Worrall Travel R's

Worrall Travel R's
Roz and Russ

Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

My photo

We are the Worrall Travel R's Roz and Russ Worrall. Our goal before we "kick the bucket" is to see as much of the world as we are able, learn about world cultures, experience making friends around the world, and share goodwill and what we learn with others. WE HOPE YOU JOIN US VIA THE BLOG ON OUR TRAVELS.

We started our world travels in 1969 in VW camper van in the USA, Canada, and Europe, but didn't actively blog about our travels until 2009 aboard our sailing vessel SV Worrall Wind, a 44 ft Nauticat Ketch.  On September 5, 2009 we left San Francisco and took a left at the Golden Gate to Explore the World.

From to Sea to Land
After almost 4 years of cruising Mexico and the South Pacific, we sold our beloved boat in Australia, 2013. The Worrall Travel R's are continuing our travels around by many other means of conveyance -boats,trains, planes, sometimes camels, elephants, rickshaws, and hot air balloons.. 

Russ is a retired engineer, optometrist, professor from U.C. Berkeley. Roz is a retired computer programmer/analyst, educator, (teacher, administrator, professional developer). 

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 3/4 - Tuomotu

Day 3/4 - Fakarava, Tuomotu

Update:

Day 3 - After our dive yesterday, Russ and I took a nice bicycle ride along the paved road of the Atoll. This is my kind of bicycle ride....flat road, beautiful scenery, and an occasional squall to cool us off. There were a couple of hotel-pensions that looked very relaxing, inviting, and expensive (Havaiki and Maitai Dream)that would be fun to come back too. The Maitai Dream Hotel allowed us to get 5000 francs from our credit card.

Garyn and Jess cooked dinner on the boat. Russ and I met up with folks from other yachts (Trim, Beaujolis, Infini, Bamboozle) for dinner at a little snack shack only open on weekends. All the dinners were the same prices of 1200 francs, and we could choose from lemon chicken, raw fish, steak and fries, or chow mien. It was a lot of food for the money and we all had a good time.

Around 3:00 a.m. in the morning, we heard some tooting and woke up to see a huge cargo ship weaving its way through the anchorage to the dock. It came within 10 feet of the back of our boat and scared the #@! out of us.

Day 4 (Sunday) - Jess and Garyn were off on a long bicycle ride to the end of the atoll by 8:00. Church was in session and when Russ returned from taking Garyn and Jessica ashore, church goers, particularly the LDS men were dressed up in shirts and ties. Russ and I stayed on the boat doing some chores and projects (cleaning out the not-working refrigerator, downloading photos and backing up the hard drive, finishing the sail repair, replacing the duck bills in the head pump, and making water). By noon, Russ and I went on shore to the Mother's Day Festival under the covered basketball court behind the primary school. There were probably 30 people in attendance and most of them looked like the organizers (ticket takers, band members, bingo master, artisans) and children. Some of the women had flower wreaths in their hair. A handful of cruisers were buying some of the jewelry and food. We recognized one of the band members as the dive boat driver from the day before. Russ wandered off to look at the booths while I videoed the band. One of the men got out of his chair and came over and kissed me on both cheeks. I think he was wishing me a Happy Mother's Day, but I wasn't really sure. The rest of band were looking quite amused by his greeting. While we were there, I bought a pretty little necklace that one of the artisans had made. It used up the last of our francs. We walked into town after going to the festival. There wasn't a car or bicycle on the road. Everything was closed up tight. Tomorrow, when the post office is open, I think we can exchange a few more $ for francs. By 3:00 p.m. Garyn and Jess had returned from their bike ride.

Within the hour Jessica had climbed the mast up to the first spreader and was helping us to restring our flag halyard. She looked like a circus soleil acrobat. She did a great job. Since we are out of money, we are eating on board this evening. I'm downloading grib files to see if we have favorable enough conditions to leave for Tahiti after our visit to the pearl farm in the morning.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 2/3 - Tuomotu

Day 2 & 3- Fakarava, Tuomotu

Update:

Day 2: On day 1, Garyn and Jess were the only ones who ventured ashore for about an hour around sunset after the squalls subsided. On day 2, the sun was out, most of the clouds were gone, and the wind had significantly subsided. Russ, the early bird, was just returning from town in the dinghy when we woke up. His back pack was stuffed with two fresh baguettes and 4 chocolate croissants. We sat on the deck enjoying our breakfast with fresh brewed coffee mochas.

After breakfast, Russ and I went ashore for awhile to do some exploring. The land of the atoll is narrow enough that if you stand in the right spot on one of the cross roads, you can see the lagoon on one side and the ocean on the other. The residents of Fakarava live on a very long strip of land only a few feet above sea level. A lovely cement and paved road runs the through Rotoava, the town in front of which we are anchored.

In Mexico, we were always impressed by the Mexican people sweeping, sweeping, sweeping. In French Polynesia, the residents are raking, raking, raking, keeping their gardens and grounds clean from falling coconuts, leaves, and fronds. We made arrangements to go on an introductory dive the following day, and through our friends on Trim to visit a pearl farm on Monday. We talked with the vegetable lady whose stand was barren and she told us the boat was coming later in the day to bring her fresh supplies. We also did a little tide pooling on the ocean side of the reef. The tide was out and we were able to collect some shells and pieces of broken coral.

We bought some cold drinks and returned to the boat. We met some boys near the dinghy dock and talked with them. Russ gave them some of our balloons! They wanted to come on the dinghy with us back to the boat, but we decided that was not a good idea. We didn't want anyone thinking we were kidnapping these children.

Jess and Garyn took the dinghy and bicycles a shore after lunch. They befriended the same young boys we had met at the dock. They wound up giving the boys a ride in the dinghy. The boys then rode with them through the atoll giving them a tour, showing them how to climb and pick coconuts, husk them and drink the milk. They have some cute stories to tell of their adventure with these rambunctious youngsters. Russ and I stayed on board during the afternoon to catch up on some boat chores, including sail repair. About 4:00 p.m., Russ and I went back into town. While we had been on our boat, the big boat from Tahiti passed between us and Trim for the main dock. We hoped that the vegetable lady would be restocked. She wasn't so we will have to return on Saturday morning.

We met up with Garyn and Jessica and all went to dinner at a little restaurant called Teanuanua. There are picnic type table with bench seats on posts in the sand with market umbrellas that flap in the wind. As the tide comes in the table seats go under the water. We sat on the deck as the sun went down. The tide was already in and the seats were already in the water so we decided to stay higher and drier. Jessica and Russ had mahimahi in a vanilla sauce. Garyn and I had steak. It was excellent. Dinner and drinks for the four us came to about $140.00, about $35.00/ea. There is no ATM or bank on this Atoll and we are almost out of Francs. We will need find someplace to take $, debit or credit card. The owner of the restaurant was very pleasant and spoke very good English. He had previously worked at Club Med in Moorea and had probably been there as a security guard or bartender when Russ and I were at Club Med 15 years ago. Russ gave his little five year old niece some balloons. She and some other children of customers had fun batting and playing with the balloons. After a lovely day. We all returned to the boat in the moonlight.

Day 3:
Russ got up early to take a bike ride and to see if the vegetable stand was open (it wasn't) and Garyn worked on the refrigerator this morning. It still isn't working correctly. I've transferred the most perishable foods to the little port refrigerator. By 9:30 a.m. we were in the dinghy and headed for the dive shop. We got outfitted with our dive equipment and then we were off to the reef in the middle of the lagoon. Our introductory dive was fabulous. We were able to see flute fish, pipe fish, reef shark, shrimp, beautiful clams, coral. The time went all too quickly. I was sorry to get out of the water and the last one back on the boat. Russ and I want to do more of this. It was fun and particularly nice because our dive instructors were so great.

Garyn and Jess are on the boat this afternoon while Russ and I search for a place to exchange some $ for francs.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 6 - Tuomotu Arrived

Day 1 - Anchored in Fakarava, Tuomotu May 27, 2010

UTC/Local Time: 2130/1130 a.m. Tahiti Time

Latitude: 16 03.508 S
Longitude: 145 37.363 W
Course Over Ground: At Anchor
Wind Direction: Southeast 120 degrees, 14 knots
Sea Swell: 0, windwaves 1 foot
Sky: 80% cloud cover, squallish, raining at the moment
Barometric Pressure: 1019 +2, 84 degrees F, 80% humidity

Update:
After 5 days of sailing, we are at anchor in Fakarava, Tuomotu. We had hoped to go to a smaller atoll north of Fakarava first, but at 5:30 a.m. it was decision time, turn into the 25 knots of wind and motor through a squall line and 9 foot seas to reach an atoll with a tiny opening or continue on the same course and try to enter Fakarava by 10:30 a.m. when the conditions might be more favorable. We chose the second option, knowing that we might have to pass this atoll by as well.

A couple of boats, Trim and IO, that had flashed past us during the journey were outside the channel and had been hanging out for slack tide, having made the same decision. We had purposely slowed our speed way down so that we would not have to heave to. It also made an uncomfortable sea more bearable. I think all of us sailors are exhausted from the last 72 hours of sailing, 9-12 foot seas, consistent 20 knots and more of wind, gusts up to 30 knots, and too many squalls to count.

The opening into Fakarava is well marked, and our Nobeltec Navigation system has been very accurate in French Polynesia. Much more so than in Mexico. Considering how we have to weave our way through the coral reef atolls, we are very thankful for the accuracy, particularly at night when we cannot use dead reckoning. Unlike the Marquesas which have huge land masses protruding out of the sea, atolls are flat and the palm trees as we approached looked like they were growing out of the water. We kept very close if not on top of our course line all through the night.

By the time we entered the channel, the wind had subsided to 20 knots, the current coming out of the atoll was only 2 knots, and the wind waves/swell were about 1-2 meters having splashed over and through the coral on the south-south east side. With our motor on and sails down, we followed Trim and IO in. Several of the other Puddle Jump Boats are in this atoll as well.

We are anchored in 48 feet of water. The anchorage is not idyllic calm, but far better than being at sea. We are all glad that we made it in and hope to enjoy this atoll a couple of days before heading to Tahiti. We may attempt some sail repair. During our trip, we lost another Seven Seas Sailing Association Flag overboard when the port flag halyard snapped. The starboard flags are wound up in a roll and will need to be detangled along with the topping lift that just got caught up in our wind generator. The fun never stops. Since we have never been in this neck of the "sea", we don't know whether the wind and sea conditions are the norm or out of the norm due to the southern low/storm and/or El Nino. It's just been a bit more than we expected.

