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Endless Summer
Endless Summer is a 43ft Ian Farrier cruising catamaran.
Land Ho
Steve
04/25/2010, Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marqueses

We made it!! We are anchored in Atuona bay where we arrived just after dark and anchored under a bright moon. We are enjoying a celebratory drink before a light dinner and then......SLEEP! No one will be awake driving the boat tonight. I will not be drinking a red bull at 11:00 PM in an effort to ward off sleep.

We had a great sail today. Kurt woke me at 8:30 saying, " hey Maybers. Let's set the spinnaker." After getting the sail set up it was time to savor what would be our last day on passage by unplugging the toilet. After that it was on to bailing the bulge and vacuuming out the salt water leak that is flooding the electrical conduit below the cabin floor.

The day was spectacular. We sailed with the spinnaker and sat on the front deck enjoying the warm breeze and beautiful colored water. The breeze was not our best sailing angle so I was doubtful that we would make it in by dark. But throughout the day it built and our speed with it. By 3:00 PM we had clocked 210 miles in 24 hours which was our best time on the trip.

We wondered would we see a low lying smudge on the horizon, or would the 3500 foot peaks of the islands jump out of the mist. It turned out to be the later as by mid afternoon we were seeing tall dark outlines on the horizon. The islands grew taller and more defined until by late afternoon we were able to see four separate islands about 35 miles away. The wind continued to build and we had some spectacular surfs. The fastest was 18 knots with lots of 14s and 15s. Later we jibed our new spinnaker and put some little holes in the sail as we botched our jibe. Oops. Then the starboard engine starter burned out, the radar failed, and the watermaker lost one of it's pumps. Fortunately we are in an exotic place to make repairs.

As we motored slowly toward the bay bordered on either side by steep dark cliffs, we followed a set of range lights set up to guide boats into the narrow cut. Just when we were discussing if we were too close to the cliff on one side, our radio came to life with a call to "vessel entering Atuona bay this is Mulan." We responded and were guided right to a spot to anchor by a friendly welcoming cruiser.

So we will upload photos and more story later, but for now it's rum and hoo hoo, miso soup, and to bed for a long time.

Cheers to all.

South Pacific Crossing
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04/25/2010 | Nancy Euler
Since I've been reading your messages on your blog almost daily, I feel like I am reading a good book about 3 brave sailors and the story has not ended. :-)
04/25/2010 | Anita
WHEW!! Sleep well.
Manjula - awesome photo. Steve -- your writing is terrific - I hear your voice clearly.
Love
Anita
Three Weeks is a Long Time
Manjula
04/24/2010, Almost there

Almost there???

South Pacific Crossing
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Day 21
Steve
04/24/2010, 140 miles out from Hiva Oa

Wow! What a great day of sailing. We sailed all night of course, and then in the morning pulled out the screecher and off we went. We had 240 odd miles to go to Hiva Oa, and had pretty much figured we could not make it in on Saturday before dark, but as the day wore on we were making such good time that we started to think we might do it. We were averaging 9 and 10 knots which doesn't sound like much, but for a boat that is like going 90 down the freeway weaving in and out of traffic. The sky was blue, the seas were calm, the wind was steady and warm, and we are all excited to get to land. When we checked into the radio net to give our position, course, and speed, the net controller said, "I think I heard you say 10 knots! Is that correct?" Indeed Endless Summer was in her element. So with our eye on the prize we decided to break with our usual program of slowing down at night and try to make it the 240 miles in about 28 hours. Now at 3:00 AM we are doing it. We have 140 miles to go in the next 16 hours to make it by dark. There is a nice big moon shining, so even if we don't make it in by dark, we will still be able to anchor, but it is much nicer to do that in a new anchorage in daylight.

One bit of news we have been hearing on the radio is that one of the boats coming from Mexico has rigging problems. The wires that hold their mast up are breaking. It's a husband and wife team on a 38 foot boat. They have been running around trying to tie ropes around to hold the mast up. They are about half way from Mexico so it is too hard to turn back against the wind. I was impressed with the level of assistance the fleet was willing to provide. The couple were also put in touch with a ham radio net that covers the Pacific and they arranged for a cargo ship coming from Panama to stop and drop off fuel.

We had two meals with Kurt's tuna today. Sushi for lunch and seared ahi for dinner. Yummy!

We have seen a couple of masked boobies again. Yesterday and then again today. Not in groups, but just one or two. Also saw some more spinner dolphins. We still haven't seen another boat for over 10 days, but there are two within 150 miles of us.

