Tales from the Pacific Day 8

Eleven on Saturday morning marked exactly one week since we weighed anchor in Les Perlas heading south and west to the Marquesas some 4000 mile away. Progress is now very, very sloooow as we are in a calm area to the west of the Galapagos. It is forecast to shrink and grow, move north and extend more south and west as if playing a perverse form of “catch me if you can” across Temptress’ planned track for the next four or five days defying us to escape its clutches.

Around 8pm yesterday the sails were taken down, the wheel locked off and we slept, there was little else we could do with no wind at all! Around 2 am this morning a little breeze filled in and we found ourselves “beating” on a starboard tack in about a F2 from the WSW at 4 knots! That plus the current rather improved our position and our mood. We actually managed 35nm over the ground overnight though not necessarily in quite the right direction thanks to the ever present current.

The skipper also took action yesterday against the annoying plague of little black flies by spraying fly killer in the forward heads and shutting the door for the night. Lots of deaths but the population doesn’t seem that diminished elsewhere in the boat.

Today’s big questions are “what longitude is Singapore?” We know it’s latitude is higher than ours but is it as far east as we are now west? And the second question of the day is when is Easter? We think it is in March but our Panama Canal calendar with its wonderful B&W pictures of old sailing ships being towed through has no holidays marked.

Now the winds have gone light the days are beginning to run into one another. And one day seems to run much the same as the previous ones with the only variation being different food at meal times and the books we are reading in between. But this afternoon with no wind from just before four o’clock in the afternoon onwards we had a bit of a change. I taught Kevin to make a fish pie with our last wahoo fillet – it was too hot to use the oven to reheat it later so when we wanted to eat he put it under the grill for twenty minutes or so which browned the mash topping beautifully crisp.

After that we brought forward sundowners to accompany a few hands of cards before supper. Then spent some time trying to defend our territory against an invasion of boobies who are so unafraid in these parts they;ll land on the pulpit with you standing there, their wings brushing your face! Kevin literally pushed one off after it had landed. They are funny with their antics but they make a mess over both the bow and the sails. They make several circuits with aborted landings before coming in feet first wings back. Eventually after shouting and roaring at them and much waving of arms from right behind the furled genoa whenever they attempted a landing they got the message that they were not welcome and headed off elsewhere for the night.

Then we simply went to sleep as there was little else to do until we got some wind; the skipper on deck in case the wind filled in, me in the aft cabin. No danger from any shipping – we’ve not seen a ship in days and this side of the Galapagos is well off anyone’s beaten track except yachts heading to the Marquesas.

We did though answer the big questions by some research during the day-
my iPad calendar told us Easter is next weekend and also that we should wish nephew Martin a belated Happy Birthday (please pass on our best wishes too to Ava whose Birthday is next week)! And our Singapore chart confirmed that it lies between 103 and 104 deg E of the meridian so not quite on the opposing latitude to Temptress yet!

Noon to noon: Through the water: 63nm Over the ground: 112nm Noon position: 01 18.36N 093 40.13W