We are all looking forward to a shower in calm waters and a little R & R. Snorkeling and drift diving is supposed to be the best here, so we are looking forward to some time in the water, catnaps, feet on the ground, and fresh baguettes.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 4/5 - Tuomotu Bound

Day 4/5 - Tuomotu Bound - Ripped sail.

UTC/Local Time: 0100 5/27/1300 5/26

Latitude: 14 52.99 S
Longitude: 144.44.96 W
Course Over Ground: 203 degrees at 4.5 knots
Wind Direction: 14-25 knots 105 degrees Southeast
Sea Swell: 9+ feet, 6 seconds apart
Sky: 40-50% clouds, mini squalls
Barometric Pressure: 1015 steady
Temperature/Humidity: 88 F, 68%

Update:

As we approached yesterday evening, we were determined with the increasing winds and squall threats to get the sails reefed early. We had been traveling from 5.5 knots to 6.5 knots all day and were making good time and were a little reluctant to slow ourselves down. After reviewing our charts and position, we realized that we needed to slow down anyway or we would have to heave to off an atoll and wait for sunrise on Thursday 5/27 before approaching the pass. We needed to be at our 20 mile mark from the atoll by 6:30 a.m. to be ready to pass through at slack tide which we calculate to be around 10:49 a.m. in the morning. We have been told to make a VHF call the morning we arrive to a dive shop in the vicinity and ask for local tide information.

After reading about how treacherous it can be to enter the atolls when the lighting is not good and the tide is not slack, we are approaching our entry very cautiously. As it is, the winds and seas may churn up the water/reef visibility to preclude us from entering anyway. We have already decided that if the winds and seas do not calm down we may pass by the Tuomotus completely, and head straight for Tahiti.

I was downstairs in the galley fixing dinner. Russ, Garyn, and Jess were topside. Russ was at the main and started to bring the sail down to reef position when I could hear Garyn yelling at Russ to stop. By the time Russ heard Garyn over the roar of the wind and stopped bringing the sail down, the little rollers that pinch the sail into the track had acted like a razor ripping about a three foot line between the cord and the sail. Another Oh Crap!

Well that settled whether we double or triple reefed. The ripped sail is not one we can take care of in these conditions, so we triple reefed to protect the part of the sail that had ripped. We rolled out about 1/2 of the jib and left out the mizzen. Even with all of the reefing, we were still sailing at 5.5 knots. As the winds increased to a consistent 18-20 knots, and the seas up to 9 feet, the sail configuration keeps the boat mildly heeled in the wind and moderately heeled with a beam roller. The swells are fairly close together so there has been a lot of rocking back and forth...not comfortable for any of us, but worse for Jess.

Over the course of the night and several passing squalls, Garyn reduced the jib and mizzen even a little more to slow us down. The winds are gusting to 25 + when a gray cloud passes overhead We only have 60 miles to go to our mark and as long as we are going about 4.5 knots we should be there sometime between 5 and 7 tomorrow morning. According to our weather model, the seas should be two feet smaller and wind down to 13 and 14 knots.

Soup for dinner tonight.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 3/4 - Tuomotu Bound

Latitude: 13.10.5 S
Longitude: 143.23.8 W
Course Over Ground: 215 @ 6.5 knots
Wind Direction: Southeast 105 degrees 14 knots
Sea Swell: 2.5 meters
Sky: 15% cloud cover, horizon line
Barometric Pressure: 1014 and steady

Update:

Last night was probably the most hair raising of all of our nights at sea. All day and into the evening we had less than 8 knots of wind, small seas, and blue skies. Hatches and ports were open allowing for a soft breeze to pass through the boat.

Russ and I had first watch, which technically started at 8:00 p.m., but Garyn and Jess were tired and had gone to bed about 7:00 p.m., so we started a little early. Anticipating stronger winds the following day, I made a big pot of chicken rice soup and spent my early evening in the galley doing some general clean up and stowing for stronger winds. We had made a decision to evaluate whether to keep our gennaker up when we started watch at 8:00 p.m. At 8:00 p.m. we still had light winds and the gribs indicated that these would continue through the night. So we decided to leave the gennaker up and if the wind started to rise we would take it down before it hit 10 knots.

I went on the back deck and in the moonlight took a freshwater shower, enjoying the beautiful evening. It was till about 80 degrees out. After cleaning up, I came back inside the cabin. Russ and I were looking at our route, and maps and keeping an eye on the anomometer. Hydie was steering. The main had one reef, the mizzen was up, and the gennaker was pulling us along with about 6 knots of wind. Garyn and Jess were asleep in the v-berth. The anomometer registered 7 knots, then 8, then 10 and backed down to 8. We looked to see where the wind was coming from and noticed a small black cloud that had formed on our port side. We made a decision to take down the genny, and thought we would do it ourselves without waking Garyn and had just discussed who would do what with a two person manuever. We were putting on our harnesses and life vests when the wind picked up again to 10 knots, then 12. Garyn who could hear the boat speed up in the v-berth came up to see if we wanted some help dousing the gennaker. We said yes and were all preparing to go out when the wind kicked up to 21 knots, filled the gennaker and in an instant we were heeled to starboard taking white water over the bottom rail.

Garyn clipped on to the jackline and went out through the leeward slider door to douse the gennaker. Russ was going to follow out the leeside when we went over further, taking water over the top rail! That was an ugly first. It was horrifying. Garyn was outside standing on the portabote, (on the rail) surfing through the water as the boat was on its side. We always thought the portabote looked like a surf board when folded up. We just never expected to use it as such, but it certainly came in handy as floor when we were tipped sideways. Boy was the adrenalin pumping!

Whitewater poured through the starboard port into the lower saloon soaking the cushions and a torrent gushed through the open slider of the cabin door. Russ was able to close the door against the whitewater to stop the water rush and climb out of the windward side, making his way around the back deck and released the gennaker sheet. I stayed at the helm in the cabin bringing us almost downwind so the gennaker would be behind the main. Garyn was able to sock the gennaker. As soon as we did this the boat righted itself. Jessica closed the leeward hatches to prevent anymore water from coming into the boat, despite her terror of seeing water pour through the door and knowing that Garyn was on the foredeck with the gennaker.

So with in the course of 3 minutes we went from heaven to hell and back. The wind died to 6 knots and once again we were lopping along as we assessed the damage, got our pulse rate back to normal, and licked our wounds. We pulled out the jib 1/2 way, and reefed the main. We didn't care if we were only going 2 or 3 knots, Genny will never again fly after dark no matter how slow we go. In the meantime, the boat IO that we had passed earlier in the day, passed by us with all their sails up and sailed over the horizon. We talked to them on the radio and they too had been hit by the squall, but decided to keep their sails up.

The starboard settee along with the locker behind it was soaked. The water that had poured through the door had fortunately made its way to the bilge. And the bilge pump worked! Yes! One of the containers of chicken soup in the starboard fridge had come open during the knockdown. And when the boat righted itself, chicken broth leaked out the refrigerator onto the galley floor making a slippery mess. We emptied the lockers of wet stuff (games, food, Ipods, other electronic gear), hung things up that needed to dry, and I started to work on the mess in the galley, which required a complete defrost of the refrigerator and sudsy soap down to cut through the chicken soup grease which coated everything in the refrigerator. Jess and Garyn went to bed around 10:00. I finished the defrost at 1:00 a.m. in the morning, just before we went off watch. During the rest of the evening, we kept a close watch on the brewing clouds, but knew that we had the right sail combination up to deal with unexpected winds.

After getting the galley and refrigerator back in shape, the refrigerator would not restart. We'd been having problems with it since Mexico and the last defrost. Now it appeared that maybe some of the saltwater that had come through the port had done a number on the refrigerator's electronics. What a pain. I then had to move over the most vulnerable foods to the secondary refrigerator which fortunately had some room in it. When Garyn and Jess got up for their watch, Garyn started to work on getting the refrigerator working which he finally did the following morning.

Russ and I slid into the midship berth and fell instantly asleep. Garyn and Jess had their hands full on their watch with three additional squalls. Their watch alternated between 6 knots of wind to 25 knots of wind and lots of rain. They wanted to put out more sail, but decided we had all had enough excitement for one night and kept us reefed.

Needless to say, today has been cleanup and dry out day. I think as I write this update we are about 95% back to normal. The wind has picked up today between 12-14 knots. We are on a broad reach, sailing between 5.5-6.5 knots. We are closing the gap between us and IO. Worrall Wind needs 12-15 knots to move well. We are saltier and wiser.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 2/3 - Tuomotu Bound

Day 2/3 - Tuomotu Bound

UTC/Local Time: 2400/1400

Latitude: 11 57.250 S
Longitude: 142 28.264 W

Course Over Ground: 200
Wind Direction: What wind?
Sea Swell: 1 meter
Sky: 2% clouds, 20 mile visibilty
Barometric Pressure: 1016

Temperature 88 degrees - water about the same.

Update:

We are just dinking (not drinking) along, although that might not be a bad idea. There is so little wind that we are moving anywhere between 0 knots and 3 knots. Our grib files indicate that we should have between 6-10 knots, so today is unusually over stated. Our gennaker - Genny is catching the little bit of wind that we have, which isn't much. She does look pretty and is casting a lovely reddish purple reflection on the ripples on the deep blue sea.

It looks like we might pick up some wind this evening. We are debating whether to turn the motor on and get some distance this afternoon. It's just so beautiful and peaceful right now, but we might be coming to the end of our s...l....o....w threshold. This is slower than the doldrums. We are eyeing the clear blue water and contemplating a swim, but the word shark keeps popping into our discussion.

On our Nobeltec Navigation system there is a console panel that calculates our next way point, based on our second to second change of speed and direction. Our estimated time of arrival right now based on our current speed and wobbling direction, says NEVER. Know that won't last. Hope it is this calm when we try to get into the atolls, but I suspect from the gribs there will be some fairly large swells and 15 knot wind in that area during the next couple of days when we actually reach the vicinity...Wednesday, Thursday, Friday?

