Fish: 3 - Namani: 0
En route between the Marquesas and the Tuamotus
A good day for the fish and a bad day for Namani as far as fresh supplies of the same are concerned... We were trailing two lines all day today (Sunday, 03JUN). The fish were out there, and we thought were all set when a big tuna struck on one of the lines just before lunch. We already had mouthwatering images of fresh sashimi in our mind when we reeled it in (which means hand-over-hand on our boat), but just as we were about to gaff it it got away - lucky guy! A bit later we looked at the other lure and relaized and the hook had been bent open. Fish: 2, Namani still 0. We had hardly bent that back and thrown the lure back in, when Nicky noticed a strike on the other line while tugging on it with his hand. However, it went limp a few seconds later and when we reeled it in we discovered that our favorite lure was gone (the one Nicky got during the "White Elephant Christmas Party" at Captain Jack's in Portobelo/Panama), including the steal leader - Fish: 3, Namani: 0. Bummer! We have now beefed up the bungee cords in our fishing set-up, assuming that unbent hooks and vanishing lures are due to shock loads when the previously undersized bungees were fully stretched. Fingers crossed for tomorrow... (no fishing at night on Namani).
Aside from the fishing activities we got a reminder today that we're slowly leaving the kingdom of the perfect easterly tradewinds under clear skies that we've enjoyed for so long now. Today brought a constant series of rainy squalls, apparently a spill-over effect from a front/trough that is passing west to east further south. Nothing big (none with more than 25kn / 20min duration) and we're too far north of the system for it to make the wind clock around. Hence we're still moving along on a beam... broad reach at varying speeds (surprisingly constant 24hr averages of 4.7kn). Skies have cleared again somewhat this evening, and it's a beautiful night , a day away from a full moon.
We now hope to arrive at the northern pass into Fakarava (the atoll we're aiming fot in the Tuamotu Archipelago, the world's largest cluster of atolls) on Tuesday morning, 1030h local time (utc -10), at slack low water to catch the incoming tide through the pass. As long as our speed keeps averaging out to 4.7kn we should just make it in time. Feels a bit like trying to hit slack water at Hell Gate after sailing through the Long Island Sound to New York City - albeit in *much* warmer temperatures down here. And of course, the atolls are probably as different from NYC as it can get...
If things go well, we should drop anchor on Tuesday just in time to observe the transit of Venus across the sun on Tuesday, which - clouds permitting - can be seen in its entirety from the South Pacific. Just as Captain Cook did from Tahiti, almost 250 years ago, during his First Voyage (of course he had to draw his own charts back then ...). If we miss it we would have to wait until December 2117 for the next occurence - a bit long, even for Nicky...
All is well aboard, stay tuned.