Ship’s Journal- Puerto Vallarta -> Marquesas
Actual logs transcribed from messy handwriting enroute
3/31/07 Saturday: Departing Punta Mita 0730, calm seas, no wind. Left Paradise Village yesterday ~ 1400; engine ran COOL and strong. Almost 20 kts of wind, noserly of course.
4/1/07 Sunday: First 24 hour run almost 150 miles – good wind held all night. Big moon lit our way – 3-6 watch had me sailing down the moon trail. Today wind dropped to 6-8 knots, we were doing 4-5’s under chute, main (2 reefs still), and mizzen. Beam reach. Seas dropping all day, breeze finally filled in ~ 1430. Did many projects in AM, changed to bigger self-steering rudder (Bob) got water maker going, remade mizzen preventor, etc. Don [amateur weather guru] said we’re in for a slow go, hope he’s wrong.
4/2/07 Monday: Slow go yesterday- 50 miles made good- wind went light AM, dropped to zero by midnight. Got windvane [self-steering rig] going, but mizzen preventor failed overnight and mizz boom knocked the vane sail off into the drink. Still have small sail, but need to work on it today to make it functional. Motored 4 hours until sunrise, now blowing 8 knots, sailing ~4.
4/3/07 Tuesday: Good run yesterday ~120 miles. Chute up all day + night, wind lite, 8-10 knots, but relatively steady on, or just aft, of beam. Saw Sol Searcher and spoke with them on VHF. They headed off to the north of us and disappeared. [We are] still using too many amps- not sure why since not using much stuff. Sent e-mails today. Another bee-utiful moon last night, BTW. Now 380 miles off,
4/4/07 Wednesday, Day 5: Now 540 miles off Punta Mita, 3:30 PM PV time. Had to douse the chute last night about 9:00 PM. Wind up too high. Another good day today – doing 5-6 under gennie, main, and mizz. Bent the bail on the spin pole car, using a shackle to attach pole for gennie. Wind continues fresher 15-18, seas a bit higher. Direction and steadiness indicates trades- NE, can’t steer 230 anymore. Tomorrow we may try wing and wing to get something. Winlink program doesn’t like Vista- very unstable.
4/5 Thurs. Day 6: Pretty good run all day today- nice fresh breeze and doing high 5’s, 6’s and even some 7’s around dinner time. Don says we’re going to start seeing some northerlies, and after reefing down at sunset, that’s what happened. Now we’re rolling around like a drunken dog, can’t steer our course (230) and I just had the most frustrating 3 hours so far, trying to keep the boat moving and comfortable- not possible. Had a good e-mail experience this AM, first try went through perfectly. Go figure.
4/6 Friday Day 7: Hard to believe it’s day 7 already. Seems like we just left PV. Another good run today, hitting lots of 7’s under chute and main. Had to lose the mizzen, wind too far aft. We carry the asym like a real spnny,- tack poled out to windward to get clear air around the main. Had a real humdinger of a wrap around the headstay today – got lucky and it came loose by weaving downwind & back up. Whew! Like last night, we doused the chute at sunset and rolled out (poled out) the gennie.
4/7 Sat. Day 8: Yet another great run – started a bit slowly as usual – 4’s in the AM, set chute after breakfast and began 5’s and 6’s, by afternoon, 6’s and 7’s. Right now, 2:30 AM [PV time, we decided to just keep the clock on PV time until we made the Marquesas] lots of 7’s on a moonlit ocean. Crew getting very good w/sail handling. Dousing chute in ~20 this evening went ultra smooth like great teamwork. Just 700 miles to waypoint – we’re more than 1000 miles on our way!
4/8/07 Easter Sunday, Day 9: 11 11’ N 122 16” W 0325 Zulu Better than 1100 miles out of Punta Mita – 1/3 of the way, a couple of days and it will be halfway! Took it easy today, no spinny, but still did 5’s and 6’s, then 7’s later PM. Beautiful day- very few clouds, little duckies. Got Winlink to work finally- sent and received many! Watching Captain Ron in the cockpit right now- making popcorn.
4/9/07 Monday Day 10: A dark, gloomy, foreboding kind of day. Overcast never broke. Went wing and wing early with poled-out genie at ~100%. Main double reefed- balanced nicely- doing 5’s and 6’s all day. Some 7’s later on. All are getting weary of hand steering but Hydrovane is useless I’m afraid. Don said to revise intermediate waypoint from 05 N to 07 N [x 130 W] to avoid area of moderate convection along upper boundary of ICTZ . Turns out it was the course Arabella had been trying to go for last few days! Will be at halfway point tomorrow! 1300 miles from PV now. Winlink finally worked after Pac. Seafarers net – got some good ones sent and received Inventory Form so we can be official Seafarers
4/10/07 Tuesday, Day 11 Sunny nice day, winds getting lighter. Overnight we had our first deck-washer squall . Only lasted 30 minutes, but soaked things nicely. Cleaned the salt off the dodger and wet down Bob and John pretty thoroughly. I was off watch and the worst problem was the leak around the mizzen. Hatches and ports all sealed well. We are now only 185 miles from our intermediate waypoint of 05N 130W, and 1500 miles from Paradise. Mexican spaghetti for dinner tonite.
