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Pacific crossing day 18
MF
08/19/2010, The Pacific ocean

Hej igen från världens största hav!!!

Our plotter shows 483Nm and 80 hours to our waypoint, we are slowly getting closer. It has been an other lovely day with clear blue skies, light winds and smooth seas. Our watermaker has been playing up again and the skipper and Marcus have been busy with it for most of the day. The watermaker has been causing so many problems that everyone is getting really sick of it, now the pressure is too low and the water that comes out is way too salty. Most of the crew has been experiencing dodgy stomachs for a few days.
I took the boys off the water and gave them bottled water instead and they have been fine, I think it is time for the rest of us to follow their example. Hopefully we will receive a new machine to Tahiti, one that would actually work.

yesterday we had a real treat, we caught an enormous Wahoo, it weighed about 20kg, it was bigger than the boys, a real giant of a fish. The incredible thing was that it caught a hook on a normal nylon line with no actual lure on it, I think we made fishing history. The captain had a very pleased smirk on his face while cutting up lovely medallions of the beautiful white meat. Now we have fish for many meals to come which is good because apparently there is cigatuera closer to many of the islands and you should be very careful of what sort of fish you eat.

Max and Felix were convinced that the fish was a gift from Neptune to them on account of all of the lovely pictures they had been drawing to him, who knows they just may be right. We enjoyed a meal of fish, potatoes and Sarahs special veggie sauce accompanied by a chilled bottle of portuguese white Douro wine, it would have satisfied even a true gourmand.

The sun just set behind the horizon and everyone is getting ready to retire to their cabins, life on board follows very much the schedule of the sun, when it sets its time for bed, only those on watch are awake. The nights are silent, more so than you can ever imagine, there is nothing here, nobody for hundreds of miles, it is us and the ocean. Our world is our yacht surrounded by the vast ocean and the everlasting sky, it is beautiful.

MF

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08/28/2010 | Susanne
Hej,
Har inte hrt ngot frn er p ett par dagar, s antagligen r ni nu framme p Marques? Hoppas allt r vl med er!
Uhh- med avgasrret som exploderade! Tur att det inte blev en riktig eldsvda - fr d skulle ni ocks kanske bo p en de i Stilla havet - liksom Pippi Lngstrumps pappa!
Skriv snart igen och bertta hur ni har det.
En kram till er alla!
The engine is burning, Pacific crossing day sixteen
MF
08/17/2010, Pacific Ocean

The last two days have held their share of drama. After a very peaceful two weeks on sea I guess we had it coming. Yesterday started as most mornings, nice and quiet. The winds and the weather were favorable for some spinnaker sailing so we got everything ready to pull the sail up.

The kids were inside eating breakfast and Sarah was still fast asleep. Niklas started the engine and according to plans we started pulling the sail up. All of a sudden The skipper shouted, get the sail down now, the engine is burning. We could smell the smoke and see it rising in black puffs, my mind was instantly filled with all sorts of horror scenarios. Sarah was woken up and the fire extinguishers were gathered.

Niklas got ready to use his fire fighting skills assisted by Marcus and Sarah, I got the kids in their life jackets and ready if we would have to abandon ship. A fire on board 1000Nm from land is one of the worst case scenarios that you can imagine. When the engine hatch was opened, we noticed to our extreme relief that it was not in flames, it was the exhaust pipe that had exploded, we were out of danger. After the shocking start to the day everything else went smoothly, we were happy to be safe and sound.

This morning the winds were very light and we were mainly bobbing around in the water barely moving at all, the skipper decided it was time to pull up the big white spinnaker. We all should have known what to do but everything went completely wrong. I could not get the boat to turn to the correct wind angle fast enough, Sarah and Marcus let go of the sail too early, instead of pulling it back down it was pulled higher up, it spinned around the genoa and we had disaster on our hands.
After a lot of manoeuvring and hard work we finally got the sail down, not without extensive damage to it though. The skipper was very displeased with us all. These things happen once in a while, sometimes routine procedures go wrong.
What can we say we are only human and make mistakes, hopefully we learn from them and act differently in similar situations in the future. The rest of the day has been very variable, many squalls with rain, no wind and miserable progress, the autopilot has been jumping off as the boat has been turned from one direction to the other with the waves. Now towards the night the wind has picked up again we are doing 6 to 7kts and the mileage is decreasing. Hopefully in about five to six days we should be approaching land, the plan is to visit Fatu Hiva, the Southernmost island of the Marquesas, rest there for some days and then continue to the Tuamotu atoll of Rangiroa. We are all looking forward to a good nights sleep and stretching our legs on firm land.

