Galapagos to Marquesas – Days 7 & 8

POS: 7 50.3S 115 03.1W

The nearest land is a long way away. In fact yesterday we were further from land than we are ever likely to be in our lives again – some 1500 nm. But now we are getting closer again since we have passed the half way mark.

Celebrations were a little muted since we have both been pretty exhausted, but we did share a beer and toast the achievement over dinner last night. It was a very late dinner because Leslay had been sleeping in the afternoon and I left her to sleep well past our normal dinner time, rather allowing her to wake naturally (or more likely to some bang or crash or unusual lurch as is the norm in our small world). Twenty minutes after dinner I was fast asleep and slept solidly until woken for my shift at 2 am.

We can’t complain though, as we have had some pretty decent weather for a few days now, no rain to speak of, warm trade winds coming from further behind every day and deep blue seas with water so clear that you can almost see through the tops of the breaking waves, which are getting fewer and further between. The boat’s motion changes from minute to minute. The waves and swell are now mainly coming from the port quarter and much of the time there is now just a gentle long swell (always difficult to judge its height but our routing software suggests it should be between 2 and 2.5 metres at the moment which is probably about right) with about 10 seconds from peak to peak, overlayed with much shorter steeper smaller waves. As the underlying swell passes underneath the boat its picked up and lowered gently and rolls according to the slope of the water. At times though the combination of the swell and superimposed waves gives rise to a more vicious roll – inevitably when you are pouring tea, or getting something out of the oven, or walking across the cabin, or climbing out of bed. Its a randomly moving world, but luckily we have lots of handholds. Its pretty dry onboard now too – very different from when the wind is coming from in front. Generally the waves pass underneath the boat, but every now and again the combination of swell and wave will result in water slapping the side of the hull, spewing upwards and the resulting spray being caught in the breeze and driven across the deck or into the cockpit. Its not a problem just slightly irritating especially if its 5 minutes since you came out of the shower! Luckily its not a frequent occurrence now.

With dropping, backing winds our daily distances covered are back down a bit, but still reasonable at 183nm and 188nm. Nights are brighter – it will be a full moon on Friday, the daily count of flying fish is reducing and the boat is holding together rather well. I think that’s about it for now.

All is good on board.

One thought on “Galapagos to Marquesas – Days 7 & 8”

  1. You describe everything brilliantly, Derek. We are getting an unforgettable understanding of what the waves are like and what they do to the boat, of the changing light at night, of the wildlife interacting with the boat – of your daily round and common task. Thank you. Love to each of you. Kate

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