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Monday, April 09, 2012

Day 6 Mexico to the Marquesas

March 9, 2012
Position at 1400UTC: 17°53'N 112°12'W
Day 6: Mexico to Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia

We're underway for the Marquesas, about 2 weeks and 2400 nautical miles distant. Overnight sailing conditions we pretty uncomfortable with short period wind chop banging the hulls and light shifty winds with our apparent wind ahead of the beam most of the time. Looking forward to more steady and stronger NE tradewinds in the next day or so. Andrew and Kelsey are pretty good on sail trim so we've kept the boat moving pretty well despite the less than ideal conditions. Andrew was on dinner duty last night and produced a fine meal of baked Wahoo with orange sauce, mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

About dinner time I was searching for a tool in the bilge when I found what I was looking for under a few gallons of fresh water. I'd been running the water maker so thought maybe a problem with the product water line running to the port water tank. Kathy and I removed the floor boards and cleaned up the water and waterlogged items stored in the normally dry bilge. A through search revealed no leaks? We ran the water maker and again checked for leaks and found none so the mystery remains and the bilge is still dry 11 hours later. Maybe the water has been there since we filled the water tanks in Cabo with a very high pressure hose?

Adding insult to injury the saltwater foot pump that provides saltwater to the galley sink started to drip. It looks like I'll be pretty busy today rebuilding the pump and trying to discover the mystery source of the fresh water in the bilge.

Yesterday before heading out of Isla San Benidicto we (Kelsey, Andrew and Dave) built a custom SSB radio counterpoise or grounding system for our SSB radio. The current system worked, but we were looking for better performance for the long haul to the Marquesas and upcoming duties as net control for the Puddle Jump Net. The project involved 200 meters or 600' of 22 guage wire, lots of measuring and some math. The new ground system is comprised of a bunch of wires cut to lengths determined by taking (300/radio freq in MHz)*(0.25)= length of each radial (wire) in meters. So far the new ground system seems to work very well on the frequencies we cut radials for and as others as well.

s/v Blue Rodeo a Deerfoot 50 sailed by Mark and Anne is about 25 nm to the West of our current position and it looks like we might have a bit of a race to see who arrives in the Marquesas first.