00:21.49S 081:45.97W Back on the Briny, South Pacific 14th June 2016

Wed 15 Jun 2016 15:32

Back on the Briny, South Pacific 14th June 2016

Just moments after Ariosto left us with a cheery wave and smile from his panga pilot boat, a frigate bird and two big, grey backed pacific dolphins welcomed us back into their element. As if that wasn’t enough of a treat, while under sail and not far from the Ecuadorian shore a mother humpback whale and her calf crossed 50 metres infront of our bow making their baby paced way north to the Baha California.

Rob had set a waypoint to the south of the Galapagos but the wind was being distorted by the mainland and island group so we were off course but at least heading west under sail, in fact the sun set beyond our bow.

Our friends Jane and Paul, who if you remember helped us through the Panama Canal, are now in the Marquesas aboard Nora J and they wrote enticingly about how lovely are the islands and perfect for sailing. Well they also explained their watch system for the long tropical nights and the long distance to travel.

One of them would be asleep from 8pm till 1am and the other would sleep from 1am to 6am. While on watch they used an egg timer set to 25 minutes or so and they would be free to dose in this time, making a thorough check when the pinger woke them up, and then setting the timer again.

A single hander we were told about, would take a long drink of water and then dose, allowing nature to wake him for a pee, killing two birds with one stone he would have had no problems with dehydration or keeping the occasional lookout!

We decided to give Jane and Paul’s tried and tested method a go, but set the start time back to 9pm. As Rob likes a regular 10pm bedtime he was off watch first.

We came upon fishing boats as we sat out the evening reminiscing about our friends in Bahia and remembering how Dave and Torie hung out of their office window waving and yelling ‘Good luck Zoonie’ as we passed. These fishing boats had quarter mile drift nets out from them, if we were lucky with a flashing light on the end. One panga came up to us and showed us our present heading was good as their nets were over there, with lots of arm waving.

At one stage of my watch it looked as if we were heading for more fishing boats but they turned out to be ships heading north and south in an unofficial shipping lane. I remember in one sleep period thinking where’s that pretty music coming from, it was my alarm waking me up.

This morning we both feel good after a good continuous period of sleep. Despite not having found those delicious SE Trade winds yet, and Zoonie being close hauled with a bit of a heel on, life on board is comfortable as we head for the Galapagos before tacking south to avoid them.

The wind was fickle for a while during Rob’s watch and Henry (wind powered self steering gear) didn’t know what to do with it, so Rob released the wheel and let Zoonie do her own thing.

 “We’ve just done a Rob’s nipple darling.” He was referring to the time on the Stavvy when, during a night watch, Sven the first officer, and the rest of our watch, stood in awe as our 182 foot brig, with almost a full compliment of square and fore and aft sails set, was allowed to turn herself 360 degrees in search of wind in the middle of the Biscay, before settling back on course, no better off. >From thence it was referred to on the paper chart as Sven’s nipple.