Friday, June 19, 2020

Pacific Crossing Day 18 - Arrival Nuku Hiva

Yay - we arrived at Taiohae Bay, Nuku Hiva today at 13.30 local time - 3,000 miles - 18 days and 2 hours after leaving Isabela Galapagos. We have been placed under quarantine, which means know one is allowed on or off Askari, but we did enjoy a swim already. We don't know what comes next, we are waiting to hear from the authorities but are extremely grateful to the FP government for allowing us to make a stop here. Other boats are allowed to drop things off so long as they don't come aboard- we had a warm welcome from Stephen and Debbie on Amelie as we anchored and they brought us a care package of a couple of cold Hinano beers and some fruit. Our friend Bev on Dandelion heard us arrive and of course was straight on the radio to say hello. We felt so welcome.

Proper update to follow.... but we did catch two tuna on the way in and are now drinking the champagne x x

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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Pacific Crossing Day 17 - 18th June 2020

Position 1800 UTC - 18th June 2020
- 08 degrees, 51 minutes South
- 136 degrees, 51 minutes West
Sailing wing on wing with wind
Sea State: 2m swell long period - counter current :-(
Wind: 15 knots from the East North East
Speed over the ground: 5.7 knots
Course over the ground: 258 degrees
Distance sailed towards north Marquesas in 24 hours 138 - has Askari ever gone so slow??

So near but still so far, yesterday we entered a counter current - so frustrating and then a big band of squally weather. Over night we had wind from 2 knots to 24, torrential rain and wind direction East through north. As we monitored the distance we could feel our friday landfall slipping away. Around midnight Andrew got fed up with flogging our sails and put the engine on low revs to keep Friday an option for us - I was so tired I slept right through that. This morning the squalls gave way to a stunning day and the wind returned gently. We still have nearly a knot of current against us but have been making between 5 and 6 nautical miles each hour. That could mean a sunset arrival on Friday is still on the cards.

Today we are trying hard to catch a fish, but at these slow speeds it's probably pretty unlikely. I heard Linde on Zouterik made a lemon cake, so mum message me a recipe and we are about to have that for afternoon tea.

Is it too soon to put the champagne in the fridge??? It's now 2.30pm local as I write this and we have 160 to go - normally we should cover that comfortably in 24 hours and we have 27.5 hours until sunset tomorrow, so we need to average 5.8knots - its going to be close!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Pacific Crossing Day 16 - 17th June 220

Position 1800 UTC - 16th June 2020
- 08 degrees, 34 minutes South
- 134 degrees, 31 minutes West
Sailing wing on wing with wind at 155 degrees apparent
Sea State: 2m swell not sea on top slight
Wind: 13 knots from the East North East
Speed over the ground: 6.0 knots
Course over the ground: 235 degrees
Distance sailed towards north Marquesas in 24 hours 150

We may have only made 150 miles towards north Marquesas however its been a mostly calm night with gentle seas and enough wind to just about keep the sails full but most excitingly we have approval from the authorities in Tahiti to proceed to Nuku Hiva - wooohooo! We don't exactly know if this means we can stay a while or simply resupply but we will find all that out when we arrive - for now its just 331 miles away so it looks like we will be there Friday night or Saturday morning local time.

It's just as well as I think Andrew is going a little mad - I woke up this morning to find him with a pile of fishing lures in their boxes - like a small child with matchbox cars; admiring them gleefully. He's been studying all the attributes of each of them - I guess he is keen to catch another fish before we arrive. The thai red tuna curry last night was absolutely delicious - we still have fresh lemon grass and chillis and so many green peppers we will arrive with fresh goodies enough to see us through any quarantine period we may have to comply with.

We are expecting a bit of squally weather tomorrow so today I want to enjoy the sunshine, light fluffy clouds and gentle seas.