MF

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Pacific crossing day 14
MF
08/15/2010, The Pacific ocean

Now we have spent two weeks on the sea, it is a strange feeling being in a confined space in the middle of the ocean for such a long time. Here we are though and we should reach the 1000Nm line tonight, that means that we have done 2/3 of our passage. We still have not decided whether to go straight to Tahiti, at the moment we are going with the wind and will make up our minds when we get closer.

The last two days we have been experiencing some harder winds, between 15 and 30kts, especially during nights, it is strange how the wind always increases as the sun goes down and the seas grow with double. Last night we were hit by several squalls and had a bit of a rough and tumble surfing down big braking waves in 30+ knots. We took down the main and continued only with the genoa so we were fine, it did though feel like riding a wild horse. Last night was the first night when the moon came out early lighting our path through the ocean, it was a beautiful smiling Souther Hemisphere moon.

We have not had any luck fishing unfortunately, yesterday we had two close calls but both times the fish got away, I guess it will be tinned tuna for dinner today. Last night me and the boys baked cinnamon rolls, they came out somewhat anemic but the taste was delicious.

Today the boys have a break from school, they have been working very hard so they deserve a day off, as does their teacher. Felix has already finished 2/3 of his reception year and with this rate will go to year one in Australia, we will see, I have tried to slow him down but he is reluctant. Max has been working hard as well, he prefers play to work though. The sun is shining and we have another beautiful day, we continue our journey slowly but hopefully safely. The last two weeks have been good hopefully our remaining time here on the ocean will be the same.

Goodbye for now and you will here from us again in a few days!!!

MF

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08/16/2010 | Sofie
Härligt att allt är bra med er och att ni skriver så ofta i bloggen! =) Vi fick World Cruising Club Magazine idag och gissa vem som är på första sidan!!?? Och på mittuppslaget... Ett glatt gäng peter-pans, älvor och sjörövare.. Den enda som fattas är kaptenen.. =( Sköt om er! Kram
Pacific crossing day 12, half way party
MF
08/13/2010, The Pacific ocean

Yesterday we celebrated our half way party. We had a proper bottle of bubbly and an excellent meal, followed by banana cake with whipped cream and Irish coffees (hot chocolates for the boys). Everyone was in a good mood and we even danced to Freddie Mercury and another one bites the dust.

The past days we have enjoyed steady winds around 15 to 20 kts, we have been making good progress averaging more or less 140Nm per day. We have not caught more fish but haven´t really made an effort either, tomorrow I think fresh fish will be on the agenda again and our captain will surely be busy with fixing the lures.
The nights have been peaceful without hitting any major squalls, unfortunately they have also been cloudy and the stars have been hiding from me during my watches. We are keeping regular radio schedules with two other boats that are out here also and they report similar conditions to us. It´s good to speak to the other yachts, we are all sharing this experience together and also it is reassuring to know that others are out there as well. Actually, radio contact with the two yachts is the only contact with other boats that we have had since we left the Galapagos, I guess there is not so much traffic here in the South Pacific and also the ocean is so vast that the probability of crossing paths with another yacht is minimal.

yesterday the Boys sent their first message in a bottle from the pacific. They made such an effort to make a lovely picture which was then fitted into the Champagne bottle and sent on its way. We wrote our e-mail address on it so lets see if whom ever finds it sends us a response.

Twelve days out here and we still have loads left, 1349Nm to be absolutely specific, at least we are now getting closer everyday and have less in front of us than behind us, this is if we keep to our plan and stop at the Marquesas. A different thought has been building in our minds....As it is very late in the season maybe in order to save some time we should head straight to Tahiti, this would enable us to slow down a bit there and enjoy the Society Islands. An other consideration voting in Tahitis favour is that the wind patterns we have been experiencing with Southerly to Easterly winds, it would be easier to start going South already now.