Because of the calm seas, I plan to work in the galley a bit this afternoon. I'm thinking lemon chicken and apple pie. I know as soon as I go down, the wind will pickup and start sliding everything from one place to the next. In the meantime, we are kicking back listening to books, reading books, listening to music, working on little projects.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 1/2 - Tuomotu Bound

UTC/Local Time -10: 1830/0830

Latitude: 10 57.800 S
Longitude:141 33.051 W

Course Over Ground: 217 degrees @ 3.5 knots
Wind Direction: From NE 60 degrees, 4.5 knots
Sea Swell: 8 feet, 8 seconds from NE
Sky: 5% clouds, 15 mile visibility
Barometric Pressure: 1016 up 2 in last three hours
Temperature: 84 degrees, 69% humidity

Update:

We left Marquesas yesterday morning and have been enjoying a beautiful sail. In the last 24 hours we will have traveled over 140 miles, which is fast for us. Sea swells have been mild, around 6 feet from the north east. They got a bit bigger last night and closer together rocking the boat a bit more. The moon was out shining on the waves and reflecting off of white puffy clouds. The stars glittered through. It reminded me of the opening graphics for Dream Works Films.

Russ and I had first watch 7:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. Marquesas time, 1:30 Tahiti time. This should be the last time change for awhile. Jess and Garyn had to the 2:00 - 8:00 shift. Yesterday, the boat IO left early in the morning from Hakatea Bay. We caught their lights in the distance in the pre-dawn hour and have been slowly gaining on them....us gaining on anybody rarely happens, but they are a smaller boat with less sail. We talked with them this morning on VHF radio and they are headed for the same atolls in the Tuomotus that we are. We will most likely pass them within the next hour.

Since noon today, the wind and seas have calmed way down. We passed IO around 10:00 a.m. this morning. They are now on the horizon behind us. We are moving very slowly at 0026/1426. The seas have also settled more. I think Jess is feeling a little better with the calmer sea state.

We are listening to Robin Cook's Chromosome and lounging about. Hot dogs and potato salad for dinner tonight.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Marquesas Islands

UTC/Local: 0000/1430

Latitude: 09 20.322 S
Longitude: 140 25.772 W

We spent a fairly peaceful night in Hakatea Bay. Apparently, I slept through a squall that came through in the middle of the night that had both Russ and Garyn up checking the anchor and turning on the radar. This morning after a quick dinghy ride onto the beach where the first Survivor series was filmed, we weighed anchor at 10:00 a.m. When we arrived in the bay the night before, there were two boats anchored, Australia and Endless Summer. When we returned from our hike, there were four new boats, Avante, IO, Mojombo, and a French boat with no name. Australia and Endless Summer had left. By the time we got up, IO had already left. Proximity and Passages were just coming through the pass as we left. We are getting to know quite a few of the boats in the cruising community, most of whom are heading for the Puddle Jump Reunion in Tahiti on June 18.

By 10:25 this morning, we turned off Lehman, raised the sails, and were on a beam reach, port tack for the Tuomotus in 14 knots of wind, doing 6-7 knots. Russ commented that this is exactly how he thought the sailing would be in the South Pacific. We set Hydie (windvane steering system) to work at the helm, and we have just be lounging around as we are being carried by the wind past Ua Pou to the Tuomotus. Our plan is to go to Kauehi Atoll first 15 56.830 S; 145 10.558 W; then to Fakarava Atoll 16 04.916 S; 145 43.000 W. Then we will be on our way to Tahiti. We think Trim, Pincoya, and Endless Summer are leaving today as well for a similar route. We hope to see them along the way.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 15 - Marquesas Islands

Day 15 - Hakatea Bay, Nuka Hiva, May 21, 2010
UTC/Local: 0530/2000

Latitude: 08 56.626 S
Longitude: 140 09.805 W

We weighed anchor in Taiohae Bay about 9:00 a.m. this morning and headed toward Hakatea Bay, only a couple of miles west. This bay is very difficult to see, and I have to say I was freaking out as we headed straight toward a rock cliff and what looked like breaking surf on a rock. Jessica was at the helm dong a fine job of steering and fortunately taking direction from Garyn and Russ who were relyng on instruments. My visual spatial perception is seriously askew. I was ready to turn around and head for the Tuomotus.

We did find the opening to the bay and threaded through what looked like an eye of an needle. We were anchored, lunched, and in the dinghy by 12:00 noon. Hakatea Bay is a very secluded bay. It is often called Daniel's Bay, and is the first location of the Survivor series. The bay has two fingers. We anchored in the right finger, and took the dinghy over to the left finger where we found a fresh water opening into an estuary where we tied up our dinghy before taking our hike.

One of the bay's attraction is the hike to the world's third highest waterfall. The hike was one of the most spectacularly beautiful hikes we have ever been on. After winding our way from the bay back into the spiring cliffs and fording a a couple of streams, we came to a box canyon that spired into the clouds. The trail took us through banana groves, hibiscus forests, and river beds clogged with falling coconuts. At one point while we were resting on the edge of a river bed canopied by trees, the wind began to blow, and coconuts and fruits came crashing down around us. Fortunately we were not hit.

This has been a very dry year in the Marquesas which has significantly reduced the mosquito problem which is a good thing, and also reduced the amount of water coming over the falls, which is a disappointing thing. Nevertheless, the canyon is breathtaking. The photographs we took cannot do it the awe inspiring justice it deserves. At the base of the waterfall is a beautiful fresh water pool which Russ took advantage of. The rest of us, were either not ecstatic about the crawdads and freshwater eels or unwilling to wash off our 100% deet jungle juice. This canyon should be on everyone's bucket list.

The hike took about five hours, two in, one there, two out. We returned to the dinghy which was high and dry in the estuary. We walked it back out into the surf, returned to Worrall Wind for fresh water showers, pineapple maitais, and left over grilled tuna and sauted breadfruit. It just doesn't get much better!

Tomorrow morning we will explore the area in the right finger where the Survivor series took place, and then head for the Tuomotus. We expect to be at sea for at least 90 hours (3-4 days).

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 13/14 - Marquesas Islands

Day 13/14 - Taiohae Bay, Nuka Hiva, May 20-21, 2010

UTC/Local: 0230/1700

Latitude: 08 54.959 S
Longitude: 140 06.197 W

Yesterday, we spent most of the day in town exploring Taiohae. We got up early to take advantage of shopping at the markets. The supply ship comes in every two weeks and it had come on Monday. The stores were stocked on Tuesday. When we got in late on Tuesday afternoon, we did a quick look around and saw that things were already flying off of the shelves. So yesterday, we stocked up with the things we will need for our passage to the Tuomotus and Tahiti.

This bay is very large and open. It has something called a reflective swell though which makes the boats rock back and forth on anchor and the dinghies and dinghy dock dance crazily about making it a challenge to get on and off the dinghies . When the large swells reach the seawall and crash, they bounce back out to sea. It is odd to see a wave roll towards the ocean and then a wave roll back out at you. When we first anchored, there was a very large ray cruising about the anchorage. We've also noticed there are tons of little jelly fish in the water. Not a good bay for swimming, we have decided. There are probably 30 boats in the bay, many of which we recognize from having been on the radio making the Puddle Jump with us. It is nice to connect faces with boat names.

The four of us enjoyed watching the local adolescents, all boys, surfing after school. It doesn't seem to be an equal opportunity sport here in this bay. When the tide is going out the waves hit a rock reef that is diagonal to the shoreline. The reflective swell in this part of the bay bounces parallel to the shore. When the reflective swell and incoming swell meet it makes a large "V" shaped wave that the kids ride sideways. Very interesting.

The shoreline is very well kept and their are old ruins with tikis in a parklike atmosphere. The local folks were enjoying a volleyball game the first night we were here. We enjoyed the restaurant we ate in the first night so much, we went back last night and again and indulged in big shrimp salads and shrimp curry for dinner.

Today, Garyn and Jess did some grocery shopping, while Russ checked in and out with Gendamerie, and I did laundry on the pier. The fisherman came in with a load of fresh fish around 3:00 p.m. Russ and I went to shore intent on buying both tuna and wahoo. The first load only had tuna, so we bought 2 kilos of fresh tuna. Later, our friends on Trim, indicated that another boat had come in with wahoo. Jess and Garyn went back in the dinghy to fetch some wahoo. Four kilos (8 lbs) of fish should take care of us on our passage.

Tomorrow, we head for for Hakatea Bay on Nuka Hiva. We plan to relax, do a little hiking, and leave for the Tuomotus this weekend or early next week.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 12 - Marquesas Islands

Day 12 - Taiohae Bay, Nuka Hiva, May 19, 2010

UTC/Local: 0700/2130

Latitude: 08 54.959 S
Longitude: 140 06.197 W

We weighed anchor at 8:45 this morning and said goodbye to Anaho Bay. We thought because of our swing pattern that we may have wrapped the chain on a rock, but with a zig here, and a zag there, we pulled up the anchor without any trouble. We motored the first hour directly into and east wind, then fell off the wind on a beam, then a broad, then a downwind run as the wind shifted on the eastern side of Nuka Hiva.

It was a beautiful sail under blue skies. We pulled into Taiohae Bay and anchored between Trim and S/V Pincoya around 4:00 p.m. After making sure the anchor was set and doing a little clean up work, we headed for shore. We walked around town a bit, and then met up with Gene and Gloria and Ken and Lori for dinner at a little pension restaurant on the waterfront for pizza and salads.

What fun we had sharing our Puddle Jump experiences. Pizza, what a treat! We will be here for a day or two to provision and to supplement our fuel supply.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 11 - Marquesas Islands

Day 11 - Hike from D'Anaho Baie to Hatiheu Baie

This morning at 8:00 a.m., we met up with two other cruising couples on the beach for a hike over the hill from where we are anchored to the neighboring bay where there is a little town with a couple of stores. Hiking with us were Josie and Steve from England on Elyson, and Paul and Marietta from the Nederlands on their boat Nija Foam. Paul and Marietta speak French so it was quite nice being with them because they could interpret for us.

It took us two hours to hike over the hill to Hatiheu. We did a little shopping in the stores, buying some cheese, bread, lettuce, chips, and drinks for a picnic lunch. We also stopped at the local restaurant for a mid-morning coffee. Marietta had a little game boy she was tired of and asked the young woman at the store if she would like to trade for some breadfruit. She struck up a deal with the young woman who took us all to her house at the far side of town during lunch time. We met her parents and watched as her brothers climbed a breadfruit tree to knock down these green balls the size of bowling balls. They also treated us to some other fruits of which we were not familiar. One was a star fruit, similar to a sour peach/apple, and the other was a koko orlis?? which was a prickly green ball, that when opened was a creamy consistency that tasted like pineapple and lemons. It was very good. It would make a fabulous Maitai. We enjoyed very much meeting this family and being taken to their home. Each couple carried 2 breadfruits back over the mountain. Marietta wanted us to have both breadfruits, but we just kept one and gave the other back to her. Paul and Marietta have been sailing for five years and have covered 22,000 kilometers. They came around the cape of South America.

