Day 15 to the Marquisas
22 June 2008 | South Pacific
We wrapped up our 14th day with a 175 mile run. We had hoped that the 1,460 miles we did in week one would follow through and place us at anchor on day 14/15. The light wind and calms a couple days back and the moderate winds this whole week have made that tough. We have not run the engine more than 18 hours or so in the calms middle of last week but it has been tempting.
We flew the spinnaker all afternoon but were still lucky to see 7 knots of SOG given the apparent wind speed of 6-9 knots. Even though things are supposed to get even lighter we are still too chicken to leave it up at night. It is not hard to get down but if something goes wrong you would be unhappy at night. Also the weather man never says anything about squalls. A nice little 30 knoter would tear our kite apart.
We are in a celestial navigation routine also. We are doing a 5 star shot at civil twilight near dawn or sunset, morning sun and afternoon sun lines, and a noon site. We have shot the moon a few times but it has been full and the moon lines have no cut with the sun lines when you shoot them together so it is not really helpful.
We are now back to Fatu Hiva as our first landfall. We will probably just fly the Q flag and stay aboard to observe the regulations. It will be nice to sleep at anchor and at least see Fatu Hiva. From there we will likely head out to Nuku Hiva to check in. After looking at the guides we will probably spend most of our time in the northern Marquesas.
We could tell we were getting close to land as we actually saw other life forms not native to the ocean. A freighter lookin' thing and what was probably a tuna boat passed at some distance. We have seen three other cruising boats as we passed them and talked to four or five on the VHF as we crossed out of sight but in radio range the whole rest of the trip.
We probably can't go fast enough in the ever decreasing wind to make landfall before dusk tomorrow so we will just float along targeting anchor down the next morning. This will make our transit 15 days and change. Not bad all things considered.
Nobu says: "We are going to shoot stars tonight!"
Hideko says: "I love flying the spinnaker, the seas are calm but the boat still moves well"
226 nm to the dirt