If we are unlucky and the winds are predominantly from the South when leaving the Marquesas we could find ourselves beating to the wind again, not something to look forward to. We will see how we feel in a few days time, going straight to Tahiti would mean an additional 600Nm or five days out on sea. It could be that we will be very eager to reach land before that. I will let you know what we decided. In the mean time hopefully the winds and the seas stay favourable to us, more rum to Neptune.

MF

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South Pacific Crossing, day 8
MF
08/10/2010

One week on the ocean is now behind us, as is one third of our passage. The winds have picked up a bit the last days 13-18kts and we have managed to increased our daily mileage somewhat.
This is though definately a slower passage than the Atlantic crossing, the wind angle has not been very favourable for us and the waves have been slowing us down as they are hitting us from the side. It has been pleasant enough though until now and yesterday we for the first time flew our small spinnaker during the day.

We have also caught our first two fish, a small Albacore and a Skipjack tuna, today we are having fresh fish on the menu. We had something larger on our lines as well but they unfortunately managed to escape.

We have made an important discovery, when you flush the toilet the water actually runs anti-clockwise here in the Southern hemisphere.

Last night we had an invasion of fly fish, I think they had made a joint decision to commit mass suicide on our trampoline, several Kg´s were on it this morning. One also managed to hit me on the head while I was steering during the night. The problem with the fly fishes is that they are extremely slimy and stinky and they leave stains and scales everywhere, this morning we had a whole lot of cleaning to do to get the smell away (this includes my hair and our pillow cases).

At the moment we are flying our big white Spinnaker and having a smooth ride, the winds have quitened down but we are still averaging six kts, so not too bad. For the night we will again change to the genoa and a reefed main, as we have had the last nights, there have been some squalls during the nights so better be safe than sorry.

Otherwise we have entertained ourselves with baking and had some lovely cookies, cake and fruit crumble with custard. We are going to have to run of those kilos when we reach land.

That´s all for now, new update in some days!!!

MF

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08/11/2010 | Sofie
Vad härligt det låter! En massa spännande upplevelser igen en gång. Hoppas ni alla mår bra och njuter av det härliga havet! Vi seglar med via bloggen, så kom ihåg att göra updates ofta! =) Det är så roligt att läsa vad ni sysslar med. Hoppas Felix mår bättre nu! Massor med kramar åt er alla! (P.S: Jag tror så inte på att vattnet cirkulerar åt andra hållet där!! Ni får nog ta filmbevis.. )
08/15/2010 | Susanne Kamu
Hej,
Kul att läsa er blogg! Nu Låter bra - och ni avancerar ju oerhört! 140 NM/dag är jättemycket! Ta väl hand om er och skriv ofta!!
kram,
Susanne
Pacific crossing day 5
MF
08/06/2010

The past days have been quite peaceful, the winds have still been light and we are pogressing with snail speed, doing only a little bit more than 100Nm per day. The weather conditions have become much more pleasant though, we now have clear sunny skies and it is much warmer, at least in the sun. The water temperature is also on the rise with about 26 degrees, soon it is actually swimmable. Sun is like medicine for me, it warms me up and enables my bones and muscles to move, I feel like one of the marine iguanas from Galapagos who lie and soak up the sunshine after a long dive in the chilly waters have made them stiff. It is not only me, the over all mood on the boat is definately higher and everyone smiles easier since the skies cleared.

Yesterday afternoon while we were having another excellent meal, tuna bake but unfortunately not from a freshly caught fish, we spotted two enormous whales swimming quite close to us, unfortunately we were not able the recognise their exact species but they were huge, at least the size of our boat if not larger. That was a special treat and the boys were exhilarated, they just love whale watching. When the sun set that same evening the stars came out, breathtaking, so many lights in the sky, one brighter than the other. You could see the whole milky way and so many constellation that I barely recognised. We all had our chance to wish upon a star since there were numerous shooting stars. We also celebrated the completion of our first 500Nm towards the end way point, that is the Marquesas, with a few glasses of wine.

Today we have been doing loads of school work and the Captain has been concentrating on catching fish, to no prevail though, the fish are not biting our lures for some reason, maybe Neptune does not like the rum we are offering him. we will have to try a stronger variant. We have plenty of time still so I am sure our fishing luck will change.

You will hear from us again in some days, regards from the South Pacific!!!

MF

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