April 26, 2013
Day 2: Sailing from Fatu Hiva toward Tahiti
Yesterday, we motored about 4 miles from Baie Hanavae down to Baie Omoa to charge the batteries and make water. We had a few fellow sailors aboard whom we were dropping off at Omoa where we planned to pick up some baguettes for our passage. The hikers were taking the scenic hike over between the bays, about the only hike we've missed in the Marquesas. Landing the dinghy at Omoa was exciting with a 1-2 meter surge at the wharf and we walked nearly a mile through the village before we found our baguettes all the while worried our dinghy was getting mauled by the surge at the wharf. Underway by 9AM we had the spinnaker pulling nicely well into the evening. A few big squalls looming on the radar squashed our plan to run the chute through the night, so we rolled out the jib and enjoyed a nice low key dinner of spicy pumpkin and coconut rice. Our call to just run the jib turned out to be spot on as squalls materialized and unloaded a deluge of rain and wind, but all that lazy sailing resulted in just 6.4 knots average speed overnight.
This morning we enjoyed the relative cool of the early morning hours and sipped on coffee as the tropical sun began it's daily assault of fiery rays. Fortified with coffee we hoisted our medium size spinnaker and our speed jumped up to a solid 9's with frequent surfing in the 12-15 knot range. So far today the seas are running 2.5 meters and the wind is pretty steady at 18-22 out of the southeast. On a extra big wave we caught a huge surf and hit a top speed of 18.5 knots! That sort of acceleration on a sailboat can induce a legitimate adrenaline rush and it had me jumping to the helm to ensure the autopilot held a steady course.
It's been about 2000 nautical miles since we enjoyed downwind sailing and it's a good reminder of how effortless sailing can be. The surfs are coming easy as LightSpeed is light for a ocean passage. We've pretty well burned through our cache of long term provisions and have have been subsisting mainly on locally available foods. Quite a contrast from all the boats just arriving to French Polynesia whom are stuffed full of cheap and delicious stores from Panama and Mexico. With only with few provisions aboard, 30 gallons of water and 48 gallons of fuel, 1 bottle of wine and 12 beers we'll keep enjoying the regular surfs into the mid-teens at least until our next stop Tahiti where we plan to load up on provisions.
That's it for now.
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com