Marquesas – Day 11 – Steady as she goes

Ross

20 April 2010 | Pacific Ocean

Today was a pretty slow day in comparison to the last few. We only covered 146 miles and there wasn’t much action. The wind calmed down a bit and changed direction slightly so it is more behind us. We can sail faster if the wind is slightly behind us but still coming at a bit of an angle (so that the boat is sailing on a broad reach). Although we’re out here about as far from land as we can get, it’s not quite as lonely as you’d think. There is still the concept of a net over the radio. Most of the boats doing this crossing have a SSB radio which allows boats to talk at great distances. It’s actually possible for us to speak with someone on a HAM radio out here. As groups of sailors leave the Galapagos, they identify a frequency and a time of day to check in to see how everyone is doing. There is a group of boats just ahead of us that put together a net and also a group of boats just behind us. Unfortunately, these nets aren’t quite as interesting as the nets in the harbor (like the one in panama). It’s mostly just a report on weather conditions and locations. Since boats sail at different speeds and people take slightly different courses, we’ll be catching people that left in front of us and there will surely be boats that cruise past us (relatively speaking). Regardless, if there ever is an emergency, you know who is around to help out. Due to the big swell and the speed that we’re going, the fishing has been pretty slow. It’s a catch 22 you’d like to have fresh fish every day, but you’d also like to cover as many miles as possible. We’ll take the miles for now and plan on eating fish when we get to the islands. Winds are predicted to pick up and we’re actually in better position than most of our friends who took a different course. Most people are a bit south of us and will have to sail downwind longer (which is slower). We’re still north, so we’ll hopefully be able to sail at a broad reach and continue making big days (if the wind cooperates).

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