The wind did pick up a bit and has steadied once we reached about 6 deg S, so we could finally make that "right turn" and are now sailing more or less directly towards the Marquesas. Skies are still mostly overcast but we hope this will break up as we go further WSW. Nicky built a very cool sailboat out of Lego over the past two days - a cutter rigged sloop, complete with functioning roller reefing foresail, winches and all. Now the challenge is to keep it in one piece while the boat rolls with the waves ... ;-) All is well aboard, stay tuned...
09 - Pacific Crossing
Friday (06APR) turned out to be a very nice sailing day - and it still is now, a few minutes past midnight under a full moon and a few scattered clouds. While we had to motor through much of last night (Thursday into Friday), the wind picked up around 9am local time this morning, and we had some very nice sailing, close reaching under sunny skies over a gentle swell (plus some help from the current). Sun glasses out for the first time since leaving Cristobal! The wind was out of SSE, but still a bit too light for broad reaching on a direct course to the Marquesas.
We had a post with the same title during our Atlantic crossing about five years ago...here we are again, this time trying to get into the South Pacific trade winds. After clearing the southernmost islands of the Galapagos on a tack to SSE during Monday night, we tacked to the west and made good progress until Tuesday (03APR, "Day 2"), 5pm local time, along 2Â°S. After that we had a bit of a frustrating 24 hours during which we logged 120nm, only to end up 6nm west of our 02PAR 1700 position on 03APR at 5pm...
Spent much of our time going N and S today, to make a little westing with the wind on the nose .. slow progress, despite making 5-6kn. At least we're sailing! All is well aboard, stay tuned...
We weighed anchor yesterday (Monday, 02APR) at 1200 local time (1800 utc) after one last food shopping run into town in the morning. After sailing west on a close reach for a few hours (7+kn over ground in 12kn of wind with a big push from the current...) we eventually had to tack to get clear of the islands and are now close reaching on a starboard tack - actually going SSE (the Marquesas are WSW...). No complaints though - we got enough wind to sail at 5.5 kn on pretty flat seas and hope to tack back to go west once we reach 2S in a few hours.
A quick update on our (hopefully) last full day here in the Galapagos. If nothing unexpected happens, we will weigh anchor here somtime tomorrow morning (Mon, 02APR) and head for the Marquesas. The weather over the past week has been a bit "unseasonal". Boats that left about a week ago were drifting backwards in light airs and contrary currents or were close reaching against SW winds (as Bill pointed out: "that's not what the Crosby, Stills and Nash song says!", referring to "Southern Cross").
We are now all reunited on Namani. We took a day trip around a few more Cristobal sights with the French family aboard the catamaran Eol - Matthieu and Lea are a little younger than Nicky but are very outgoing and friendly, so Nicky has a great time with them. Nana keeps butchering the French language so the poor parents, Clementine and Greg, are very patient and kindly rescue us (and maybe their own sanity) by switching into English for our sakes. Pardon! (Nana plans to study hard on the 3-4 weeks it takes to reach the Marquesas).
After one week of settling in and seeing a bit of San Cristobal, we headed off to see more of the Galapagos Islands. Private boats can't move freely through the archipelago so the best way (actually the only way) to see the top wildlife sights is to join a tour. Nana and Nicky found a great last minute deal on a four day tour aboard the Darwin that visited the central islands (Santa Cruz, Santiago, Bartolome, and Seymour Islands). What a fantastic experience!
Another two very nice days here in Cristobal. Victoria, another German boat with Kai, Heike and their sons Johannes and Niklas aboard, arrived on Friday. Nana and Heike had met upon checking out of Panama City/Balboa and were looking forward to getting the kids together once in the Galapagos. We had heard them on Panpacific SSB net earlier this week when they were about 500 nm away from Cristobal. Yesterday afternoon they came dinghying over to Namani and we chatted away a few hours in no time while the three boys were investigating Nickys Lego collection down below.