Archive for juni, 2012

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

måndag, juni 11th, 2012

We left La paz at the end of April. It was on a sunday and the customs were closed but we had to go because we had reached our deadline. Unfortnatly we had to stop in Cabo san lucas as well (the very southern end of  Baja California) to deal with the customs there before leaving Mexico. Cabo san lucas is a crazy tourist party town as I want to avoid if I can. Cruise ships, charterboats, pangas, jetskiis crowded all over in the bay which makes the anchorage terrible. We filled up diesel, bought the last food and supplies we needed and decleared out from Mexico. We left Cabo the same day as we arrived and headed out at sea. Finally were on the way for real.

First night was a little rough, struggeling on foredeck to tie things up for the long passage while the waves was growing steeper and bigger. Already tired before we left didn’t make it better and at this point we were both dealing with seasickness. The wind was almost on the nose and our beam reach took us more away from our course than we wanted. To tired to start tacking up against hard wind and breaking waves so we decided to ”hove to” (when you bottom reef the sails and put the fore sail across so the boat can not sail but still keep it up to the wind and make a calmer movement), a good decision as gave us some sleep. Next morning we could still see Cabo san lucas in a distance, we hoist the sails and continued sailing south west. The wind was good, around 15 knots from the north.

After a few days of sailing I heard the wiskerpole (the boom that keep the foresail out during downwind) was banging up on deck, it was broken in half. Because of Misty’s sometimes heavy rolling side to side when running downwind it makes it hard on the rig and sails. The boom might even have hit the water. After some searching of spare material I was lucky to find the dingy mast to fit perfect inside the broken wiskerpole and after some more work they were joined together and the rest of the hardware was mounted on to the dingy mast. As an extra back up I lashed a 1” steelpipe on to the wiskerpole to avoid the same thing to happend again. It seemed to work, but the pole was now a little more heavy.

The days at sea goes on without too much different. Suddently after so long time of work and preparing we got lots of sparetime left over. Daily rutines like checking the sails, windsteering, navigation, weather fax, cooking food and watching out for other ships makes the days goes fast. Of course lots of time for reading books as well so it’s never boring. The worst is definately when it’s no wind at all, especially with swell at the same time. Getting nowhere and with the sails flopping hard in the rig can drive you nuts.

Our planned route was pretty much just a straight line between Cabo san lucas and Nuku hiva in Marquesas Islands, though after 14 days when we reached the UTC zone (Doldrums) we started heading straight south to cross it as fast as possible. UTCZ is a long lowpressure belt along the equator, it’s often flat calm or very little wind from various directions. Off and on heavy squalls (rain) as use to bring some strong winds for a short time.We motored thru the most calm areas and after two and a half days we thankfully starting get some south easterly tradewinds. The next day we passed the equator. First week on the southern hemispere the sailing was superb, just like this typical ”tradewind sailing” as many cruisers dream about. Steady wind around 12-15 knots on a broadreach and long big waves as made the sailing smooth. I was starting wonder if this ever will come, after years of sailing my experience is that perfect wind and sea conditions do not last very long. This was almost to good to be true, we hardly touched the sails or the windsteering for days. The last days down to Marquesas the wind and sea was changin, first calm then strong wind as turned south so we had to go up windward. It took in total 25 days to reach Marquesas Islands.

The climate here is hot and sticky, common with short heavy showers which explain the green tropical enviroment. It’s a bit of a culture chock to come from the desert in Mexico to this djungle climate. We came in to Taiohae on Nuku Hiva which is the capital of Marquesas and the official port of entry to French polynesia. Here cruisers gather from all over the world after a long pacific crossing. Fun to see some boats as we know since before in Mexico.

Ginni flew out just a few days after we arrived, she was going for some kayak event up in the states. From here I will continue on my own to the Tuamotus, which is a group of 78 islands, mostly atolls. Ginni and I will meet up there in a few weeks.