Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 12 Mexico to Marquesas

April 15, 2012
7PM boat time
Position at 0200 April 16, 2012 UTC: 05°21'N 123°45'W

Day 12: Mexico to Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia

All is well aboard.

We're at our halfway point in the voyage. Considering our time of departure and lay days at Isla Benedicto, that total 67 hours, we have now been underway a total of 216 hours and 1406 nautical miles for an average speed of 6.51 knots which is consistent with the mostly light winds we've encountered thus far.

We experienced our first good squall of the voyage last night around 10PM, heavy rain and shifty gusty winds. Today, lots more of the same with more intensity and of significantly longer duration. Winds have been steady at around 24 knots between squalls and we've been sailing on just our 400SF jib on a broad reach. Not the fastest, but with just the jib on the roller furler a very easily managed sail plan when we get hit by a squall packing more than 30 knots and usually a significant shift in wind direction. The trade off only averaging around 6 knots is tough to take when you consider we still have 1600nm to go. Slowing to 6 knots vs 7.5 adds an additional 52 hours of sailing to our remaining voyage.

In one of the bigger squalls today we enjoyed cooling off in the pouring rain a nice escape from the 91F inside cabin temperature. The squalls' intensity provided enough water direct from the sky for the girls to wash, rinse, condition and final rinse their hair, now that's a good downpour! Eventually, the windchill cooled everyone enough that we all enjoyed the nearly foreign sensation of being chilled. Back in the cabin drying off, the chill turned almost immediately back to our now normal hot and sweaty.

Around 3PM our wind died out (05 43N 123 38W) and we are now motor sailing. Our course is 180 South as we try to plunge through the ITCZ before gybing over on the SE trades to lay the Marquesas.

As is becoming quite usual, night watches spot glowing dolphins regularly and plenty of flying fish end up on deck overnight.

Looking out the window at our 100% cloud cover and menacing grey black clouds I'm surprised to see a few sea birds skimming the wave tops. It seems amazing these birds could range 900nm from the nearest island (Clipperton) and some 1300nm from the continent.

Lots of lightning as I finally get around to sending this update at 1AM boat time on 04/16/2012 at position 04 47N 123 56W.

That's it for now.

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