Less than 2000nm to go...

Under way to the Marquesas, S08-30 W106-40

8° 30' 0" S, 106° 40' 0" W

At 1600Z (0900 local) this morning, we had about 1880nm to go to the Marquesas.... the wind has picked up a bit now, probably in the low 20ies now and seas are a little bigger (~2.5m) , but Namani rides them very nicely. A bit rolly at times but still comfortable: Blue skies with a few tradewind clouds - we're a happy boat..

We've also picked up our litttle "dead reckoning experiment" from our Panama-Galapagos passage again. For the past four days we've kept the GPS switched off and try to track our position with a combnation of DR and a morning and evening star/planet/moon fix each day.. Once a day at 1600Z (currently 0900 local) we switch on the GPS to compare and to get the exact position for our check-in with the POST-Net on SSB. So far, it's been pretty encouraging, and we've found ourselves within no more than 4 miles of our estimated position each morning (without resetting the track to the GPS position each day). We're lucky that Venus is still far enough "behind" the sun to provide a good evening shot to starboard (it will start to get too close to the sun in May). Canopus to port provides a good crossing angle and has been mostly unobscured by clouds in the evening. In the morning we have a choice between Arcturus to starboard and either Rigil Kentaurus (one of the "pointer stars" towards the Southern Cross) or the waning moon to port (both with good crossing angles with an Arcturus LOP). Visibility at dawn and dusk has been pretty good so far. The challenge with the sights is the rolling boat motion...

What helps with the DR part is that there is no significant cross current and - with the wind abaft the beam - we don't have any big offset by wind drift on the surface water.

It's fun and kind of nice not be fixated onto the numbers on that little GPS screen (after all, there's more than 1000nm of space in any direction around us and we won't hit anything if we're off by a few miles).

All is well aboard, stay tuned...

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