After our visit, we ate our picnic lunch including some of the fruits, visited the town church, and headed back to D'Anaho Bay. We met Garyn and Jessica on our way back up the hill. They decided to go back to the town for another coke. Several of the children that had been playing in the water with us the day before were just getting out of school. When they saw Jess and Garyn, they wanted to know where "Russ" was? Cute. He made quite an impression on the children.


We returned to the boat about 4:00 p.m. We enjoyed a big salad, star fruit and baguettes for dinner. It's the first lettuce we have had on the boat in three weeks. We will try cooking the breadfruit tomorrow. Apparently, we can cut it up like French fries and fry in oil. We are planning on leaving D'Anaho tomorrow and heading to the south side of the island. We have a week left in the Marquesas before heading to the Tuomotus. Originally, we were planning on provisioning at Ua Pou, another island, however, we have heard through the cruising "vine" that Ua Pou's harbor is being dredged and there is no room for cruising boats. So we are reconsidering our plans and will most like go to the port city of Taiohae here on Nuka Hiva to do some provisioning and end our stay at Hakatea Baie (Daniel's Bay) where the first Survivor series was filmed before heading to the Tuomotus. We may do a cruise by of Ua Pou.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 11 - Marquesas Islands

Day 11 - D'Anaho Bay, Nuka Hiva

UTC/Local: 0500/1930

Latitude: 08 49.284 S
Longitude: 140 03.839 W

Garyn and Jess had a nice hike to a nearby village yesterday. We'll check it out tomorrow. Today was another day in paradise. We did a little snorkeling, reading, hiking, and socializing. Russ has become quite a favorite with the local children after he gave them balloons and lollipops. They got a kick out of using our dive masks. One of the boys invited Russ to get on a paddle board with him.

We invited three other boats over for Happy Hour this evening. Guerremo and Isabella (Spain) from Tin Tin, Steve and Monjula (Emery Cove, CA) from Endless Summer, and Steve and Josie (England) from Elyison. We are the newbies in the group. Steve and Josie left England 13 years ago, spending 5 years in the Med before crossing the Atlantic. Guerremo and Isabella have been sailng for four years, jumping off for the Marquesas from Equador. Steve and Monjula did the Baja Ha Ha in 2008 and the Puddle Jump this year. Everyone has wonderful stories to tell about places they have been. On their hike yesterday, Garyn and Jess met a Polish couple on a 28 foot boat, Asia. This is Asia's third circum-navigation. The woman is the primary owner and she did the first circum-navigation single handed. The boat is very simple....nothing to break, nothing to fix. They both look incredibly tan and fit, amazing people from all over the world.

We will do a little hiking tomorrow and will most likely leave D'Anaho Bay on Tuesday, May 18 for the south side of Nuka Hiva. We'll stay a couple of days on the south side in Hakatea, and head to Ua Pou before taking off for the Tuoumotus. I made 2 dozen corn tortillas today. We had grilled tuna tacos and cold beer.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 10 - Marquesas Islands

Day 10 - Marquesas Islands, May 16, 2010

UTC/Local: 0100/1530

Latitude: 08 49.284 S
Longitude: 140 03.839 W

We all had a great night's sleep last night. With the exception of a passing squall around midnight that had us scurrying to close hatches, we enjoyed the relatively calm waters of D'Anaho Bay, on Nuka Hiva. The anchor alarm didn't go off once. The bay has a little cove etched out of one side so as I look out the windows, I see land 360 degrees around our boat. Russ says it feels like Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe. This bay has the only coral reef on Nuka Hiva. Surrounding the bay are a combination of mountains, from desert scrub low-lying hills to spiring peaks. The shore line is forested by tall coconut palms (not quite Emerald Bay).

After a few boat chores, we all got in the dinghy to do some exploring. There is a pass cut through the coral reef for dinghies to get safely to shore without having to do some crazy shore landing. We did see one sting ray scurry out of our path as we approached the shore. The tide was way out so we had to drag the dinghy quite a ways up the beach. Crabs scittered across the sand and exposed coral reef. It's much easier to drag the dinghy with four people dong the dragging than with just the two of us. The grounds around the bay look as if they have been well cared for by the local residents. Fruit tress, palms, and flowers have been planted along grassy beach meadows just above the beach. Fallen palm leaves and coconuts have been raked off the pathways into piles which are periodically burnt. Smoke from fires rises from different locations along the bay. There are a few families that live here, but there is also a little pension and an open-air church.

We met three young men on shore from Vancouver who are sailing on a boat called Mojombo. They were carrying their surf boards to the bay just east of us. It was the first bay we passed before getting to D'Anaho. It is open to the sea and they were hoping it would be a good place to surf. We ourselves walked over the little saddle to see the Bay. Along the way, a father and son on horseback passed by us. They had large satchels of something they had collected. We also met another Marquesan family, who had come over from Taiohae (south side of Nuka Hiva) for the day. They drove to the Bay to the west of D'Anaho and hiked over a path to D'Anaho. They explained to us where the path was that would take us over the hill to the Bay that has some stores, restaurant, post office.

When we returned from our excursion, the tide had come back in. Jess and Garyn had returned a little before us and were in knee high water with the dinghy chatting with a couple of cruisers. Guerremo and Isabella on Tin Tin are from Spain. The other boat, a catamaran, Endless Summer with Steve and Monjula is from Emery Cove Marina...can you believe that! They were moored closer to Trader Vics on F dock. Monjula had a thermometer and we all found a place where there was a warm current of 92 degree water. It was like a hot tub. We sat for over an hour in the shallow waters talking about our Pacific crossing experience and our plans for the future.

Garyn and Jess decided to go back to the trail the Marquesans had told us about and hike over the hill to the other bay. Hopefully they will bring some bread back with them. We can all go back again tomorrow. We weren't sure if the stores would be open on Sunday. Russ and I, feeling like salty prunes, made our way back to the boat where we took fresh water showers and are just lounging around until we bar-b-que the tuna we got in Autona on Hiva Oa. Today is the first day where I'm thinking....this is good, really good. This is what I thought or hoped paradise would be like.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 9 - Marquesas Islands

Day 9 - Marquesas Islands, Friday, May 14, 2010

UTC/Local: 1900/0930

Latitude: 08 56.16 S
Longitude: 139 38.93 W

1914/0944
So you are probably asking yourself, did I miss Day 8? Nope, I miscounted. I'm on island time now! ;-) Somehow there were 2, day 5's. Days 7 and 8 were in Puamau Bay on Hiva Oa. We left Puamau last night for Ua Huka. The wind picked up after we left, and we sailed at 7 knots instead of the anticpated 5. Garyn reduced sail to slow us down when he and Jess were on watch. By 4:00 a.m. we hove-to for about an hour and a half until there was enough light to approach the island and the bay we intended on anchoring in. We came into Baie Hana at 8:00 a.m. It was a fairly small, bay with an unanticipated sidewind. After a long night, Russ just didn't feel comfortable anchoring in this bay. We decided not to stay, did a drive by of Ua Huka, and are heading over to Nuka Hiva about 35 miles away to a Bay that is known for its quiet shelter and potentially good snorkeling. We need a couple of non-rolly night's rest and in the water recreation.

0200/1630
After 24 hours of great sailing and fun dolphin play, we are anchored at Baie D'Anaho off of Nuka Hiva. There are 8 other boats in the anchorage with us. There are no swells, but some wind. We are so ready for a good night's sleep, maybe a couple.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 7 - Marquesas Islands

Day 7 - Marquesas Islands, Hiva Oa, Thursday, May 13, 2010

UTC/Local:

Latitude:
Longitude:

Another rolly night! Russ doesn't feel secure leaving the flopper stopper up all night in the event we start to drag anchor, it's one more thing to take down and put away. So before we went to bed, we took out the flopper stopper and flopped all night....although I'm not sure we wouldn't have done that anyway in this bay.

8:00 a.m. This morning the tide was out and the surf seemed a little smaller than yesterday, so Garyn, Russ, and Jess ventured ashore in the dinghy. I just couldn't get up the courage for a surf landing and decided to stay onboard. Our anchor is secure and there is no one else in this bay. I watched them from the Lido deck through the binoculars and they made a run for it when the swells looked smaller. Just before the beach a wave caught them, however and broke in such a way that the nose of the dinghy dug down. The next thing they knew, they were in the water not sure what happened. They were able to stand with the water at waist level. They all made it to shore a little soggy and retrieved the things that flipped out with them. Garyn's sunglasses were the only casualty. Russ was able to restart the motor, so they pulled the dinghy to the high tide line and disappeared into the jungle for a look around. There were several Marquesans observing this beach landing from the church community center. It must have been good entertainment. I'm looking forward to their photos and descriptions.

11:00 a.m. I saw the trio returning from jungle. There were two small children, a boy and a girl 5 or 6 years old following them to the beach. The little boy's back had a huge tatoo on it. They had undoubtedly heard the story of the landing and were curious to see the take off. The kids "helped" drag the dinghy down to the surf. Garyn, Jess, and Russ walked the dinghy out as far as they could. Russ jumped in first and started to paddle on either side to keep the nose pointed into the surf. Garyn and Jessica were in the back and side kicking. Next Jess climbed in and grabbed the second oar. Both she and Russ were paddling, and Garyn was still in the back propelling with his kicks. Finally, when the surf line was cleared, Garyn climbed into the dinghy. They continued to paddle for a while. I thought perhaps the motor wouldn't start, but then I could hear it purring and they put away the paddles. They made quite a team and looked very organized. I'm sure the locals were impressed or at least not as entertained as on their arrival. Again, I was glad I had chosen not to go. I really don't think I could have heaved myself up into the dinghy like they did. I usually have a difficult enough time when I have fins on and get in after snorkeling in much calmer waters.

Upon their return, we unloaded the dinghy, drained it, and put it up on its davits. They brought bag two bags of fruits...pamplemoose?? which is like a cross between a grapefruit and an orange. It's a big greenish citrus, and two other orange fruits (mangos we think), not sure what they are. They bought the fruit for $3.00 at the snack shack, where the operator also collected a contribution to see the Tikis. They enjoyed their walk through the jungle. Russ said it really sounded jungle like with birds cawing and shreaking. Jessica said it was like a little suburb with landscaped little gardens in the middle of the jungle as they walked through this part of town. The town had an electric power plant, post office, and modern telephone booth. We have not seen many people with cell phones, but the town does have a cell phone tower, and Garyn gets reception. They saw stone tikis and platforms of old ruins, and thoroughly enjoyed the walk and being on shore.

