20 April 2012 | Under way to the Marquesas, S08-51 W118-46
Five days ago we made contact on the SSB radio with E Capoe, a French sailboat with a French-Austrian family aboard. We realized that we were only about 30nm away from each other and decided to try to meet in mid-Pacific over the coming days. Our average boat speed was between 1/4 and 1/2 a knot faster than theirs. So over the past four days we were playing out a very slow chase, with us trying to catch up and both of us trying to converge on the same lattitude. The latter turned out to be a bit of a challenge as we had both our boats rigged for downwind sailing to the west and hence had limited ability to make much southing (in our case) or northing (in E Capoe's case). We did manage it in the end and this morning, just after sunsrise, we spotted a sail on the horizon ahead of us. It took us until noon to close the final 3nm and pull up along side so we could shout "hellos" to each other across Pacific waters at S08-47 W118-00. What followed were very fun exciting four hours (remember - we haven't seen another boat or soul in 2 1/2 weeks...), during which we sailled past and in front of each other, raised Parasailors and spinnalkers and took lots of pictures. Eventually, we both set a course to the west again and we could still see E Capoe's masthead light behind us on the horizon after sunset tonight. It feels we got a glimpse of the aniticipation that the crews of those old ships of the line must have felt, when they were closing in on another ship over days and weeks. Luckily ours was a friendly rather than a hostile encounter ;-) Now we'll need a few days to recover from all the excitement and we look forward to meeting E Capoe's crew on terra firma in the Marquesas in a few weeks.
All is well aboard, stay tuned...