If all goes well, tonight will be my last watch on the longest passage we are likely to every make. The south pacific, from the west coast of the Americas is the longest passage on the typical round the world route. Manjula and I were talking about how physically hard this has been for us. We basically went from a period of lots of restaurant food and little physical fitness, straight onto the boat and away. Most of the other crews doing this passage have been living on their boats in Mexico, Central America, or the Caribbean for months and doing shorter passages to work up to this. We are starting to get some better sleep now, and also get in shape, but the curve was steep.

So wish us fair winds as we sail hard all day Saturday trying to race the sun!! We'll be flying our big orange spinnaker and putting double digits on the speedo.

South Pacific Crossing
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04/24/2010 | Sandy Whittaker
You all are so amazing!! The next time we hear from you
will be landfall!! Congratulations x the nth power! This is
such an impressive achievement! Hurray for the Captain,
Kurt and Manjula!! :)
04/24/2010 | Sherry
I can feel the warm wind in my face as you write! Couldn't be more exciting. And land will soon be in sight. Love you. mom
04/24/2010 | Arjan
Steve, I can easily help you keep up your boat speed. Just tell Manjula that RotKat is right in front of Endless Summer and almost visible in the distance.
We both know that she will start driving like a maniac and she will probably squeeze another knot out of the boat.
At least that is what happened last time.

All the best, Arjan
04/24/2010 | Debbie Macrorie
We are so excited for all of you...it has been inspirational hearing about your journey as we sit in St. Barths dining out and enjoying wonderful french wine!!!

Cheers,
Debbie & Greg from Escapade
04/24/2010 | Bill, the dad
Great news crew! This is the kind of sailing that you have been wanting. Amazing speed.

We await news of making land -- and hope that you can develop "land legs" quickly.

Dad
04/24/2010 | Cousin Nancy Euler
I wish you fair winds ~ I imagine it will feel strange at first when you stand on land on the island of Hiva Oa BUT you will be happy to be there. Let us know how long you will be on the island and what your next step will be.
"The goal is not to sail the boat, but rather to help the boat sail herself." Author ~ John Rousmaniere

ENJOY!!!
Day 19 & 20
Steve
04/23/2010, Approach to the Marquesas

Kurt finally caught a fish!! It's been a bit of a joke on board every time Kurt throws a line over the side. He has been fishing most days for almost three weeks, with no fish. But here is the proof. Just before sunset he landed this nice 15+ pound tuna. He immediately filled it and we enjoyed fresh pan seared tuna with wasabi for dinner.

Some of you have been asking for more pictures. We are taking plenty of photos and video, but we can't upload it to the blog until we get a faster internet connection. While underway we are using our sat phone to send email, and it takes about 10 minutes to send one small photo to the blog. So hang in there and we'll post more pics once we make land fall.

At the moment I am sitting in the cockpit of Endless Summer. It is 2:00 AM. Kurt woke me a little while ago to start my watch. The wind is blowing nicely as it has for the last many days with almost no interruption. I am wearing a T shirt to stay warm now in the early hours. There is half a moon in the night sky and it is illuminating the display of low floating clouds that marches by like the balloon floats in the Macy's day parade. Endless Summer is gliding along a calm sea with only the sound of her wake and the creaking of the first reefing line in the main sail. We almost always put at least one reef in the main sail at night in case the winds come up suddenly. Indeed the wind does seem to come up a bit at night, and I sleep better knowing that we don't have too much sail up. Nonetheless, we have posted some great mileage over the last couple of days. We thought we would be lucky to make landfall by Monday, but at this point we are looking at a Saturday night or Sunday morning arrival. Two days a go, we spent the day sailing for an hour and then being overtaken by a squall. The wind would increase, sometimes there was rain, and then the wind would shift further east. This pattern repeated itself all day. Today there was very steady wind and no squalls. We just sailed in perfect conditions all day long.

...oh yeah, except for the salt water we found leaking out of the bottom of our cupboards and down the stairs. After removing everything from the cupboards and sponging up an inch of water in the bottom of four of the cupboards it appears we have a leak. Manjula and I spent a couple of hours working on this today but have not yet found the leak. It's salt water so we are pretty sure where it is coming from. We just don't know how it is getting into our cupboards.

