Tuesday 5 April

Good Morning!

Here on board Temptress in the middle of nowhere our focus has subtly changed in the last day or two from how far have we come to how far is it to go. Distance to run has become an all consuming passion; every time one of the crew goes below the other asks the question. Our cranky GPS (or may be it is the instrumentation itself) refuses to broadcast DTW until the figure is below 304.50nm so the only way to satisfy our desire is to visit the chart table and press buttons on the GPS.

The wind is a relatively steady E or ESE F4 or 5 occ 6 and Temptress is heading around 265 mag giving us roughly 260 over the ground. But more importantly for moral we have finally reached the same square on our Pacific Ocean chart as the Marquesas as we are now west of 130Wand theoretically in the same time zone as of yesterday afternoon except that their local zone is UT-9.5. We decided we’ll adjust the last half hour when we arrive!

Tides, battery monitors Fray Bentos pies and sail repairs occupied us today. Mostly wondering about them rather than doing anything specific. Firstly tides; of all the books about the region we have on board only one The Pacific Crossing Guide mentions tides in the Marquesas; apparently at Springs there is a 2.1m range which is significant as we draw 2.1m. However beyond some throw away remarks elsewhere that high tides are around noon and midnight because of our location close to the Equator we have no other clues except that the moon is on its last quarter so we’ll becoming up to spring tides by the time we arrive. So we’ve made a mental note to err on the side of caution when choosing a spot to anchor.

The battery monitor seems to require a 240v supply from time to time –
we’ve sort of noticed before that after a long period on solar and engine charging alone it progressively understates the percentage charge in the batteries to the point where they should be seriously sick but patently are still running systems quite happily. At least we think that is what the issue is. Will be running the generator for hours on end when we arrive to see if the battery monitor can be persuaded to reset itself again.

Noticed today when checking around the foredeck – the usual daily desiccated flying fish clearance round – that the foot tape on the gennie is coming unstitched at intervals roughly equivalent to where it is furled at various sizes of sail and presumably rubs on itself at the point the sail in use comes off the forestay. It will have to come down and the cockpit sail loft will be open for business once more. Did used to wonder if buying a Sailrite sewing machine was truly a wise move but
now convinced it absolutely was a good investment. The sprayhood too could do with a few seams redoing as the UV is getting to the stitching.

Tonight’s supper was “experimental” in the best tradition of British sailing boats; our tin store like most boats has a small collection of time expired tins that apart from a few minor rusty marks appear perfectly sound. Pride of place amongst these are two Frey Bentos steak and ale pies that have survived mainly because since the Cape Verdes it has been too hot to consider using the oven on full blast for the hour they take to cook.

Best before 2014 these two are truly world class sailing pies having been part of the provisions for our 2006 trip to Dingle. Tonight only one remains as the skipper decided to cook one for our supper regardless of the heat generated. The pastry was a little soggy but it smelt fine and it tasted as yummy as always though our tropical surroundings rather than beating up the Channel in a gale meant it was not quite as heart warming a meal as usual. Anyway if you don’t hear any more from us you’ll know why and at least we will have enjoyed our last meal!

Noon to noon: through the water 153nm over the ground 168nm* Noon position: 09 41.31S 130 40.25W
Distance to go: 478nm

* 25 hour day as flogged the clock yesterday afternoon to UT-9