Day 2 to the Marquisas
09 June 2008 | South Pacific
It was bumpy last night. Not too bad for sleeping but rough for showers and that sort of thing. Everyone had to get used to the four hour watch, which seemed a lot longer than the three hours we covered with Ed aboard. By the end of the day everyone was settling in though.
Nobu had the first night watch with the 18:00 to 22:00 shift. In the middle of his watch we came across some bizarre lights on what we think were craft but could have been buoys. Strobes and different colors that made no sense from a Col. Regs. stand point. None of us were abducted (as far as we know, hard to tell about that sort of thing) and we passed the strange lights without incident.
By morning the seas were up a bit and, as predicted by the GRIB files we download nightly, the wind was coming up as well. You sure knew you were in the open ocean. By noon we had 12 footers frothing by with 20 to 25 knots of wind. Not comfortable at all. We only had to put up with the really unpleasant bit for four or five hours and by night fall things were back to just "rather rough".
We have been making great time regardless of the seas. We have been fortunate in that the swell has been from the south allowing us to take it on the beam. The swell most often comes from the SW on this passage, putting it a lot closer to on the nose than we have it. We were doing 9 to 11 knots most of yesterday and closed the 24 hour day with 225 nautical miles, not bad. Today when I woke up Nobu asked if we could put up the whole main. I vacillated back and forth and then seeing the wind staying around 20 said sure. Immediately after we shook out the reef the wind picked up. We were doing 13 knots in no time and launching off of big waves doing the catamaran slam dance. Needless to say the reef went back in and we still managed over nine knots.
The wind is right on the beam as I type. This is not optimal for us because with our swept back spreaders you can't really let the boom out for proper sail trim on a beam reach without bending the battens on the spreaders. So we are a little over trimmed on the main right now to ensure that we arrive without holes in our most critical sail. We are still doing about nine knots which is nice. It probably wont hold, but our present run rate puts us in the Marquisas after 12 days at sea. Pretty quick for a sail boat.
A few Boobies were hunting around our boat last night and several Storm Petrels as well. We are also getting squid all over the deck. They sort of adhere over night and you have to scrape them up with a spatula in the morning so that you don't slip on them like banana peels.
We checked in with the Pan Pacific net again this morning. We have not picked up any of the French Polynesian nets yet. We also talked to Double Vision, one of the boats from the SSB net, on the VHF radio a little bit ago. They are about 30 miles south of us. There are a few boats in this area including Panacea, and Quig Quig, both boats we have talked to on the morning SSB net. I would guess that there are at least 20 boats crossing to French Polynesia right now.
Nobu says: "The beginning of this voyage is perfecto"
Hideko says: "I saw ten tuna jumping high in the sky, too bad it is too rough to fish"
2,628 nm to go...