Saturday, June 17, 2006

Drifting towards the Marquesas

We'd hoped we'd be making landfall today (Sunday), but our speed has been steadily decreasing as the wind has eased over the last few days. As I write this we have 60 miles left to go. At our current rate of progress we'll probably arrive sometime after dark or early morning Monday. We've been trying various combinations of sails to keep the speed up, including rigging the cruising chute as a spinnaker (moderately successful, but required too much concentration from the helm), moving the pole further back to allow us to have more genoa out - our current setup - it's a pain to rig, requiring forward and aft guys to fix the pole, but appears to be the best current option.

In the early morning when the wind had died completely we gave in and ran the engine for an hour. Worryingly, we couldn't make more than 5 knots, which I assume is because our propeller has become heavily fouled on the trip here, and hopefully not something more serious. We decided that the noise and heat wasn't really worth the extra knot so we're currently trying to do as best we can with the little wind there is.

Another successful fishing day yesterday. We'd put the line out after lunch when we'd finished the last of our previous tuna, and by mid-afternoon we had another tuna in the cockpit. A small yellow-fin tuna this time, which we marinaded and ate half for supper, the remainder we'll polish off today.

No sign of land yet, but we should spy the mountainous Marquesas before nightfall.

If you don't hear from us tomorrow it's likely that we'll have made it, but are struggling to send an email out - we believe that the sailmail reception in the anchorage is challenging.

Position @ 21:35 UTC: S10°10' W136°11'
Daily distance run: 130 nm
Distance to go: 148 nm
Cumulative distance: 2708 nm
Engine hours:0
Wind: E 5-10 knots
Weather: moderate/slight sea, 20% cloud cover, 1010 millibars

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