Friday, August 4, 2017

Galapagos to Marquesas Day 17

3rd August 2017

Current Position: 09 15.1S / 136 43 .9W at 0200 UTC, 2000hrs Galapagos time, 1800hrs Alaska time. SOG 7.9kts. COG 250T.
Wind E 20-25kts. Sea State: rough with following seas and 10ft swells, breaking white caps. DTR 143nm. 24 hr run 191.7nm

Just after day break we gybed back to the south west. The angle is very good now and we are sailing straight down the rhumbline at last.

Over the past twenty four hours we've been mulling over where to set foot on terra firma and judge's decision is now final.

Instead of making landfall on Fatu Hiva as planned we are now targeting Hanamoenoa Bay on Tahuata, a small island just 10 miles south of Hiva Oa.

Beautiful sunrise

Strong winds are forecast for the next few days so we decided that the Bay of Virgins on Fatu Hiva would not be a wise move. Katabatic winds are known to sweep down into the bay from the high peaks above and the general rule of thumb is that if the trades are up and blowing 20+ kts the bullets off the peaks will be 40+kts. The sea floor in this bay mirrors the steep landscape above and the odd yacht has dragged anchor here. Given our level of tiredness we sure didn't want to have to worry about doing the anchor dance in the middle of the night while getting our heads blown off.

A peaceful nights sleep is what is in order, well a few actually so hence our change of plan. We will still visit Fatu Hiva but in more settled weather.

By three this afternoon the sea was getting extremely boisterous with the aqua blue crests of the braking white water behind us starting to show. It was time to reef down the mainsail. At this stage of the game the last thing we want is a gear failure.

As we gobble up the final lines of longitude it's time to turn back the hands of time once again. The last change of the clocks will put us back another half hour. The Marquesas are 30 mins different to the rest of French Polynesia.

It's also time to pop a bottle of bubbly into the fridge and get my house shipshape for our arrival. Call it nesting but I always dust, vacuum, de-salt the cockpit and do whatever else needs doing before we put the anchor down in a new country. It's just my thing.

And guess what... one more sleep and we're just about there!

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