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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Day 1 on the Ocean
Bruce
07/25/2011, South Pacific

We have completed the first 24 hours at sea since we left Moorea, covering 154 nautical miles in that time period. The seas are not too bad, with 1 meter wind waves and 1.5 meter swell every 9 seconds. The winds are averaging around 15 knots from the ESE.

The first night at sea is always the hardest. It takes a while to get used to the boat's motion and the sound of the waves and wind and creaks and groans and halyards slapping against the mast. After dinner I tried to get some sleep before my midnight to 3 am watch, but found it difficult. Instead, I read a few more chapters of "The Thin Man". Pascale, likewise, had a hard time sleeping. Sleeping on a boat that's heeled over at an angle takes getting used to.

My midnight shift started with light winds and the boat doing a mere 4.5 knots. I reduced the reef in the mainsail and jib and got the speed back up to the 6.5 to 7 knot range, where we need to be. The occasional wave crashes over the bow and blue water sweeps across the deck giving everything a good rinse.

The moon came up shortly thereafter giving the seas a silvery glow. I watched "One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest" on my laptop PC in the cockpit while keeping an eye on our course and the sail trim. Nurse Ratched seemed as mean as ever.

Daniel, our new crew member, took over at 0300 and kept watch until Pascale's shift at 0600.

I awoke shortly before 9:00 this morning and made breakfast for the crew.

Shortly before noon I got out the sextant and started taking noon sights. This consists of making a series of measurements of the height of the sun to find out the exact angle and time of the sun's zenith. My noon sight angle was pretty good but the estimated time of the sun's zenith was very approximate since I only had time to take 3 sights (normally you would want a dozen or so). Nevertheless, I calculated, using the sight reduction tables and our sextant readings, latitude 15 deg 15' South and longitude 149 deg 50' West ... only about 35 miles from our GPS position!

I hope to try to take a more careful and accurate noon sight again tomorrow.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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First Night At Sea
Bruce
07/24/2011, North of Tahiti

This is the first night on our 2000+ mile passage northward from Tahiti to Hawaii. We left Moorea at noon and have been sailing due north with winds coming from the east. The seas are relatively flat - 1 meter wind waves and a 2 meter swell. Our boat is heeling about 20 degrees because the apparent wind is about 60 degrees off the bow. The ride is comfortable but the heeling takes getting used to, it makes moving around in the cabin, and especially, cooking and dishwashing, difficult. Still, we are in good spirits and had a hearty dinner of chicken and vegetables with rice.

We have reefed the sails and yet we are doing 7 knots which, if we can maintain this speed, means we will arrive at Hawaii in about 14 days.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Dinner at Robert's
07/22/2011, Moorea, French Polynesia



We enjoyed dinner at the house of Antoine's ukulele instructor, Robert. This was a farewell dinner since we will be leaving Polynesia Sunday, sailing northwards to Hawaii.

Robert prepared the best meal we've had in Polynesia, a delicious smoked chicken, poisson cru, and coconut bread. In addition to the great food, we were showered with gifts and affection. Each of us was given a shell necklace personally by each member of his family, and we came back to the boat that evening with large quantities of smoked chicken, poisson cru, barbeque sauce and pineapple. Robert and his family played Tahitian songs on various instruments: ukulele, guitar, drum and percussion instruments, while Antoine played along on his ukulele.

It will be sad for us to leave Polynesia and the many warm, kind hearted Polynesians we have encountered along the way. We hope to be able to return some day.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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07/23/2011 | Judy Armstrong
Bon Voyage! Looking forward to your posts from the next leg.
Antoine's Ukelele Lesson
07/20/2011, Scott's Bay, Moorea

Antoine plays the hula "Moana" with his instructor, Robert.


Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Polynesian Music and Dance in Moorea
07/18/2011, Cook's Bay, Moorea

Traditional Polynesian music and dance at Cook's Bay, Moorea.


Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Short Dinghy Ride from Shore to Boat in Moorea
07/18/2011, Cook's Bay, Moorea

Video of short dinghy ride from shore to boat, to get a more 3 dimensional perspective of the scenery at this beautiful anchorage here in Cook's Bay.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Flying the Spinnaker into Moorea
07/16/2011, Moorea, French Polynesia

Here's a superb photo of CALOU sailing across the finish line in the Tahiti - Moorea Regatta last month. (Photo kindly supplied by Andy Turpin of Latitude 38)

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Ukelele in Paradise
07/16/2011, Cook's Bay, Moorea

We purchased a locally ukelele here in Moorea, and Antoine has taken a keen interest in playing it. He's taken some lessons from a local teacher here, and can't put it down. He's getting pretty good at it already, learning the basic chords and rhythms.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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