Sunday, 15 March 2015

Pacific Crossing, guest written by Paulus

We have just passed the 2,000 mile mark since leaving The Galapagos Islands and contrary to our expectation we have been on a broad reach with wind consistently blowing from a south easterly direction and a fairly big swell from the south, for the last 11 days. This means that we have been heeled over to starboard  on a lively sea for almost a week and a half. Apart from the resultant lean to port that we have all developed, there are various sensitive items of equipment, notably thermo and our refrigerator, that are struggling to keep up normal working duties under these conditions.

Frankly, who can blame them? Not only are they expected to work at acute angles and on a highly mobile platform but to do so in oppressive heat. With all the hatches firmly closed – essential when waves are constantly washing the decks – the temperature during the day goes way past the health and safety guideline levels. A brief breath of fresh air into the saloon yesterday was promptly rewarded with a salt water dousing through the large open deck hatch, a lesson to us all that when the signs say ‘ keep closed when at sea’ means just that. Perhaps our gifts to Neptune earlier on the trip were lacking!

In the galley the heat is also causing our fresh fruit and vegetable store to wilt and the store of fresh eggs are struggling too. Today’s mother, Andrew, had to break 16 eggs for our lunchtime omelette in order to find 8 good ones and the remaining red peppers had to go over the side with the other ‘fish food’ remains. You would have thought with all this feeding of fish we might have been rewarded with a tasty marine morsel for supper – but sadly, despite his daily promises, the skipper has failed to haul in anything on his expensive rod and reel. We have now put out the ‘doctors’ line as a second string to our fishing strategy, but it hangs limply on the rail more in hope than in expectation.

Anyway, we must be thankful that typhoon Pam is the best part of 4,000 miles away and frankly even if she was imminently upon us, I know for sure that our skipper would have a plan – as well as a couple of backups! He has skilfully put us in a strong position to take line honours on this challenging leg and as always the sailing aboard Juno has been an exceptional, life affirming experience on what will be my 10,000th mile within her protective hull.

As I pen this guest blog the wind has backed to 70 degrees and we have had our first opportunity to setup our downwind rig, with the pole going out for the first time on the passage. Blessed relief as our heel to starboard is replace by a rather pleasant roll from side to side as the genoa, jib and main sails begin powering us directly towards Hiva Oa.

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