Day 7 Crossing to the Marquesas.

Time: 21:00 GMT, Tuesday April 17th. Position S 06.25 and west
Heading 240 degrees with winds 15-20 knots, 70 degrees off our
port side.
All is fine……. There is nothing out here but water, sun,
wind, some flying fish, and an occasional bird (who must be very
tired). About 2,000 miles to go.

Pacific Crossing – Day 6

Day 6 – April 16th, 2007 Time: 21:00 UTC ( 15:00 local time –
whatever local might mean given our circumstances)

Position South 05.55.77 West 102.18.17 Heading 255 degrees at 8

Sorry about the blog the past few days. I just realized I sent
it the wrong way and it will be filled with all sorts of 2=Hs
and other junk.
All is well on board Sabbatical III. We each did a 6 hour shift
last night which really helped us in terms of getting caught up
on sleep. Amazing what one can do for six hours in the dark to
entertain oneself: an hour of staring at the stars, an hour of
dancing with the head-set on to get some exercise ( while
gripping onto the captain’s seat to keep steady), a couple of
hours of serious music listening on the IPOD, and a couple of
hours of absolute zoning out will do it. We have not seen
another boat for the last 3 days, but you still have to keep
checking. Finally got some good wind today, which required
taking down the big head sail ( the ballooner), but now we are
whizzing along at 8 to 9 knots and making some progress. Only a
couple of THOUSAND miles to go.

Day 5 at sea – Ou est Intiaq?

23.30 GMT, Sunday, April 15th.
We ended up turning much farther south last night than we had wanted to due
to wind direction. Then this morning we set up our two headsails which
allows us to sail well downwind, but we had to head the wrong direction in
getting everything set up and by the time we were back on track we had gone
a little farther south than we wanted to – but still on a good track for
the Marquesas. Our position is South 06.05 and West 100.13. Very
light winds and we are having an uncomfortable day – lots of sloshing back
and forth in the swell as there is not enough wind to keep both of the
headsails full. We are sad that we are now out of VHF range of our friends
Intiaq – so I am sending them this mail as well, hoping they will send
me back an e-mail letting us know their position. They are probably
enjoying a gourmet dinner right now, while we are eating canned soup, old
stir-fried rice and chocolate covered bananas ( all of which were actually
quite delicious). Tomorrow I plan to cook a chicken curry- or if we
are lucky, some fresh caught fish.

Day 4 – Passage to Marquesas

Position: South 05.06.23 West 97.42.08 Heading 244 degrees at 6 nm.

We are doing well – have been sailing without the motor for most of the past 2 days.
Yesterday was gorgeaus – smooth seas and a nice wind has us
racing along between 7 and 8 knots for most of the day. We are not getting
long enough stretches of sleep to feel rested, but are continuing to figure
this out. We are part of two “sailing nets” – which are groups of
sailors who talk on the SSB radio at set times during the day to report their
positions, and current wind and wave conditions where they are. Both
of the nets are for sailors in the Pacific. 99 percent of them are on our
exact course, and we are all within a couple of hundred miles of each other.
It is helpful. We know most of the boats from having seen them,
and meeting many of them, these last few weeks in the Galapagos. We are
just about 20 miles from one of our favorite boats – Intiaq – a catamaran
owned by a French/Swiss couple. We are close enough to them to see their
navigation lights at night which is kind of nice. Not much else out.
here to see except lots and lots and LOTS of water.Saw some dolphins
yesterday, but they didn’t seem interested in us and just swam on by.

More later

Us at sea – April 12th, 2007

Day 2 at sea. It is 4:30 pm local time and we are currently at :
S03.17 and W 93.06, and have had about 14 knots of wind 80 degrees to
port since about 2:00 this afternoon. We are heading 235 degrees. Yesterday
was calm and beautiful, and this morning was awful with no wind and terribly
sloppy seas and big swells. Since 2:00 however we have been
able to sail, and the seas, although still going the wrong way, are quite
a bit more comfortable.
We hope to get some sleep as both of us are wiped.

