S/V Bluebottle

Day 19 - FULL GALLOP!

05 May 2010 | Underway from Mexico to Marquesas
Joe
Day 19 Wed 5 May

Wow!! What a change! An hour ago we were wallowing and struggling to grind out a measly two and a half miles per hour, bumping our way into head wind, seas and current. And with the prospect of a day or two more of the same. Then the wind backed 30 degrees, into the South. Here was a chance to sail! Haul the mainsail up, flapping eagerly, now bend the course to the Southwest, putting the wind 50 - 60 degrees on the port bow, roll out the genoa (our big jib), tweak the Monitor, and watch the speed climb! 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 knots. Then 8.5, and 8.8 - 9.0 knots!! Boat heeled over, sluicing along, determined, heading for the Marquesas. Dropped back a little now, 8.5, and heading a little too much West, but velocity made good (VMG) to the waypoint at Hiva Oa is over 7 knots. This is what I had hoped for on the dark night watches, labouring bravely against the steep weather. May it last! The conditions found by boats ahead of us indicate winds strengthening and backing (tending anticlockwise, e.g. SW > S > SE) support the hope that they WILL last. Much relief! 8 knots VMG means 192 miles in 24 hours toward the island of Hiva Oa! That's what we're doing now. Rejoice with us, we are on our way. 900 miles to go, only 4 ½ days at this rate. More likely 6 days. It feels like riding a horse at full gallop!! YEA!! Praise God and pass the winch handle!!
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Vessel Name: BLUEBOTTLE (ex-Aura)
Vessel Make/Model: Lidgard 49' steel ketch
Hailing Port: Hobart
Crew: Adrienne Godsmark and Joe Blake
About:
We have completed our trans-Pacific voyage - from Panama to Hobart via Ecuador, Mexico, French Polynesia, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu and Bundaberg, and are now pausing before resuming land life. [...]
Extra:
When the port authorities here were approached to renew our Panamanian boat registration, they said "You can't call your boat Aura - that's taken" so we decided to call her Bluebottle! If you know the Goons, you know of Bluebottle, that little twit! He was always getting into trouble with his thin [...]
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BLUEBOTTLE (ex-Aura)

Who: Adrienne Godsmark and Joe Blake
Port: Hobart