A slow down hill ride
29 May 2013 | Pacific Ocean
29th May 2013 06 deg 27S 128deg 40W
644 miles to go.. nearly there. The wind and fish have deserted us. Tuatara has been a motor boat since late yesterday afternoon. No sails up, motoring on slightly rippled flat sea. The wind had gradually been disappearing for a couple of days, the gribs forecast the windless state but we had hoped the forecast was wrong. No such luck, on the morning sked boats spread over the sea behind us, in front of us and below us confirmed the forecast¬...no wind. We persevered with the big coloured sail for most of yesterday, drifting along between 3 to 4 knots was very pleasant however when we looked at ground made good¬...even with the help of a 1 knot current, the need for speed returned. I know fizz boat owners don't consider 7 knots as speed but for Tuatara that's pretty good. For the first few hours, maybe a day, motoring is quite good. Progress is being made, excess power means lights can be left on, computer time can be unlimited, the freezer lid can be lifted for more than the usually permitted one lift a day and as long as the sea is flat life is quite comfortable. I begin to think maybe a motor boat wouldn't be too bad. Until about the end of day one, I wish for the noise to stop. I scan the sea and sky for any hint of wind, is that a ruffle on the water, are those clouds moving a bit faster, what do the gribs say? Alan keeps making calculations as to how much fuel has been used. "did you hear them say how expensive diesel is in French Polynesia!" On the passage from Chesterfield Reef to Cairns (4 years ago, doesn't time fly, certainly faster than the wind or so it seems at the moment) we motored for about 50 hours over a flat ripple free smooth mirror like Coral sea. As we approached the reef markers the wind came up and we had a great sail into Cairns, all 25 miles of it. The sea here is not quite that mirror like yet and we cannot, will not motor the next 600 odd miles. The gribs do say no wind for maybe two or three days. Please let them be wrong!