PPJ Day 16
17 April 2016 | The Pacific Ocean
Our first morning in the Southern Hemisphere dawned bright and sunny, with SCOOTS cruising along at 7-8 knots on a churlish sea. Getting around below was sporty, with each prospective move calculated and timed, and even standing required either a good handhold or a splayed, slanted stance. Anything that was not stowed had to be on a non-skid pad to keep it from careening across the cabin or dumping its contents on the floor.
It's amidst this moving chaos that I prepared our celebratory Equator-crossing breakfast. And I'm damned proud of that accomplishment. I had eggs benedict on my mind, but was limited by items on hand. What we ended up with was sort of a "ghetto" version of eggs benedict (if you can call it that, on a yacht, in the South Pacific): a piece of sliced ham with a fried egg on top (I drew the line at trying to boil water for poached eggs; that was just too dangerous), and a pseudo-Hollandaise sauce made with media crema, butter, and juice from half a lime. We enjoyed our ghetto eggs benedicts - along with a couple of peach halves - in the cockpit, holding carefully to our plates and keeping a careful eye on the peaches, which tended to slide around a bit.
During the day, the wind died down and the sea mellowed. We took the opportunity to pull down the Code 0 and have a look at whether we could repair it on board - No - or if it was reparable at all - Maybe. It was a sad sight. We stuffed it into its sail bag and it's now riding in the cabin with us, a five-foot-long, two-foot-wide white sausage bent at the waist, sitting on the port settee with its back up against the mast, to which it's tied with a sail tie. It looks like we took it hostage.
Then Eric ventured down, down, down in to the very bowels of our forward sail locker (foc'sl for you nautical types) to retrieve one of the sails that have been stored there since we bought SCOOTS. Eric was hoping that one of them would be the "Yankee" jib that was featured in SCOOTS' press photos when she was for sale, but after hauling it up onto deck and removing it from its bag, we saw that it was just another regular jib a tad bigger than our other one. Oh well, a sail is a sail. We hoisted it up on the Code 0's forestay and are flying it still.
About dinnertime, the wind dropped and we just started to roll in the swells. So we fired up Yanmar the Magnificent, who continued to move us southwest toward the Marquesas.
Our friends, Sylvia and Tom, on s/v Cinnabar have been traveling quite close to us for the past couple of days - within 15 miles. We've had fun chatting with them on the VHF radio. We met Sylvia and Tom in 2014 when they were kind enough to pick up our solar charge controller from Downwind Marine in San Diego and bring it down to La Paz in their truck. Our other good friends on s/v Impulsive are also relatively close by, within 100 miles. A little too far for VHF but still in the neighborhood. They'll be crossing the Equator today.
NEWSFLASH: after mulling it over for a few days, we've decided to make landfall on the island of Nuku Hiva, instead of Hiva Oa. Many cruisers begin their stay in Polynesia at Hiva Oa because most of the other islands lie downwind of here, which makes for easy sailing. The anchorage there is small, rolly, and with marginal holding, but it's what they've got. One of our friends, who arrived in Hiva Oa a couple of weeks ago, sent us a report that the anchorage at Hiva Oa is jam-packed with boats, with some having to anchor outside the breakwater, where conditions are even worse.
So, with that in mind, we've decided to head for the larger, hopefully less crowded, anchorage at Nuku Hiva, 85 miles NW of Hiva Oa. This anchorage is reported to have good holding, though it is also rolly, but it feels like a better choice at this point.
Deck Check: I'm not going out there to check, it's raining and rolly Miles in last 24 hours: 145, for an average of 6 knots Total miles: 2370 Miles to go: 510