Jumping the Puddle- Part 7
18 April 2008 | Fatu Hiva, Marquesas
Day 24 06? 30S, 135? 08'W
Well, the days of "set it and forget it" are apparently over. The wind died late last night so we had to motor for several hours. It's picked up again so we're back to sailing.
More breakage: Our boom vang broke where it attaches to the underside of the boom. The vang is the line that runs diagonally from the base of the mast to the bottom of the boom allowing one to adjust the angle of the boom relative to the mast. Of course this happened at 3:00 am with some pretty good wind so it was making a terrific racket as it slid up and down the track beneath the boom. It took a bit of time to figure out where the sound was coming from. in the dark it wasn't immediately obvious what the problem was. Once John ascertained it was the vang's attachment he released enough of it to allow it to "rest" against its former attachment point. It's not a huge problem right now. yeah, we can't tweak the sail shape as efficiently. And the ability to tension the boom is pretty important when we're rolling up the mainsail. We'll just have to work with the mainsheet and figure some temporary repair when we get anchored.
Day 25 08? 13S, 136? 34'W
We've been making our best runs yet, these last few days. We're getting so close. The winds are again consistent in the 8-14 knot range, from the east. We keep re-calculating when we might make landfall. At this point if we can maintain a speed of 6 knots we should be able to arrive Friday night, before it's too dark to set the anchor. Otherwise, we'll need to stand off until Saturday morning and daybreak. So we're very anxiously watching the winds and the sails and our course.
Day 26 10? 02S, 138? 18'W
We had a great night last night. The wind stayed at 15 knots from the east for nearly the entire night. With full sails up (main, jib and staysail) we were doing 6 and 7 knots. Just what we needed to assure a Friday evening arrival.
And then. at 11:30 this morning.. LAND HO!!! We first saw the island of Mohotani off our starboard bow. Not long after that the island of Fatu Hiva appeared in front of us. still about 30 miles out. We're all so excited we can't stand it. I've heard some people say that after being at sea so long when you get close to land you can actually smell it. I'll let you know.