Monday, July 23, 2007

Saturday 21st July

At Sea

9 41.575 S
140 56.908 W (at Midnight)

We slept well, there was hardly any swell in the bay to keep us awake and when we awoke the sun was shining, it was a shame that we didn’t find this bay a few days ago and spend more time here. Poor Gerry suffered badly today from the sand fly bites he received last night; he always reacts badly to them and is covered in huge red lumps today despite having drowned himself in spray last night; they itch like crazy and he is applying local anaesthetic like it’s going out of fashion. Today we definitely were leaving for Papeete. Our first task for the day was to secure the dink on the foredeck. Once that was done we went to start the engine; Gerry turned on the chart plotter and it was very slow to start up but eventually came to life, we thought nothing of it. We hauled the anchor up and began to motor slowly out of the bay; Gerry hoisted the main sail as I drove us out until we had cleared the entrance. It was a bit lumpy around the entrance and we were glad to be clear of it before unfurling the jib. The wind was very light, only 6 knots so we motor sailed to begin with until we were clear of the effects of the island then we turned off the motor to see what we could achieve with just the sails. As it turned out it was abysmal, the wind stayed below 10 knots for the next 18 hours and we slid through the water at speeds varying from 1.5 knots to 4.9 knots – at this rate we were going to arrive in Tahiti on 3rd August! We didn’t motor sail as we only have about 45 gallons of fuel on board – we didn’t fill up in the Marquesas as the fuel was $6 a gallon and we didn’t think we would need more than what we had left to get us to Tahiti (hind sight is a wonderful thing!). Anyway we played all day and half of the night with furling and unfurling the jib, putting out the pole and retrieving it when it broke off, letting out the reef in the main and generally trying to get as much mileage as possible out of the pathetic wind. The sea was flat calm and there was nothing in sight for several hours then just before sunset Gerry noticed that there was a sail boat in the distance behind us, it had to be motoring to have come within our vision. We ate dinner as the sun went down and then the night watches began. We debated whether to put on our running lights or not – they draw quite a lot of power and we are without the generator so power is a very precious commodity; in the end we did put them on and left them on until about 01.30hrs when we finally decided that there was nothing within striking range and the moon was bright enough to see anything on the horizon anyway.



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