Saturday, August 11, 2007

Thursday 9th August

At sea

16 51.057 S
150 57.369 W(at Midnight)

All good things come to an end and so when we got up this morning we began the packing away of things that move when we are under way. Gerry and Abigail secured the dinghy to the deck whilst I got out the life jackets and filled the snack box. At 09.30 hrs we were ready to leave, Gerry hoisted the anchor whilst I steered us out of the anchorage, Isabella hoisted their anchor and followed us out – we were both heading off in the same direction – to Bora Bora. We hoisted our main sail and unfurled the jib whilst we were still in the protection of the anchorage and then turned towards the channel markers that lead out through the reef, the wind was on our beam and we were moving along quite nicely so the engine was turned off and we sailed out into open water. Unfortunately once we were clear of the island effects on the wind we found that it was coming more onto the aft of the boat – not the best point of sail but we were still managing to move along at a reasonable speed even if we were going slightly off course, with over 100 miles to go it didn’t matter too much at this point. We threw the fishing line in the water and dragged it along in the hope that we might catch something edible –yeah right! We were about 2 hours out of Moorea when we heard a mayday go out over the radio, it was in French and we were only able to decipher a few words of it. There was nothing obviously in distress anywhere close to us and we continued on our course No long and lat was given for the mayday and after a while we heard the mayday call down graded to a pan pan, still no long and lat or detail that we could understand. We did see the coast guard rushing towards Tahiti and in retrospect we think it must have been responding to the mayday call. Our fickle wind turned even further and came around behind the boat causing our sails to collapse and flap as they back winded each other, we got fed up with the flapping and furled the jib away, leaving just the reefed main to push us along. It was quite rolly and uncomfortable but we were heading in roughly the right direction. Abigail did well until it was time to cook dinner, I am never good at going below and cooking so she volunteered to help, unfortunately it would appear she is just like me and within minutes of being below and trying to prepare food she was looking a bit green around the gills and not feeling too well. Knowing the feeling well I sent her out on deck and told her to stay there whilst I finished cooking the dinner. To her credit she managed not to be sick but she didn’t feel too good and left most of her dinner. Immediately after dinner I sent her off to bed, Gerry was also feeling a little worse for wear but was happy to stay on watch, for once I was the only one who felt fine so I ended up doing the dishes as well as the cooking - the dishes are usually Gerry’s responsibility. As it was now time to begin the night watches I went off to bed whilst Gerry took first watch. It was not a good night as the rolling prevented us both from sleeping well during our “off watch” periods and we both spent more time in the cockpit than in the bed. Around midnight we passed the first of two islands that were about 20 miles apart, at 1.5 miles off of it we were quite close to it - this was due to the wind still keeping us slightly off course. Abigail surfaced for a short while during the night but soon returned to bed – guess night watches aren’t going to include her!



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