Its fair to say we are thrilled and cannot wait to get there now.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Pacific Crossing Day 15 - 16th June 2020

Position 1800 UTC - 15th June 2020
- 07 degrees, 49 minutes South
- 132 degrees, 14 minutes West
Sailing wing on wing with wind at 147 degrees apparent
Sea State: 2m swell with a short wind chop
Wind: 17 knots from the East - slightly north of east
Speed over the ground: 7.0 knots
Course over the ground: 243 degrees
Distance sailed towards north Marquesas in 24 hours 172

Last night we continued sailing poled out overnight and learned that in these seas if we don't put the main sail out to the side we can actually run with the wind on the port side further forward - hence the 147 apparent wind angle not previously seen! It must be something to do with the draft of the main keeping the genoa full. Anyhow this allowed us to run on course in lighter winds and enjoy a comfortable night apart from another night being plagued by fishing related AIS targets. On my watch I actually spotted a fishing boat about 6 miles to the north of us called Tuna Star with huge bright lights. It's now well into the afternoon and the targets are still hanging around - we are getting a bit more relaxed about them and have weaved our way through them. I did get Andrew up when I found them either side of us while I was relaxing listening to my hi brow hamish and andy podcast at 3am.

Today, the wind had gradually eased to around 12 knots and come around to the East North East, pushing us south slowly but the sea has also calmed off and it is absolutely spectacular out here this afternoon. Not a single white cap and just a gently pulsing ocean swell with a long period, our sails puff and yes do crash around a little but you can't help but allow it as its so magical. So we are relaxing and lazing in the cockpit reading - i might even get the bean bags out.

Please let's have a nice calm night without the tuna fishing fleet targets.

We have less than 500 miles to go to our waypoint in the north of the Marquesas.

Life is slow but good.

Third Special Geeky Stat Report for those who care about numbers:
We left Galapagos on Monday June 1st bound for Queensland. A journey of more than 7000 miles which we expect to take 50 days. We have prepared supplies for 60 days at sea and have 20 days of additional reserve.

After 15 days this is how we have done
-Distance sailed 2538 Nm or about 36% of the direct course to Brisbane
-Consumed 116L of diesel of 700L on board which is about 17%
-Water tanks are full
-Food going better than plan with no waste
-Six fish caught- 2 tuna and 4 Mahi Mahi
-All boat systems operational except VHF Marine Radio due to mast head antenna failure. SSB Marine radio and AIS unaffected.

All good at this stage and ahead of plan. We have requested permission from the government in Tahiti to make a technical stop in the Marquesas where if granted we will be able to repair the VHF Radio antenna.
Next geek update at day 20

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Monday, June 15, 2020

Pacific Crossing Day 14 - 15th June 2020

Position 1800 UTC - 15th June 2020
- 07 degrees, 17 minutes South
- 129 degrees, 14 minutes West
Sailing wing on wing with wind at 170 degrees apparent
Sea State: 2.5m swell with a short wind chop and cross swell
Wind: 17 knots from the East
Speed over the ground: 7.8 knots
Course over the ground: 260 degrees
Distance sailed towards north Marquesas in 24 hours 180

Well its two weeks since we left Isabela in Galapagos and so far we are still going really well. Seeing 180 miles in the last 24 hours was worth the bumpy conditions we have had overnight. We are both quite able to sleep fairly well now we are used to all the noises of being in the ocean.

Last night we finally got passed those long line fishing boats at sunset and figured out there was a numbering system. We carried on sailing poled out until the afternoon as it was pretty comfortable and we were making good speed. Today the roll has increased as we have a cross swell and the wind has eased but the sea is still pretty ugly. So we have switched to port tack but no sooner had we done that that we get a bit of north to the east wind - so this tack is now bumpy too and taking us on a more southerly course than we would like so I feel another sail change coming on.....

Fishing failed to produce for the first time so I dipped into the freezer for some mince beef today and made a lasagne - no sooner had I finished putting it all together - no easy task in these seas - the line went. Andrew pulled in a nice chunky blue tuna; he was very proud of himself as he made the lure he caught it with himself. Half the tuna has replaced the mince in the freezer and we now have three days of food ready to go. I also made a carrot cake today as afternoon tea has become a nice distraction each day.

Love from us in the bouncy ocean x

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