Pacific rendez-vous20-Apr-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.
Bergfest!18-Apr-2012, Under way to the Marquesas, S08-45 W114-24
We passed the half-way mark yesterday (Tue, 17APR) aorund mid-day. Now it's less than 1500nm to the Marquesas... We're trying to arrange a rendez-vous with E Capoe, a French boat that happens to be sailing about 30nm to the south of us. We came across each on an SSB radio net a few days ago. Would be very neat to meet in the middle of the Pacific after not having seen any ships for the past two weeks. If things work out our tracks should cross Thursday or Friday. Everything is well aboard. stay tuned...
Sail change and another strike16-Apr-2012, Under way to the Marquesas, S08-44 W111-37
The wind backed a bit over the past 24 hrs and we have finally changed to our "down wind genoa" today. It's actually two identical 115% genoas, sewn on the same luff tape. We now fly one to either side with the at about 170deg on the port quarter. All in all it took us almost two hours to wrestle down the big single genoa we had flown so far and to hoist, set up and pole out the new one, but it was well worth the effort. Much better ride now and good speed. We got the sail last summer from Bay View Rigging in Yarmouth, ME. So far we had only played with it on short stretches since we never had real down-wind conditions. So we're quite happy that it seems to be working well now.
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Namani at Sea Impression