attention to the condition of the sails, although we did have the sacrificial strip re-sewn last September.


We ran straight downwind, dropped the sail to the deck and tied it down.  I then trimmed the ragged edges of the Sunbrella sacrificial strip and the sail itself, while Glenys hand stitched the seam back together.  Our Speedy Stitcher has been worth its weight in gold.  It was very pleasant working on the foredeck, bowling along at six knots with blue skies.  By lunchtime, the job was done and the genoa back in place.


There must be billions of Flying Fish in the Pacific Ocean, every time that I look out at the sea, there will be one or more skimming across the surface of the water.  We see whole squadrons taking off,  flashing silver in the sunlight as they take to the air to escape the perceived threat of our boat.  Some take off too close to the boat, fly almost vertically in their panic to get away and, if they're unlucky, they hit us and flop around on the deck, suffocating.  Every day we throw at least ten back into the sea.


I love the way the Flying Fish keep in the air.  They take off and glide inches above the water, then, as they start to lose speed and altitude, they dip their tails into the sea, give a quick wiggle, pick up air speed and continue gliding on their way.  I've been trying to get some photographs, but they pop out of the water anywhere and are so fast that my poor little camera can't focus quick enough.


The afternoon was a very chilled out affair, reading and catching up on some sleep.  We've had a fishing line out for three days with no luck, but we finally hooked a nice 4 foot long Dorado just as we were finishing dinner.  It fought well, but we managed to land it without any problems.  It was going dark by the time that I'd killed it, so I just gutted it, washed it and chopped it into two halves.  It's now taking up space in both fridges - should feed us for four days or so.


We had a good 15-22 knot wind overnight, which allowed us to sail on a fast broad reach.  The motion was much better than yesterday when we were forced to go more down wind.