Friday, July 13, 2007

Wednesday 11th July

At Sea

8 22.044 S
137 36.684 W (at Midnight)

The first watch of the day, just after midnight brought with it some very black clouds and a sudden short down pour. The winds were confused by it and came from every direction except south east and we rolled and banged around for a while. The grib chart for today showed definite wind change to the south east – we can’t wait to see that! The radio schedule showed that everyone, with the exception of Timella who is 1500 miles behind the rest of us, had a similar sort of night and made very similar progress. If we continue to progress as we are doing we should arrive in the Marquesas in the early hours of Friday 13th, I hope we do as the biggest festival that the Islands holds is for Bastille Day which is on the 14th and we would like to be there for that. Y Not and JJ Moon will arrive probably a day after us unless they get some exceptional weather that we don’t get. Timella isn’t planning on stopping at the Marquesas, they intend to head straight for Fiji and plan on being at sea for 3 months – yes they are nuts! We discussed our course for the next 24hrs if the weather didn’t change – we would have to put in another tack to keep us heading in the right direction, we had our fingers crossed for the change to come through. We think we’ve finally got it worked out as to why there has been no south east wind; our explanation is as follows: - the grib info is produced in France in the Northern hemisphere where the south east wind obviously comes from the south east but we are currently in the Southern hemisphere where, as we all know, the water goes down the sink anti clockwise; it therefore follows that the south east wind must come out of the north – how’s that for fuzzy logic?! I know I’ve obviously been affected by the sun and too many days at sea! The good news was that as the morning wore on the wind did shift to just south of east, and we were able to head on our direct line to the Marquesas. It wasn’t as much of a shift as we would have liked but we gratefully took it anyway. As it was so close to not being south east we banged and flapped about when the swell rocked the boat too far to one way or the other but at least we were on the right track. The sun shone and the sea was fairly calm, we couldn’t have asked for more (except a bit more south to the wind!). We saw no dolphins, no whales and no ships despite having a clear uninterrupted 360 degree view of the horizon – where have they all hidden themselves? When it came time to run the generator Gerry started it up and seconds later it began to make a terrible noise, as if something was vibrating badly. A quick inspection with it running provided no clue as to the cause so we shut the thing down – it’s something else that we will have to look at when we arrive, in the meantime we are going to have to run the engine to keep the fridge cold and be even more careful than usual about how much power we are using – oh the joys of being reliant on a generator! We managed to have a meal that didn’t need the use of the microwave (uses too much power!) and then it was time to begin the night watches. We decided that as we had seen so few ships at night we would risk running without the navigation lights to save power and just used our garden stern light. Gerry saw one ship during one of his watches but it was 8 miles away from us and happily it was the only one all night.



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