Right now, they have all crashed and are resting after their exhausting adventure.

0330/1800
We weighed anchor after dinner this evening at 5:00 p.m. and are now under way to Ua Huka (pronounced Wa Huka). It is a beautiful Polynesian evening, warm with a gentle breeze of about 9 knots of wind coming from the east, and a gentle six foot swell from the same direction. Our boat speed is 4.5 knots on a starboard broad reach with a course over ground of 320 degrees . We could just see Ua Huka in the sunset lit sky about 60 miles away. At this speed, we should be there sometime tomorrow morning around 8:00 a.m. Garyn and Jess have the 8:00 - 2:00 watch. Russ and I will have the 2:00 - 8:00 watch. Jessica is a great addition to our sailing team and feels not queezy for the first time today. Yeah. We are all excited to be unhooked and saiing!

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 6 - Marquesas Islands

UTC/Local: 0330/1800

Latitude: 09 45.825 S
Longitude: 138 52.766 W

Update:

The wind did not subside until after dark last night, so we did not venture on shore at Hanamenu. We did enjoy laying on the deck and watching the stars last night. They shone like little diamonds in black sky and were animated back and forth as the boat rocked and rolled. The wind changed directions all night long and our boat proximity alarm continued to sound each time we entered new territory within our proximity circle. By morning we had filled in an almost perfect circle around our anchor. We held fast, but it was not without a lot of anxiety. We could feel the wave action all night as we circumnavigated our anchor. Sometimes the swell was on our nose, some time from the side, some time from the stern lifting us and sloshing water against the back stateroom where our heads were presumably sleeping. Garyn and Jess moved from the V-berth to the midship berth sometime during the middle of the night.

When we awoke at 6:00 a.m., we were the only boat left in the bay. All others had left...wonder why? The bay now was reasonably calm as the sun was coming up. We enjoyed our breakfast of cereal and ripened bananas on the dewy deck. Rather than go ashore, we decided to take advantage of the calm seas to motor to Puamau Bay. We weighed anchor by 8:00 a.m. and it came up easily. After it had held fast so well all night in every direction, we were anticipating some difficulty getting it up not knowing if had wedged or wrapped around something. But it came up easily and we motored out of the bay leaving the bay quiet and empty.

We headed due north then east passing Hanaiapa Bay which is supposed to be the most protected bay on the island. It looked inviting, but we decided this was one of the stops we would leave off of our trip itinerary. Several of the boats that were in the Hanamenu were anchored in this bay. As we approached Hanaiapa there was a small squall that went right over the top of us. We didn't experience any rain, but the wind accelerated to 34 knots on our nose. We were motoring and our speed over ground was only 3 knots as we plowed through swells 9-12 feet high that were splashing over the bow and sending rivers of water down the deck. I was trying to take pictures of a waterfall cascading from one of the cliffs when the waterfall blew side ways and vaporized in the wind. Just prior to taking a right turn into Baie Puamau a pod of dolphins played off of our bow wake. We were a little concerned that there were no other boats in the bay and hoped it wasn't for an unknown reason other than perhaps the eastern swells that would make for yet another rolly night.

2100/1130
We anchored in 30 feet of water about 200 yards west of the wharf area, pointing out to sea. The wind had died down to about 6 knots and a six foot swell from the east rolled through the bay. Relative to last night, it seemed pretty mild to us. Negotiating the surf into the beach may be a challenge however. There appears to be a little jetty on the wharf that we may be able to tuck behind and land. Garyn and Jess are going to give it the first try while Russ and I stay on board keeping watch. When they return, we will give it a go. This is the one place we really do want to get off of the boat as this is supposed to be the location of one of the most extensive archeological sites on the island and the largest tiki in the world. According to Charlie's Charts there are "massive terraces, petroglyphs, and various statues....spectacular place to visit."

2300/1330
Garyn and Jess tried to get ashore, but the surf was too big for a safe landing. Now back at the boat, we are thinking that either very late today or early tomorrow morning we will give it another try.

0330/1800
We never got to shore today. We will try again early tomorrow morning. The waves were too big. We did enjoy watching the surfers though. There were about seven adolescent boys who appeared to be having great rides after school this afternoon. We lounged around soaking in the beauty of this bay with its crashing surf, glistening palm trees, goat speckled mountains, and billowing clouds. It will be disappointing if we can't get ashore, but we need to move on tomorrow.

Russ and Garyn put out the flopper stopper for tonight. This slick little gizmo is two pieces of sheet metal about 5 feet long and two feet wide, hinged at the bottom. The top of each flap has lines that extend up to the whisker pole hanging out over the beam of our boat. This flopper stopper dips about 10 feet under the water. When the boat rolls to starboard which is the lee side of a swell, the sheet metal cuts down like a blade through the water. When the boat starts to roll to the other side, it pulls open the flopper stopper like a clam shell creating resistance to the roll and helps to flatten the roll, stopping the the flopping. It doesn't work particularly well when both the wind and the swell are coming from the same direction. It works best when the the boat is pointed into the wind and waves are perpendicular to the beam. It seems to be working farily well this evening.

Our plan is to leave tomorrow night about 5:00 p.m. for a 12 hour evening passage to Ile Ua Huka. Now it's time for dominoes.

All is well on Worrall Wind

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 5 - Marquesas Islands

Day 5 - Marquesas Islands, Tuesday, May 11, 2010

UTC/Local: 0100/1530

Latitude: 09 45.864 S
Longitude: 139 08.396 W

Update:

We awoke early in preparation for leaving Autona. Russ made a couple of trips in the dinghy to shore to drop off the used oil in jugs that we had changed while crossing the Pacific. A man saw him emptying the oil in to the recycle drum and came over and asked if he could have the oil. Russ explained to him that it was used oil. He indicated that he knew that and it was ok. Russ gave him the 7 containers of used oil. He later came over and gave us a fresh baguette which with a little butter and jam we called breakfast. The night before, Russ had given a cruiser a ride from shore to his boat in our dinghy. The cruiser was in his 70's and experiencing some TIA symptoms. He was returning from seeing a local doctor who set him for a scan in Papeete the following day. As a thank you, he gave two bunches of very green bananas. It will be a couple of days before they are ready for breakfast. Garyn and Jess went ashore and did a little laundry. I pulled down all the dry laundry from the back deck and cleared the deck of clutter for sailing.

A couple of boats had moored behind us the day before and we were a little concerned that one of them may have anchored over our stern anchor.
When we were ready to leave, Garyn, in the dinghy followed the stern anchor line and was able to pull it up by hand. Russ reeled in Garyn and the dinghy. We took the stern anchor from Garyn and secured it, took the motor off the dinghy, raised the dinghy, pulled up the bow anchor and were under way by 9:00 a.m.

2100/1130
We are on our way to a Bay called Hanamenu and have just passed Point Tepupuhi. We've been having a great broad reach sail down the straight between Tahuata and Hiva Oa, sailing at 6.8 knots. This is Jessica's first day at sea. She is wearing a seasickness patch, but is still feeling a bit queezy...doing a good job holding it together

2200/1230
Shortly after passing Tepupuhi, the wind died. We took advantage of the calm to eat lunch. When it was apparent we still weren't going anywhere, we turned on Lehman. A little further to the north, we passed Cap KiuKiu, and hold your hats! 33 knots of winds and 4-6 feet of wind waves right on our nose with less than two miles to Hanamenu. I hurried downstairs and closed ports and hatches that I opened to glean a little moving air when were windless. Now we are taking splash right over the cabin top. This wind may make landfall in Hanamenu a challenge. We'll see.

0100/1530

We motored into Hanamenu where there were six other boats anchored. We set down the hooks facing out to sea as there is a strong onshore breeze, more like a north wind blowing 18-25 knots. Our anchor seems to be holding tight but we are riding a bucking bronco in this anchorage as the wind and the sea keep coming at us. If this keeps up, we will be holding anchor watch tonight. About 1/2 an hour ago, three of the boats that were in this bay all left together and headed straight out, perhaps to Nuka Hiva. Seems a little late in the day to go anywhere, other than a night passage. There are three of us left in the bay. Our little wind generator is spinning like crazy making 5-6 amps per hour. Our solar panels are making 10 amps. We are using about 20 amps right now with refrigerators, computer, and radio transmissions.

Behind us, is a lovely little beach with palm trees. There is reportedly a nice fresh water spring. When and if the wind calms down, we will dinghy to the beach later this afternoon.


All is well on Worrall Wind.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 5 - Marquesas Islands

Marquesas Islands - Day 5

UTC/Local: 0200/0430 May 10, 2010

Latitude: 09 48.224 S
Longitude: 139 01.918 W

Update:
We got up early this morning and headed into Autona by 8:15. It would have been sooner, but once again we were worried about our stern anchor that seemed to have drifted a bit. So we watched and waited, and debated whether to go in to shore or not. Our neighbors on Khashyan (Happiness in Hindi) who had been so helpful the day before were departing, and a small shift to our starboard would not make a big difference, so we headed in to Autona.

We had heard that the Gendamarie was only open to clear in cruisers until 9:00 a.m. So we hustled to get into Autona, a mile or so walk before the purported close time.

We got to Autona, just before 9:00 a.m. Once we got there, they told us they were open until 10:00 a.m. Some of the cruisers relayed that only the captain needed to go, other cruisers reported that everyone needed to go. In the end because we want to leave tomorrow, everyone went and got there before 9:00 a.m. The check-in went smoothly, and we were out of there in 20 minutes. I think they were glad to see all of us. The story seems to change daily.

Anyway, we checked in. After check - in we had to go to the post office and buy a stamp to affix and send our doucmentation to Papeete. Jess and Garyn went to the Gaughan cultural center. Russ and I explored the town and bought some fresh food as we went. Each store has a little different inventory.

Stop 1 - no produce, but snacks and variety items. Russ got a coke and 4 gallons of oil.

Stop 2 - met other cruisers with a truck. Windryder would take oil back to Dingy Dock. We met Ed and Cornelia on A Capella who said to say hello to us from Dave and Marcia on Juniata, and Patricia and Jack on Whoosh who asked if they could sponsor us as commodores for the Seven Seas Cruising Association. They said anyone who made it this far should be sponsored. we are delighted of course.

