Galapagos to Marquesas 3
30 April 2015
Great news - we passed the half way mark overnight and at the time of writing have 1.446 miles to run. At our current run rate this should see us arrive in Fatuiva, the southern most island in the Marquesas Archipelago. This is not a port of entry but Charlie's Charts says boats have called in there in the past and not reported any problems. We will find out. Our destination on Fatuiva is Baie des Vierges (translated - Bay of Virgins) which is described as an incredibly beautiful bay and is the site of a village of 300 people, and surrounded by cashew trees and noni plantations.
We completed one week at sea yesterday 1415 hrs and logged 1343 miles. After the first two days of lighter winds we have logged over 200 miles every day. We are now into our third day of glorious trade wind sailing - 13 to 18 knots, relatively small sea, clear starry nights and the moon up all night. Hard to beat and certainly a very easy run compared with the Atlantic crossing. It is no wonder this passage is called the milk run.
Unfortunately other issues crop up that test our capabilities. Yesterday morning we landed a 40 kg bill fish (a longbill spearfish) but as we had already landed a mahimahi earlier in the morning we released it. Yannick was on the stern door which we had lowered and after the release closed again. A while later the stern door opened by itself down to its lowest point on the hydraulic arms and the switches did not have any effect. In the meantime water is pouring into the garage. The garage was so full of water it was entering the starboard aft cabin, via the space the exhaust pipes are ducted through. So bilge pumps were running inside and not keeping up while we checked the switches to no avail. In the end we disconnected the two hydraulic rams without disturbing the oil lines and rigged up a truckers version of a block and tackle system to enable us to lose the door and insert a securing pin. This exercise, including cleaning up, took the entire day and we finally sat down for carpaccio (of mahimahi) and then mahimahi steaks washed down with Chilean chardonnay at around 2100 hrs.
The forecast is pretty much unchanged with the SE trades blowing 13 - 20 knots although with an expected big swell of up to 2.5 metres developing later. No sign of it yet. We are running today, for the third time, with the A2 genaker up and sitting on 10 plus knots. The easy sea state facilitates good sleep despite the watch system we are running. In fact so good that by 0930 hrs this morning everyone was still asleep except Yannick on watch.
We will leave the boat on anchor at Huku Hiva for a couple of weeks and go back to NZ. Yannick will stay on board.
Cheers for now- keep the emails and news coming in!
Keith & Pam