We are all very excited about our arrival in the Marquesas. Days like today have been the exception where the motion is easy on board, and the livin' is easy. The three of us agree that our trip has felt among other things like an endurance test. Partly it's the interrupted sleep. Partly it's the constant motion. Part of it is being in a small space all day and night for weeks. Also there is a little stress. For me it's always listening to every sound the boat makes. Is that a line over the side? Is that a bulge pump running? Is the sail rubbing on that cable? What was that sound? Is the wind picking up? Do we have too much sail up? How did that water get into our cupboards? I have stopped and put down my computer twice in the time it's taken to write this. First I heard a vibrating sound from the port side of the boat that turned out to be a loose daggerboard line. Then I heard the faint sound of a motor. I thought maybe it was a plane. Or maybe just another of the auditory hallucinations that have become common with the lack of sleep. It turned out to be the salt water wash down pump running. Motoring through the ITCZ really dragged on and we felt like we would never get here. But since being in the south east trades, we have made great time. The seas have calmed and become more and more comfortable and we are only a couple of days from arrival. Less than 350 miles. We are currently 3200 miles west of Ecuador and Panama. We are 2500 miles south of LA, 2650 miles south of San Francisco, and 2000 miles south east of Hawaii. We can't wait to get there!!

Thanks again for all the comments and support. We appreciate being able to share this rare experience with you all.

Cheers

South Pacific Crossing
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04/23/2010 | Mark
YES! So exciting that you are zeroing in on land fall!!! Kurt, you look awesome and thrilled to BE ~ no doubt the tuna is Neptune's offering to you after your fiery kiss from one of his dreadlocked maidens. Can't wait to read about the first sighting of land! LOVE YOU GUYS!!!
04/23/2010 | Sherry
Love those descriptions, Steve and Manjula. And the picture of Kurt is great. Made my mouth water ... not at the cleaning, etc., but the eating. Just looked at the google map, and it's amazing to see the islands. Don't image you see land yet.
04/23/2010 | DAD
Hello, Crew (I know, I knw, I am not Kurt
s or Manula's dad -- but I don't want to confuse with too many Bills)

Your progress sounds great, and I well remember the tuna that we had en route to Cabo de to Kurt's fishing prowess. Smart of you to hold off until now, Kurt.

Landfall will be exciting.

(We just had our landfall in LA after being stuck in Kurkmenistan for three days to Volcano and Euope closing. great to be home.)

Dad
04/23/2010 | Sandy Whittaker
Very exciting to see how close you are! Thanks so very much for setting up this blog so that we could "join" you vicariously! Hope you get your "land legs" quickly! We've flown over the equator and walked across in Brazil..but never have had your experience! Let us all
know when you make landfall!! Great photo of Kurt!
All the best to all of you! Sandy Whittaker

04/23/2010 | Rollo
Good to see Kurt catch a fish. Rumor has it he is better at spearing than hooking. Talk about "Things that make you hummm!" That leak has got to be sending you up the wall. Your comment about it being salt water and knowing where it is coming from makes me laugh. I hope you were able to narrow down the source smaller than the ocean. Steve, you are quite the sailor and a Sea King in my book. Happy lounging to you in Hiva Oa. Rollo
Bill's question answered
Manjula
04/22/2010, 515 miles from Hiva Oa

Yes we can see the Southern Cross and Polaris at the same time. We have been able to for a while. Polaris is very low in the sky. I believe you can see the Southern Cross below latitude 20N. In the S hemisphere, the Southern Cross is pretty high in the sky. We've had a lot of cloudy weather though, so we've only had a handful of perfect star watching nights. There is also a meteor shower going on now- the Lydaes or something like that. Pretty cool. We are starting to get a bigger, later moon now, which is great. Makes a huge difference for the night watch to be able to see a horizon line. I'm hoping with the brighter nights there will also be fewer flying fish casualties. We only seem to be able to rescue about half of them :( The poor little buggers.

South Pacific Crossing
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04/22/2010 | anita
I googled Hiva Oa to see where you're headed. The first result was a youtube video with an incredibly sexy (male) voice urging me to make a reservation at Pearl Lodge resort. Lots of pics of rooms with ocean views - but heck, you have that already!
let me know if you hear the ghost of Jacques Brel!
lovr
04/22/2010 | tessa
Hello all, good to hear from you again. Last night, when I checked your blog, there wasn't any note from you guys. And I wonder if there is some communication difficulties as you passed the equator. But today, something on the blog , yey! How nice to see the sky as crystal clear, seeing all those stars. So, how many more days before you see land?
04/22/2010 | Jack Crossley
Waste of good rum, although Neptune and His Majesty Capt. Dinghy should be happy. When I first crossed the equator in a Navy destroyer, in 1954, I got ice water poured down my back. You guys are lucky that you don't have any old salts aboard and can just compliment one another.

Love and cheers,

Jack

Shellbacks
Manjula
04/21/2010, Equator

Yummy...

South Pacific Crossing
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