Stop 3 - ATM

Stop 4 - Veggie truck in front of the park. We got some tomatoes, cucumbers, egg plant, and green beans.

Stop 5 - Tuna truck in front the of the park. We got a kilo of fresh tuna.

Stop 6 - Another little grocery where we got hot freshly baked bread and two dozen eggs.

Stop 7 - Another little grocery where we got onions.

Stop 8 - Another little grocery where we got celery, 4 potatoes, and a frozen chicken.

We didn't see any lettuce or bananas but were pleased with our purchases. No we needed to walk back the mile + to the harbor in the late morning heat lugging our goodies.

We met Garyn and Jess at the post office at 11:00 and hiked back stopping at a little pension/restaurant along the way. We enjoyed fresh vegetable salads and an island fruit compote for dessert. It was nice not to have to cook a meal. Thirty plus days is a long stretch for me.

When we got most of the way back, Garyn and Jessica wanted to strike out to find some petroglyphs. I wanted to get back to the boat, cool off and take a nap. Russ and I returned to the boat, took cold showers, and were putting away the groceries when Jess and Garyn returned...hot, tired, and hadn't found the petroglyphs. As I was putting away the groceries, I discovered that one of our refrigerators had not been turned back on and the pancake syrup had leaked all over! What a mess. There went the nap!

Russ returned to shore to pick up the oil and do some laundry in the communal sink. We didn't want to use our water supply to wash the sheets. He returned with the wet laundry to report that the dinghy anchor had gotten stuck in the rocks. Garyn, Jess, and Russ returned to shore to unsuccessfully dislodge the anchor. While they were gone, I hung out the laundry and am pounding out this update. Russ has returned to the dinghy dock to see if he can employ a local diver to retrieve the anchor.

Never a dull moment. We could all use a little rest and relaxation. We plan to leave tomorrow and sail to the north side of Hiva Oa, so it will have to be after that. Russ just returned. Happiness! Another dingy had dropped his anchor on ours and they had tangled. Fortunately, the other boat owner was willing to dive to retrieve his anchor and ours. So once again,

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Worrall Wind Update 3/4 - Marquesas Islands

Marquesas Islands

Day 3/4 Marquesas Islands - May 8/9, 2010

UTC/Local: 0100/1530 May 9, 2010

Latitude: 09 48.221 S
Longitude: 139 01.919 W

Update:


End of Day 3 - Saturday, May 8, 2010:

We arrived in Atuona Harbor on Hiva Oa, mid morning. The harbor is protected by a short break water. It's very small for the number of boats that need to moor here for check-in. In order to squeeze as many boats in as possible, boats must have both a bow and a stern anchor so that they do not swing. All of the boats face the harbor entrance. Theoretically, all of the boats should be lined up in rows with a fairway in front and back. It was much messier however than the theortical,and it was quite a challenge trying to find a place to anchor. Some of the boats on the outside edge were anchored almost horizontally to the rest of the fleet.

The technique we used was to try and find a fairway, turn upwind into a likely position, drop the stern anchor in the fairway, motor forward to the middle of the next fairway and drop the bown anchor, then snug them both up. We tried unsuccessfully in one location (weren't comfortable with how close we were to the other boats), and finally went to the very front of the anchorage, close to the outer edge, where there was one other boat between us and the cliffs - a big 56 foot Nordhaven, where there was room. We dropped the stern and then the bow, and it felt pretty good. We watched as the boat moved from one side to the other and when we were satisfied, we weren't dragging and had a good distance between our two neighbors, we settled in for the afternoon. We raised the yellow quarantine flag and said hello to some of our Puddle Jump comrades who were also in the Harbor. Windryder and Demelza were in the Harbor.

We did a few boat chores and relaxed for a while. About 1:30 Russ took Garyn over to shore for his 10 mile hike to the airport via the road or a shorter distance up some vertical path. Jessica's plane was due to arrive at 4:30. It was 90 degrees and humid. It was not going to be a pleasant walk either way he went. Russ returned to the boat and we continued to cleanup and fix little things. We were both dripping with sweat. It's amazing how many things can go haywire on a boat. Our shower sump wasn't working, the engine needed servicing, the back deck needed a cleanup, laundry needed to be done, things that came unscrewed and unglued, needed to be rescrewed and reglued.

We were surprised at 4:30 p.m. when we heard Garyn call us from shore saying that he and Jessica were at the dinghy dock. It seemed to us that he had barely left. Jessica's plane had come in an hour early to this little shaved mountain top landing strip. She had several offers from people for a ride into town, but she said no, she was waiting for her husband, She was afraid to if Garyn had taken the path instead of the road, she would miss him. Garyn got to the airport at 4:00 p.m. and were offered a ride by a local back down the hill. So it all worked out well.

After hugs, stories, and a couple of cold beers, we had a champagne dinner on the Lido deck after the sun went down. Russ had set the proximity/anchor alarm pretty close, so it continued to go off throughout the evening. We kept checking with visuals and seemede to be ok. So we all went to bed. Garyn and Jessica were awakened when it started to rain and they got a cool midnight shower, but overall we all slept pretty well.

Day 4 - Sunday, May 9, 2010 - A relaxing Mother's Day - NOT!

It is gratifying to wake up and still be where you think you should be. Boats were beginning to leave the harbor for other destinations. The boat behind us, one of the ones that had moored horizontally, was also setting rigging and cleaning up, getting ready to do something. On board were three Italians, two men and 1 woman. They seemed pretty adept at what they were doing so we didn't pay much attention to them as they motored a little forward, a little backward, raised sailss, bagged sails, etc.

After breaksfast, Garyn, Jess, and Russ wanted to walk into town. It was already starting to get warm, and I still had a lot of little projects to do, so I volunteered to stay behind and watch the boat.

They all got in the dinghy about 9:30, and I sat on the Lido deck relaxing and drinking my second cup of coffee, and planning my day. It seemed to me that our stern had moved a little farther than it had been, but the line was still tight. I came downstairs and did some laundry, and brought it on deck to hang and dry. The Italian boat that had moored horizontally in the fairway was getting ready to leave and had pulled forward on their anchor discovering that our stern anchor had crossed over their bow anchor.

Fortunately, they could speak English enough so that we could communicate. The captain of the boat wanted me to untie my stern which he had alreay dislodged,and our stern was now drifting toward our neighboring boat on our starboard side. I expressed my reluctance to letting go of the stern anchor. I hurriedly got on my sailing gloves, cleared off the lido deck of chairs and tables, grabbed the bow thruster, and started the motor (or tried to start the motor). After a couple of tries I gave it up, and went back out to discover that the Italian boat was now drifting into us with their beam less than two feet from our solar panels on the stern. I gave a "Too close" yell.

While they tried to manuever the boat, our solar panels were now catching in their backstays and grabbing at their fishing gear, I released the sternanchor line so that we would swing away from them. We did and they cleatred. I wondered what would have happened if I hadn't been on board. Yipes!

When I tried to winch in our back anchor, it was now apparent that I was totally dislodged. Two of the crew members, got in their dinghy to push our stern into position while I winched. When that didn't work, they pulled the anchor up and tried to reset it. The first time, it obviously did not set.
The second time, we thought it was set. It was a close call. They were anxious to get under way, and left, but I was anxiously watching the stern continue to pull sideways and there was not enough tension on the stern line so I knew we were dragging.

I got on channel 16, and called some other PPJ boats Windryder, Demelza, and Worrall Wind mobile for assistance. NOTHING HEARD! Now what? I went back out to check the stern anchor which had not set. Our stern was now sideways and perpendicular to our neighbor. We were clearning their boat but I didn't like having only one hook down and not able to start the motor. I yelled to our neighbors who were just getting in their dinghy to go ashore, and asked if they could help. They are now my newest best friends! Those guys reset the the anchor 4 times and on the 4th time it finally took. They could see I was getting exhausted with the anchor winch, so one of them came on board to give me a hand. By 1:00, 3 hours later, everything was back under control and I was pooped.

Russ, Garyn, and Jess arrived at 2:00 p.m. after having explored the tiny town of Atuona and spending $20.00 on cookies and coke. They asked if I had a relaxing time on the boat? .......

We finished up some projects in the afternoon. Russ got the shower sump limping along. There is something wrong with the float. Garyn and Russ got the water turbine back to a wind generator. Russ worked on getting the engine to start. Just before dinner, Garyn and Jess gave me a Mother's Day gift. Mothers Day? I had completely forgotten. But it was a great reason to use the satellite phone and call my mom. Hope everyone out there had more relaxing Mother's Day than I did.

All is Well in Worrall Wind

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 2/3 - Marquesas Islands

UTC/Local:

Latitude:
Longitude:

Day 2 - Marquesas Islands, May 7, 2010

When we left Fatu Hiva, we could see the white caps just beyond the lee of the island. After the fierce winds through the night, we raised our main with a double reef, raised the mizzen for stern balance, and pulled out about 1/2 of the jib in expectation of the blow. Turned out that 1/2 of the jib was too much once we hit the wind line. Once we turned off the wind to a brorad reach, eased off the main, and pulled in the jib to about 1/3 handkerchief, we had a great downwind sail all the way to Tahuata.

We sailed to the west side of Tahuata which is the lee side and anticipated that the wind would subside. Well it didn't! Instead the wind blew over the peaks and funneled through the valleys with increasing velocity over 30 knot gusts. I got really nervous at one point, when I was hard to port trying to get the wind behind us and the boat continued to round up and head straight for the cliffs of the island.

Since we were far enough offshore, there was no immediate danger, but we couldn't take many blows like that one without getting way too close to the cliffs for comfort. We rolled in the jib, furled in the mizzen, and turned on the iron genny (engine). The wind continued to hit us randomly from all direcetions. We passed several coves until we reached Hanamoenoa which is reported to be one of the three best beaches in Polynesia.

We pulled in and set our anchor in white sand in about 30 feet of water about 3:45 p.m.. There were five other boats in the bay and some snorkelers in the water who checked our anchor after we set it and gave us a thumbs up. The water was clear and inviting. It tdidn't take us long to get on our fins, masks, snorkels and go overboard into the 80 + degree water.