4/11/07 We lost a day somewhere between Easter and 4/12, sorry.
4/12/07 Thursday, Day 12: Today was cloudy- think we’re in the ITCZ now for sure. Rain and low viz for my watch 6-9pm. Decks very clean now. Heard two long thunder rolls, no lightening…
Boat still moving well. 5-6 [knots] all day. Position 05 43’ 129 48’ almost to the waypoint. Tomorrow we will think about diving due south if the wet weather continues, otherwise we’re 1114 nautical miles away from Fatu Hiva, course 200, straight to it.
4/13/07 Friday, Day 14: Realized we have nowhere enough diesel for ITCZ, going to have to sail every chance we get [it was predicted we’d have 600 miles of no wind]. Generator won’t work, autopilot died, otherwise, the rain is really special. Crew and vessel still happy despite everything.
4/14/07 Saturday Day 15: Pretty nice between squalls, sea pretty flat, sunshine. Generator [Honda 2000] started again, autopilot is not going to, I fear. Got hit by our first WINDY squall today- 27 knots from nothing. Sailed for a few hours-engine keeps stalling-low main tank syndrome. Tried to transfer fuel from aux tank, but not too successful [small transfer pump wouldn’t prime, even with applied air pressure on aux tank]. Poured two jerrys in, running OK for now. Winlink still not working, answered a [health and welfare query] call from Southbound Net, Barbie was worried I guess. Sorry Honey. ~200 miles from equator, hope we can make it. Fighting a big current on this side, only making 3.5 OTG.
4/15/07 Sunday Day 16: Beautiful day- great night last night- clear with stars galore and like sailing through a big lake; no swells, no wind. Got engine running mid afternoon after adding 10 gal diesel [hand-pumped from aux tank]. Motored all night, then sailed all day today under chute, main and mizzen. We finally got out of adverse (northerly) current, so speed made good finally equalled speed through the water. Today current reversed so we actually got a bonus. Only 120 miles to equator, be there tomorrow. 820 miles to Marquesas, Life is Good. Bob made spaghetti tonight, with wine, yum!
4/16/07 Monday Day 17: Equator Day! Made it to 00 00’ S about 4:30 pm, dropped sails, and commenced to Par Tay. All went swimming, toasted Neptune, barbequed our special “equator steaks” (frozen rib-eyes from Sam’s in PV), drank a couple of bottles of vino, and sailed away under chute alone- nice sail all the rest of the day and night, under 600 miles to go.
4/17/07 Tuesday Day 18: Recovered from equator party and all agreed “worth it”. So far southern hemisphere seems pretty much like northern hemisphere. Haven’t noticed toilet flushing backwards yet.
4/18/07 Day 18, Wednesday: Slow going-motored for awhile- not enough to go too far. Spin halyard parted at masthead, floppy genny only option now. Don’t want to risk sending Bob up there, plus it’ll just chafe through again…
4/19/07 Thursday, Day 20: Slow again, Southern Doldrums I guess. Rigged up a way to fly chute off main halyard track- gotta see the pics! Night brought wind about 1:00 am, then rain and flukey all the rest of the night. About 400 miles out and all are ready to get there. Wish we had more diesel.
4/20/07 Friday, Day 21: Today was perfect- finally made it into good steady SE trades and sailed all day and night at 4.5 – 6 knots, just fine. As of midnight, only 320 miles to go. Lots of stars, little crescent moon going down, swells almost non-existent, boat just cruising along with no fuss, no banging, no slapping, etc. Made lentil stew for dinner, Bob and I liked it, not sure about John. Had machaca & chorizo, carrots and onions, garlic, tomato paste, chili powder and curry. Big Yum. John said I should become a chef, even though he doesn’t always like what I come up with…
4/21/07 Saturday, Day 22: Only 220 miles to go, trades are steady SE 15 knots, and life be good. Oh yeah, clear, sunny, beautiful, with clouds around, just cool to look at. John did laundry, Bob and I didn’t. Got a little hairy last night… Made creamed chicken breast (Kirkland) over rice for dinner- touch of garlic and lime jazzed up the mushroom soup well. Don thinks we’ll be in late tomorrow, I think Monday. Can’t wait to call home.
4/22/07 Sunday, Day 23: Fast sail all day, finally going to arrive in the AM. Called the wimmenfolk through phone patch on SSB. Nice guy in LA, one of the Pacific Seafarers Net guys, offered to do it for us. Jan not home, but Bev and Barb glad to hear from us and vice versa. Only ten miles away from north end of Hiva Oa right now, I better go up on deck and check it out…