Tales from the Pacific Day 17

Monday 28 March – elsewhere in the world it is we think Easter Monday, here a provisioning oversight meant no hotcross buns or chocolate to consume. In any case there is no holiday for the crew aboard Temptress until we reach our destination when the skippers stated intention is to drop the hook somewhere for a week to chill out.

Today is a bad day because the First Mate was rudely awoken during her offwatch by cold Pacific splashing in through the open cockpit hatch, necessitating a change of sheet in the early hours. And because in the next watch she ended up wearing half a mug of hot cocoa at dawn thanks to a rogue wave that jolted the boat violently as she was about to sit down in the cockpit. Still the cockpit got a hot soapy wash down so is now sparkling clean, every cloud and all that. The pink fleece jacket has joined the ever expanding laundry bag. Unlikely to reappear until we make landfall as conditions are too rough to consider hanging anything but small items out to dry and even they are likely to be covered in salt spray. And yes its cool enough at night to need a light jacket or hoodie.

Today is however also a good day! Temptress is below 07S so making good progress towards the latitude of Hiva Oa(08S) and we passed the 1500nm through the water milestone somewhere over night which though a minor achievement is a sort of psychological boost for the crew. With over 200nm covered over the ground (thanks to the amazing current)and just 1700 nm or so to go we are both feeling pretty chuffed with progress now; amazing how quickly one forgets the frustration of drifting around in oily seas or soaking in monsoon downpours – both seem like they were months ago not a just a few days back.

The night was a bit wild with winds getting up to F5-6 gusting gale 8 at times hence the water splashing into the cockpit and the rather bumpy ride and we took the main down early on to make life easier for both the watch keeper and the one trying to sleep down below. During the morning it settled down to a more tradewind-like F4 ESE so we hoisted the main with its third reef once more. After last nights sleigh ride under a scrap of jib four to six knots seems sedate.

Lost another lure to something large that stalked it through the waves having tried a bite and missed but alerted Kevin by rattling out a few metres of line from the reel. He spotted the prey as the sun shone through a wave , something big but not identifiable something too big for us to handle so he started reeling in the lure and the big fish followed it waiting its moment; then it pounced and presumably went off rather disgruntled with our last large plastic squid and a wire leader; the fastener on the end of the main line had been straighten out by the shock of the snatch. Something much smaller is now trailing at the end of our line.

Quite a lot of cloud but mostly of the fluffy trade wind kind which makes one hope that we have finally found the trade belt.Overall it was a quiet day the crew read, cooked, knitted (only me), ate and fished. Just consistent winds and sunshine and we can’t ask for more than that!

All well on board and 1669nm to go as I write

Noon to noon: through the water 142nm over the ground 165nm Noon position: 07 11.12S 109 58.61W