On our way

On Our Way.

We pulled up our anchor this morning and set off for the
island of Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas Islands of French
Polynesia. We left at 10:40 am local time (same as Mountain
Daylight Time) and have been motoring through gentle swells for
the past seven hours. We had a bit of wind for a while and got
some extra speed from our sails, but there has been no wind for
at least the past 3 hours. As we left the anchorage of Puerto
Villamil, we were greeted by a large sea turtle who seemed to
crane his neck to have a look at us and wave goodbye with his
flippers as he dove. As we sailed past the southwestern beaches
of Isla Isabela we saw that the ocean was full of sea turtles.
Every 100 yards there was a turtle or a small group of turtles.
Perhaps they are going to that beach to lay theirs eggs. What
a nice send-off from the Galapagos.

Yesterday we did our final provisioning. First we went to a
small supermarket and bought 5 dozen fresh and unrefrigerated
eggs, a few canned goods, and some bottled water. We left these
purchases at the market walked over to the Mercado a block away
to buy fruits and vegetables. We bought a large stalk of green
bananas weighing 20 pounds ($2.50), 10 avocadoes, 8 pounds of
tomatoes, three pineapples, and a watermelon. We wanted to buy
oranges and grapefruits but they were all soft and many were
moldy. We then hailed a pick-up truck taxi and loaded our fruits
into the back. In her best Spanish, Laura asked the driver if
there were another place to buy oranges. He took us to a store
that we had not seen before. There we bought 45 hard green
oranges, a half-dozen grapefruit, and another watermelon. We
shlepped it to back to the boat and had it washed and stowed
aboard before 10:30 am. We had to hang the banana stalk in the
ocean for a half-hour in order to drown the numerous insects
living there — some seemed immune to a 10 minute dunk. We
spent the afternoon going through our checklist of departure

At 5 pm we took the water taxi into the Embarcadero to have
one last walk on solid gound, have a quick meal at Henry’s Club
Nautico, and pick up our order of prepared food. Earlier
yesterday morning, we asked Henry’s wife to cook up grilled
chicken and rice with vegetables and chicken for 9 people, and
left tupperware to contain it. When we got to Club Nautico, it
had all just been cooked and was sitting in the sealed
tupperware. We had a quick dinner of fish (they were now out of
chicken) and took a water taxi over to “Intiaq” . Karen and
Jean-Francois had invited us to talk about winds, waves, and
routing to the Marquesas over drinks on their beautiful
catamaran. They had two Italian couples from a nearby boat
over, and the men were bent over a computer screen with weather
forecasts. The discussion was all in French but I could follow
much of it, and Laura helped out with translations as well. One
of the Italian men had been a weather forecaster before
retiring. The question is whether to go directly south in the
hopes of picking up the tradewinds, or take a more northerly
course as routing guru Jimmy Cornell suggests. Jean-Francois
had made contact on his SSB radio with two boats that left the
Galapagos for the Marquesas three days ago. One went far south
and was experiencing very rough seas and no wind. The other
went less south and was experiencing calmer seas and 17 knots of
winds. This is extremely useful information and I have adjusted
our route in light of it. Over drinks and appetizers, Laura
engaged everyone in her brilliant French while I just sat there
smiling. We could not stay long as we had an invitation for
“sundowners” at “Vera”, the boat of our friends Michael and
Britta of Germany. It was certainly our big social night.

Laura is now listening in on Jean-Francois and his friends
at sea discuss condition (in French) on the SSB. Intiaq left
just 4 hours ago. A few other boats left today as well
primarily because the nasty swell from the south that we have
had for the past few days has ended. We are currently heading
208 degrees magnetic at 7.2 knots at location 1 degrees 39
minutes South, 91 degrees 29 minutes West. We had some dolphins
jumping near the boat just a few minutes ago. Soon it will be
rice and chicken for supper, and a night full of stars.