Pacific Crossing Galapagos to Marquesas Hiva Oa

Pacific crossing Galapagos to Marquesas Hiva OaWe had been warned that there would not be much wind at first on leaving the Galagos, and to ship as much fuel as possible; our tank and cans were all full. As we crossed the line 12.00 on 1st March we had a nice breeze and everyone was sailing and happy. During the night the wind died and didn’t come back. For the next 3 days we chugged along slowly under engine (to conserve fuel) or tried to motorsail or sail in almost no wind – just to let the engine cool down and have a rest. I got a unique view of our boat when I went for a swim, the boat was drifting slowly on a glassy sea I could easily swim faster and look back at our home alone in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The chat on the SSB net was all about wind – or lack of it. The weather gurus said there would be wind at 8 deg S. Eventually we realised that we would get there faster (and might have enough fuel) if we headed due S rather than SW. That night we reached 7 deg S, and the wind gradually came up, we were sailing, and although strength and direction varied a bit it never went away again. I got another view of our boat alone on the ocean – this time from the top of the mast. The cruising chute halyard had jammed, the sail was in a fankle all round the rolled foresail, there was no choice but for Steve to hoist me up (meanwhile the boat is sailing under Autopilot mainsail only) and cut it down. Luckily the sail slithered down the forestay onto the foredeck rather than into the water. It took a little while to unwind it all, then we could hurry and set the poled out Yankee before it got dark – and the sails stayed like this for the next week or more. And so the days went on. Sometimes you could view Moon set at the front of the boat just as the sun rose behind. Towards the end of the passage we got a lot of squalls which was a bit frustrating knowing the faster boats were already in port. We finally arrived after 23 days and 8 hours or so and anchored outside the port at Hiva Oa. We got a great welcome from some of the World ARC boats also moored outside. The longest leg of our trip (nearly 3,000 miles) was done.

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