Sunday, August 8, 2010

Having a Great Sail

We are not quite half way to the Marquesas. Our first day was quite relaxed--the wind was very light, and we opted to motor close in along the coast of the twin atolls of Raroia and it's close neighbor to the north (with no pass), Takume, a total of 25 miles. We faithfully dragged our fishing line the whole way, but no luck.

Leaving the Pass at Raroia

Sailing along Takume

Today we were kind of sweating the wind--it was forecast to pick up a little and go a little south of east--which would make a great sail for us. The swing to the south was delayed by about 8 hours--it wouldn't have been a very pleasant trip if it hadn't switched. But finally about 2pm today, we got about a 30 degree wind switch.

Just at sunset we sailed close past the twin atolls of Tepotu and Napuka. They would be a great stop time-wise, except neither has a pass and there's really no place to anchor. We had one report from an SSCA newsletter of a boat that stopped there--he hand set his anchor on top of the coral, and his stern was in 100' feet. Another boat (Migration) tried to stop there 2 years ago, and couldn't. We could see a few buildings ashore, and a guy out fishing in a plastic kayak. But it was very close to sunset, so we sailed on by.

Now we're sailing along about 6 knots on a close reach, just a little high of our course. The wind is supposed to continue to strengthen, and we want to put a little "easting" "in the bank", just in case.

We got such a slow start that our ETA at the Bay of Virgins in Fatu Hiva is now close to sunset--it'll be a close thing whether we make it in before dark or not. And then there's always the choice of what to do--lay off all night and wait for daylight, or try to go in carefully after dark and get an anchor down and get a good night's sleep.

Let's hope this wind holds!!
At 8/8/2010 7:15 AM (utc) our position was 13°46.93'S 141°09.13'W

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