In order to get into the water for snorkeling, we first lowered the rubber dinghy around to the side steps, and used the dinghy to put on our gear. It makes a swim platform for us. After a lovely swim where we saw la wide variety of reef fish, we came back to the boat and did a little bottom and side clean up. Garryn made his way around the waterline with a plastic putty knife and scruffy. Not too many barnacles. The aniti-fouling paint did a good job. And maybe the bowline drag helped too.

After fresh water showers on deck, we pulled out the barb-b-que, drank red wine, and had beef kabobs for dinner as the sunset. After dinner we turned on the audio book, layed around in the dark listening and enjoying. About 8:00 p.m. I could hea,r both Garyn and Russ making sleeping noises...snoring. Time to go to sleep. We'll finish the book tomorrow.

Day 3 - Marquesas Islands, May 8, 2010

We had our best night sleep yet. There were some winds, but not as fierce as the night before, we were confident in our anchor set and those of our few neighbors, so we all slept very well.

After a few morning chores, attaching window shade screens, preparing the stern anchor for Autona, swabbing the decks, and putting the bar-b-que away,l we were ready to weigh anchor about 7:30 a.m. Knowing that it would be an upwind beat around the north west corner of Tahuata through the straight to Autona we decided to motor. The wind is on our nose as are the ocean swell.

Once we arrive in Autona, we will go into serious boat cleanup and repair mode. Jessica arrives late this afternoon. Garyn is already cleaning up the V-berth stateroom, and looking forward to taking Jessica back to do some snorkeling at Tahuata.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Marquesas Islands

Day 1 and 2 - Marquesas Islands

UTC/Local -9.5: 1930/1000 a.m.

Latitude: 10 18.970 S
Longitude: 138 49.524 W

Conditions:

After a lovely, albeit windy, day in the Bay of Virgins, we are headed 303 degrees toward the island of Tahuata. This island lies just a few miles south of Hiva Oa, and we will reach it late this afternoon. We thought it would be better to anchor here in a bay with just a bow anchor than to negotiate the required bow and stern situation at Autona at dusk. The wind is blow 19 knots, wind waves of 1 meter and east south east rolling swells 2.5 metters high every 10 seconds while in sets. These sets rock the boat from rail to rail. In between set the boat is bounding along at 6+ knots.

By dusk last night, there were more that 20 boats in the Bay of Virgins. Many of them with the yellow quarantine flags hoisted indicating they had not yet checked in. We followed suite and raised our yellow flag on the starboard spreader with our French Polynesia flag just below. About 1/3 of the boats had no flags, and another 1/3 of the boats had the French Flag. We saw no other French Polynesia flags other than ours in the anchorage. Since this is not an official check in location, we were concerned about making landfall here and having to pay a fine for making landfall without the required check in, but didn't seem to have to worry about that. There were a lot of very tired looking sailors taking refuge here before moving on.

Day 1 Garyn lowered the dinghy into the water and while he was checking out the motor and riding around, he noticed a large gray shark the size of the dinghy following along side. Our desired to take a swim was immediately squelched. Garyn and Russ took a hike earlier in the day yesterday, Day 1, up to the cross on a pinnacle earlier in the day. Later in the day, Russ and I went back to shore and explored the little town of Hanevave which is at the end of the bay nestled between giant pinnacles. It was a tidy little village with a concrete roads. Houses looked like modulars set on pier foundations. Each of the 20 +/- houses had a garden with several types of plants and fruit trees. Some had pigs tied on tethers to one of their hooves getting fat for roasting and chickens strutted around the town. We saw one teenager carrying a large rooster in his arms. The rooster looked pretty content and wasn't worried about becoming dinner. Dogs and cats were in nearly every yard. The Marquesans girls and women we saw were wearing shorts and tops, the men no tops.

We had heard there was a little store, and saw some folks carrying things in their sacks, but didn't see the store ourselves. We said Kaoha (hello) to folks we saw and many responded either in Marquesan or in French. We stopped and talked to one young man who had a baby. He had seen Garyn and Russ earlier in the day as they hiked the road to the cross. He was one of the workmen who hauls one huge bag of cement up the hillside and extends the concrete road to the next village or wherever they want the road to go. This project will probably last the lifetime of the young man we were talking with. He introduced us to his son who looked less than a year old. We saw a couple of vehicles parked under ports, but none that were on the road.

The village had what looked to be a school/community center, church, volleyball court, soccer field, post office, breakwater with dinghy dock, and a restaurant that looked closed, but with a religious shrine erected in the front. We were told by other cruisers that there was a lady named Justine, near the socceer field, that would prepare a traditional Marquesan dinner with enough notice for cruisers at a price of about $11.00 each. We did not take advantage of this opportunity as we found out too late in the day and would not be there the following. But it sounded like it would have been fun and interesting.

Instead we had spaghetti on board, turn the clocks to Marquesan time. It was dark by 6:00 p.m. when we did this. The days on this side of the equator are growing shorter. By 8:00 p.m, we were all sleeping, not soundly, but sleeping. The boat had just a gentle rock, but the winds were fierce and would whip down from rock pinnacles and deep valleys from a couple of directions, stretching our chain, and often causing us to heel to one side. By the time we finally went to bed our anchor alarm had gone off at least 2 dozen times over the course of the afternoon and evening. Russ had set a pretty tight circle, so we weren't too concerned as we watched the gps screen - boat position draw a wormy looking pattern from the anchor. When we went to bed, our alarm remained silent indicating to us that we had tested nearly every direction downwind from the anchor and were still holding. It was nice to know that we weren't dragging, but didn't have the same confidence in the other boats in the anchorage, many of whom had come in and anchored in front of us.

Between all of us getting up a couple of times and checking our position and other boats relative to us, we got through the night with no problems. Garyn reported that he heard voices(real ones :-), and there was a boat that was trying to drop anchor right next to us and drop back. That didn't work out for them. They finally dropped way to the back of the fleet and dropped anchor. In this particular bay, there is a sandy shelf close to the head of the bay and slightly around the bay on the south side. If you don't drop the line on this shelf in 70 feet or less of water, your alternative is to drop anchor in 100+ feet of water. We carry 300 feet of chain, and to get the right scope, we prefer to drop in shallower water. We were anchored in about 60 feet of water.

When we awoke this morning at 6:00 a.m., we quickly had some cereal and coffee, secured everything for our passage to Tahuata. We turned on the motor to give us an assist in pulling up the anchor against the strong winds pushing us away from the anchor. I was at the helm, Russ and Garyn doing the anchor work. The anchor came up with no problems and by 7:30 we had headed out of the bay for Tahuata. It's been fun sailing in this direction. We hand steered for the first hour or so past the lee of Fatu Hiva because of the variable winds. Once we were well under way, we put Hydie to work and have been giving her periodic help when hit by large offsetting and rounding swells. The clouds are starting to build covering the sun and the temperature has dropped a little from 88 degrees.

We figure that Jessica is on her way to Tahiti now. We will see her tomorrow in Autuona about 4:00 p.m. We understand that we will probably not be able to do an official check-in in Autona until Monday or Tuesday. So we will either hang around there for a few days or go to one of the other close by bays.

As I close this update, we see the dark outline of islands in front of us. Either Tahuata or Hiva Oa or both. Can't quite tell yet.

All is well on Worrall Wind

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Marquesas Arrived!

UTC/local -9.5 (0100 May 7/1630)

Latitude: 10 27.8557 S
Longitude: 138 40.112 W

Conditions: We are currently anchored in the Bay of Virgins on Fatu Hiva. There are a dozen other sailboats from around the world tucked into this beautiful little bay surrounded by by steep cliffs, coconut palms, and tall rock spires shrouded in what looks like resident clouds.. Originally named the Baie de Verges (Bay of Penises) so named for very erect rocks, the missionaries added an "i" and changed the name to Baie de Vierges (Baie of Virgins. Using my vivid imagination, I can actually visualize both in the formations. Only a handful of people live on this island and it is beautifully unspoiled.

We anchored about 10:00 a.m. this morning and ate our breakfast with a gorgeous views from our lido deck while our anchor settled. The boat is rocking gently...seems still now. While this bay is visually inspirational, 30 knot winds have been gusting through this anchorage every 15 minutes, making us a little nervous about the hold of everyone's anchor including our own. A couple of the gusts have been mini squalls bringing rain.

I had to pull out the bug screens as soon as we got here, not because of mosquitos or no seeums which I am sure there are, but because of these huge yellow wasp like creatures that keep making their way into the boat. After breakfast and some minor cleanup, (I had been up since 1:00 am), I took a nap and stayed on anchor watch, while Garyn and Russ took the dinghy ashore and of course took a hike up to a high peak above the bay to a white cross. Now it's my turn to go ashore. We leave tomorrow for Hiva Oa. This was a short stay, but glad we got to see it.

All is very well on Worrall Wind.

Worrall Wind - Land Ho! Marquesas Arrival

Day 30 - Thursday, May 6, 2010

Whoo Hoo! 30 days and over 3,000 miles, Worrall Wind and crew have safely arrived in the Marquesas. I spotted Fatu Hiva during dawn watch on our radar this morning at 5:00 a.m. within my 20 mile range circle. So nice to see something other than a squall or passing ship. By 5:30 a.m. in a star filled sky lit with a waning crescent moon, I thought I could see a dark smudge on the horizon. Was it yet another squall? My imagination or Fatu HIva? 1430 UT, we had a visual. and decided spending one night in the Bay of Virgins before heading 45 miles downwind to Autona, Hiva Oa.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 29 - Marquesas Bound

Day 29 - Wednesday, May 5, 2010

UTC/Local -8: 2130/0130

Latitude: 09 23.593 S
Longitude: 137 46.789 W

Conditions: We are 80 miles from Fatu Hiva, traveling a course over ground of 220 degrees, 5.7 knots. The wind is blowing about 16 knots from the east and there is a partially cloudy. We are on a broad reach with one reef in the main, no mizzen and a reefed jib, a remnant from our last 20 hours of countless squalls and steep seas pounding us from the east. At a our present pace we should make landfall in the Bay of Virgins on Fatu Hiva tomorrow morning. Yes!

Since our first sneaker squall hit us yesterday, we have encountered one squall after another. After the first one, we didn't reef thinking that it was an unusual occurrence. After the second one which lasted for an hour of gusting 27 knot winds, we hunkered down for a long night. We put in one reef in the main, had about 1/3 of the jib flying, trimmed the sails for a broad reach, and helped Hydie with course correction.

