Galapagos to Marquesas – Day 12

POS: 7 48S 125 44.5W

The sun is out, the breeze is back and we are heading in roughly the right direction. After yesterday’s moonlight gybe we have been sailing in beautiful trade wind conditions, that increased slightly overnight and decreased as the sun came out. Due to the huge deviation in course our daily run of 137 nm doesn’t really do justice to the speed we travelled since that’s the straight line distance and actually we sailed the other two sides of the triangle – probably more like 155 nm in total.

We enjoyed a delicious pressure cooked Beef Bourguignonne last night followed by home made coconut ice cream and passion fruit sorbet.

Our trusty water generator sheered another shaft coupling in the middle of the night, an unfortunate trait it seems to have at regular intervals so that’s currently out of action, but I think we have a replacement or two so it should be back online later today.

We are beginning to see more birds around – small flocks now rather than just intrepid individuals and the flying fish remain entertaining and in many cases suicidal overnight.

With just the Parasailor up for the last few days, noise levels on board have dropped significantly. Snatch blocks rattle occasionally and guy lines tap on the deck but we don’t suffer the continuous creaks and groans of the kicker, reef lines and genoa cars. Which means sleep should be easier and generally is, however not for me last night.

For some reason I never settled and although Lesley did a very long watch somehow I didn’t make the most of it. Our Parasailor is huge and small changes in wind strength give rise to huge changes in boat speed. I could feel the boat’s motion change all the time as I stirred. The gentle quiet rocking in the lulls and calm seas, followed in the gusts by first the slight surge as the transom was picked up by a following wave (its quite surprising how fast the waves build as gusts come through), then the increasing roar as the boat accelerated down the face of the wave only to be slowed again when the bottom of the trough was reached. Then a pause as the boat waited for the next wave to catch up and the cycle to be repeated.

The noise level of the water flowing past the hull is very different at 5 or 6kts in flat seas compared to 10 or 11 kts scooting down aerated waves. You can often judge the boat speed from in the cabin just from the noise of the water – your head is quite close to the hull from the saloon bunk that we use on passage.

We now have 793 nm to go and the routing software suggests winds will drop a little again for a while so our arrival date may slip to Thursday. Not an issue – we will arrive whenever we do!

All is good onboard.
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