Galapagos Islands to Hiva Oa, Marquesas
28 June 2010
Log reading 16,905 nautical miles
It took nineteen days and three hours to arrive late afternoon at the "port" of Atuona after a passage of 3,018 nautical miles (nearly 5,600 kilometres). Easier than the Atlantic, we had a few flattish spots but used the engine for propulsion only once for a few hours. At night we usually reduced sail to make sleeping more comfortable. As the winds went above fifteen knots, the two to three metre swell broke into waves. We had gusts of up to thirty knots but normally it was in the range of 12 to 19 knots mostly as a broad reach.
One noticeable feature was the cold humidity when we left to the warmer weather half way across. Sea temperature (according to the calibrated Raymarine instrument) was 23 degrees rising to 31 degrees when we got here. Mould was on many things and the fruit and veg department took casualties. Generally, fruit and veg have not been good since we left Europe. Exceptions included mangoes. "Yes, we have no bananas" has been heard a few times but they are either too green or ready to eat yesterday.
We didn't see much in the way of pelagics apart from a few dolphins. On the fishing front, we lost two lures and one complete line (75kg breaking strain!) and lure. In the end, we took two dorado and one tuna. All were eaten raw and were delicious. We thought the score was a bit low having purchased a quality Penn reel, which was mounted to the pushpit.
A few small sea birds were seen more than a thousand miles from land. One came in for a rest and the usual bodily functions before moving on.
The reacher (extra big, light weight rounded genoa) was up for over two weeks and although not torn, needs some work. Bamboozle (see earlier blog) worked well when required. Raymarine instruments let the side down yet again. The iCom HF receiver worked well and gave us brief world news everyday and of course World Cup scores. The sat phone allowed grib (weather) file and email access. Positions were reported daily to Mission Control (Heather) in Oz.
We saw only three small freighters during the whole trip and of course some rubbish on its way to a lovely beach.
The main thing was that we had enough olive oil, ground coffee, puree and fresh tomatoes for our Italian contingent. I think the colours of the Italian flag refer to the said oil and tomato.
Hiva Oa was expensive as were all the French colonies we have visited. Atuona is a village set into magnificent green hills. Only one restaurant and one bar. We watched Fab play sax with a local group and found a lovely pension (Chez Kayser) on the hill overlooking the anchorage that fed and watered us superbly.
We left Atuona to check out other anchorages. Now back again for the World Cup on the TV and then on our way to see the nearby islands before crossing over to the Tuamotu Archipelago and then to Papeete.