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Namani at Sea
The travels of Nana, Markus and Nick aboard Namani
Less than 2000nm to go...
14-Apr-2012, Under way to the Marquesas, S08-30 W106-40

At 1600Z (0900 local) this morning, we had about 1880nm to go to the Marquesas.... the wind has picked up a bit now, probably in the low 20ies now and seas are a little bigger (~2.5m) , but Namani rides them very nicely. A bit rolly at times but still comfortable: Blue skies with a few tradewind clouds - we're a happy boat..

We've also picked up our litttle "dead reckoning experiment" from our Panama-Galapagos passage again. For the past four days we've kept the GPS switched off and try to track our position with a combnation of DR and a morning and evening star/planet/moon fix each day.. Once a day at 1600Z (currently 0900 local) we switch on the GPS to compare and to get the exact position for our check-in with the POST-Net on SSB. So far, it's been pretty encouraging, and we've found ourselves within no more than 4 miles of our estimated position each morning (without resetting the track to the GPS position each day). We're lucky that Venus is still far enough "behind" the sun to provide a good evening shot to starboard (it will start to get too close to the sun in May). Canopus to port provides a good crossing angle and has been mostly unobscured by clouds in the evening. In the morning we have a choice between Arcturus to starboard and either Rigil Kentaurus (one of the "pointer stars" towards the Southern Cross) or the waning moon to port (both with good crossing angles with an Arcturus LOP). Visibility at dawn and dusk has been pretty good so far. The challenge with the sights is the rolling boat motion...

What helps with the DR part is that there is no significant cross current and - with the wind abaft the beam - we don't have any big offset by wind drift on the surface water.

It's fun and kind of nice not be fixated onto the numbers on that little GPS screen (after all, there's more than 1000nm of space in any direction around us and we won't hit anything if we're off by a few miles).

All is well aboard, stay tuned...

09 - Pacific Crossing
Day 10
11-Apr-2012, Under way to the Marquesas, S07-29 W100-39

Wednesday, 11APR, ten days since we left the Galapagos. We'll celebrate with freshly baked bread and brownies ;-). Conditions are beautiful at the moment: 10...15kn from just abaft the beam, sunny skies with tradewind clouds - and we haven't touched a sheet since we took the Parasailor down 2 days ago. Very relaxed and nice sailing. Let's see how long it lasts... Yesterday was "bath day" on Namani: usually that means a bucket of salt water per person, to soap and shampoo, followed by a liter of fresh (rain) water to rinse of. Yesterday we felt we deserved a bit of luxury and inflated Nicky's old kiddy pool in the cockpit. Hence it was a full saltwater bath for each of us, followed by the rinse cycle. We are so sparkling clean now, we can be seen from miles away...

Other news: We had radio contact on SSB with a few boats that left the Galapagos 2-3 days ago and it seems they're experiencing similar conditions to what we had at that point (heavy rain and headwinds, followed by dead calms/light and variable winds under "troffy" skies). Maybe that'll be the pattern for the season - you have to go down to 6 deg S to find some useful wind. Usually we have been writing and sending these little updates during night watches. With increasing distance from Panama (the closest shore based radio station we can connect to for sending these updates) short wave propagation only works well for a few hours in the afternoon. Hence we'll be writing updates during the late morning now, which may make some of the time references in the text sound different from before. It's now 1200 "ship's time" = 1900 utc (we switched back our "ship's time" by one hour yesterday, when we crossed 97°30' W). Last but not least, I believe that Dortmund is playing Bayern Munich today in the German Soccer League. If the bits and peices of information I've snapped up over the past weeks are correct, the result could be an early descision for who will be this year's league champion. Now we're looking for a way how we can find out the result in mid-Pacific...

All is well aboard, stay tuned...

09 - Pacific Crossing
10-Apr-2012, Under way to the Marquesas, S07-08 W098-09

Caught our first Dorado on this trip today (Mon, 09APR)! Sushi snack followed by a very tasty dinner... Sailing is very different now compared to the first few days of the passage. Then - while sailing clause hauled/close reaching - it seemed we were constantly taking reeefs in out of sails, trimmin, tacking, ... and watches were very busy. Now the wind has settled (we hope) on/just abaft the beam and things have become more relaxed. We put the Parasailor up this morning and had it fly all day, steered by the wind vane (with some brief help from hand steering during a squall). Made for a comfortable ride all day. Took it down again in the evening and swapped it for the genoa for the night. That's it. Hence, there is now more time for play, school - and fishing. Nana is even close to finishing "Path between the Seas" (500 pg book on the history of and behind the Panama Canal - fascinating reading). There will porbably be a few less comfortable days along the way, but right now it's very enjoyable. Now (04:30am local time on Tuesday morning) we have about 2400nm to go until the Marquesas - should be another three weeks, give or take. All is well aboard. Stay tuned...

09 - Pacific Crossing

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