After that second squall, the winds dropped to 3 knots and we basically watched the windex spin in circles in the squalls vaccuum. Then came another and another with lots of rain and steepening seas (9-12 feet about 7 seconds apart)slapping our port side or lifting us over and dropping in us in a trough, rolling us to port as the water broke out from under the boat in a frothing rush. Each time a squall passed we would be windless and unable to direct the boat out from the squall line.

Needless to say, none of us got much rest last night. Somehow, we just didn't think the last 150 miles would be this dramatic. After going through the ITCZ with few and light squalls, we thought we were clear..nope! Anyway, the sun has finally come out this afternoon and the squall line is no longer hanging on top of us.

We were all so distracted and tired this morning, we missed the morning Puddle Jump Net. We will check in tonight. It will be our last check in with the net for a while. And we may not be able to get a radio signal out from the Bay of Virgins because of the tall mountains to let you know of our landfall. If we can, we will, but don't be alarmed if you don't hear from us tomorrow. Just know that we will be enjoying the earth beneath our feet.

All is well on Worrall Wind.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Marquesas Bound

Day 28 - Tuesday, May 4, 2010

UTC/Local -8 2200/0200

Latitude: 08 15.550 S
Longitude: 136 51.910 W

Conditions: Garyn and Russ had watch last night, nothing remarkable other than a fairly constant wind. Once the sun came up the wind has been variable, primarily due to a 100% cloud cover and an active squall line on our southeast side. As a squall gets closer our wind speed goes up. As it passes by, the wind speed goes down. Even with ups and downs we are only experiencing gusts of 19 knots on a fairly constant 14.5 knots, sea swells of 2 meters on a course of 209 degrees, just a few white caps and no rain. It is 82 degrees out, 74 percent humidity, and our barometric pressure is 1014 and rising. The wind variability has slowed our forward progress. Our boat speed varies from 3 knots to 6 knots. It is now looking like landfall will be on May 6 instead of May 5. Russ was net control for the Puddle Jump Net this morning. There were only 3 other boats checking in. He'll run the net again this evening which is the prime time net. There is usually a few more boats in the evening. It will be the last time

1800/1000 a.m. We started a new audio book last night, Longshot by Dick Francis. The winds stablized yesterday afternoon about 4:00 p.m. and we were able to relax the hand steering. The variability of the winds this morning means we are back to hand steering to give Hydie a hand. Garyn and Russ are discussing whether we would be better with the auto pilot on. Right now, Russ wants to be at the helm.

We have not had the Honda or Lehman on since crossing the equator. With the solar panels and the water turbine, we have been producing enough amps to take care of all of our electrical needs, staying close to 100% battery charge. With the cloud cover today, we may be producing a little less. We also need to use more today because we should make some water and that takes some additional energy.

2100/0100
After spending the morning under clouds and dodging rainstorms, we are now heading 220 degrees and the wind being incredibly variable, light and capricious. We are probably averaging less than 4 knots per hour. We now have a mostly cloudy sky with the sun breaking through patches of blue directly overhead. We just finished lunch. I made tuna salad using up the last little bit of iceberg lettuce. We still have some potatoes, 1 tomato, 1 head of romane lettue, 1 jicama, 2 lemons, 1 red onion and 1 apple left of our perishable produce, and these are still in pretty good shape considering I bought them 30 days ago.

We finally decided to give Hydie (hydrovane steering) a rest (she is currently in neutral) and are employing Ray (auto pilot). The wind is still on the variable side and the auto pilot is also having difficulty maintaining a course heading, particularly when the wind dies and a large swell from the east slams our fore quarter and pushes us off the wind.

We are 175 miles from Fatu Hiva and 150 miles from Hiva Oa. Strangely, the last two days both Garyn and I have been sneezing. I jokingly said it was the coconut pollen, finding it's way north. Hmmm??

Holy &#$%! We just went from 9 knots of wind and less than 4 knots of boat speed on a broad reach to gusts of 28 knots from our port quarter! A sneaker squall just caught us heeling us to the point that our starboard rail was underwater. The boat sped up to over 8 knots. Russ was at the helm. Garyn put on his vest and went topside to ease out the main and pull in the jib. That helped considerably and eased the heel as Worrall Wind flew through the water. By the time Garyn got back to the pilot house, he was soaking wet from the rain. At the same time the wind kicked up, the swells went from 2 meters to 4 meters. Big suckers! Within a very long 10 minutes, the squall passed us by.

2200/0200 There is now considerably more blue sky ahead of us, but the squall line is still on our port quarter. We've tightened up on the main, re-employed Hydie, and are keeping a watch out for any more sneakers. We are currently experiencing variable winds and traveling at 4 knots. Seems to be a feast or famine day.

All is well on Worrall Wind

Monday, May 03, 2010

Worrall Wind Update 27 - Marquesas Bound

Day 27 - Monday, May 3, 2010

UTC/Local -8:

Latitude: 06 41.970 S
Longitude: 135.36.137 W

Conditions:

1024/0224 It is early in the morning of May 3. The moon is waning, but nevertheless, it lights up the horizon as a friend in the night. We are now on a beam reach having gone far enough south and the winds are east, southeast. These pre-dawn winds are variable between 9 and 15 knots, nothing holds constant for more than a few minutes. As the wind recedes, we are on a beam reach. As the wind increases, Hydie rounds us up to a closer reach, but generally no more than 60 degrees. The swells are coming from the east south east as well. We are on less of a heel and there is more side to side wallowing on this tack.

I enjoy the night watch on a stable night when everyone else is sleeping. We have all gotten along well and enjoy each other's company, but it's nice in small living quarters to have some alone time. I think Russ and Garyn enjoy the time as well. In between recording positions and paying attention to course and sail, we enjoy the rhythm and sounds of the sea, listen to podcasts, audio books, and music, read, write and study topics of personal interest.

As we are now withng 400 miles of land, we are beginning to notice more sea birds. There were boobies with us until the full day of rain we had on April 20, one week ago at latitude 03 N. Since that time and yesterday, we hadn't seen any birds. Now we have seen some white birds in the distance. We have also begun to have some ship traffic. A large freighter crossed our course line 25 miles in front of usk around midnight.

1200/0400 As it turned out, night watch was active and there was no time for any relaxation. The winds started to gust up to 20 miles an hour and not from the same direction as the primary breeze. We had Hydie set up to be on a beam to broad reach with the primary wind coming from our stern quarter, east south east. If the wind held steady this was a good sail and courseline. Unfortunately, our 15 knot wind would die down to 8, and with the large eastern swell, we had to be vigilant not to gybe as the wind would die down and Hydie would fall off with the wind directly behind us. Then every 3-5 minutes we would get a strong cross wind gusting up to 21 knots coming from the southeast rounding us up and heelig us over so quickly that we heel quik qnd hard. Hydie struggles when the wind is so variable, so it means that the sailors on board actually need to man the helm and give her some help with the big rudder. This back and forth was tedious. At 4:00 a.m. one of the gusts heeled us so quickly that a few things went flying. it woke up Russ. He came up to adjust Hydie and slept the rest of my watch on the settee behind me.

By 7:00 a.m. I was happy to hand over the helm to Russ and Garyn I took a nap from 9:00 -10:00 then was back at the helm until lunch. Russ took a little snooze too. We keep hoping the wind will settle in one drection, and the 9 foot swells often slamming us from the side will subside.

1500/0700 Sunrise was just 40 minutes ago. Once again, we will need to turn the clock back for our local time Zulu -9. That will mean instead of 7:00 a.m. in the morning, we will have to be with our readings by 6:00 a.m., but at least it will be light. We will probably take care of this detail Cinqo de Mayo.

By 7:00 a.m. I was happy to hand over the helm to Russ and Garyn I took a nap from 9:00 -10:00 then was back at the helm until lunch. Russ took a little snooze too. We keep hoping the wind will settle in one drection, and the 9 foot swells often slamming us from the side will also subside. We are less than 300 miles from landfall, and we are all ready for a little terra firma.

2200/0200
We are still hand steering, the wind seems a little more constant, but those gusts are still coming from a different direction than the primary. The sun is out and we are currently traveling at 6 knots. We got an email from friends who are now in the Marquesas. We have not heard from them for a while, the reason...apparently some of the anchorages are radio holes, can't get a good signal. After our landfall, I will not be writing an update every day and for sure it sounds like I will only be able to send sporadically when we are able.


Hope everyone at home and sailing friends are doing well. We are thinking of you.

All is well on Worrall Wind

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Marquesas Bound

Day 26 - Sunday, May 2, 2010

UTC/Local -8: 1900/1100

Latitude: 04 50.947 S
Longitude: 134 05.638 W

Conditions: We awoke to another beautiful day, 82 degrees, 72 percent humidity. We have a 2 meter southeast swell every 10 seconds with 2 foot wind waves. We are on a course of 219, contemplating landfall in Fatu Hiva instead of Hiva Oa. We'll see if the winds are favorable and we can get there by early May 5, three days away. If we go to Fatu Hiva, we would spend two nights, sailing to Hiva Oa on May 7. Jessica is coming in on May 8 to Atuona. The wind is 15-16 knots and we are now traveling about 6 + knots per hour, still fairly close hauled to stay on a course of 219. If we decide not to go to Fatu Hiva, we will fall off for Hiva Oa directly and not be so heeled.

The constant heel is unbelievably tiring and irritating. Doing simple boat chores takes 4 times the time it would ordinarily take as we hang on, bump into everything, and position and reposition that what has just shifted or flown across the boat often making a mess bigger than the one we were originally trying to clean up. I'm hoping that I am using up 4 times the calories as most of our exercise is isometric and not aerobic. I need to reframe my mind to look at this as a challenge not an irritation, and chant my mantra, "It's about the journey, it's about the journey."

We continue to listen to Jack London's Sea Wolf. It seems more interesting now, and we are grateful to be on Worrall Wind and not on the Ghost. We are really looking forward to seeing land and making landfall. In an email from Abby, she said SPOT has not been working for a couple of weeks. I turned it off yesterday, changed the batteries, and turned it back on. Now that we are closing in on the Marquesas we may be out of the sattellte dead zone. Please let us know when you first notice that Spot is working again.

2200/1400
We just finished Sea Wolf. Another lazy afternoon passes us by. The wind has eased off a bit to 10 knots and boat has leveled up a little bit. What a relief. The downside of the this, is we are now moving slower. Hopefully this is just a fluke although it feels so much more restful.

All is well on Worrall Wind

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Worrall Wind Update - Marquesas Bound

Day 25 - Saturday, May 1, 2010 - May Day in a good way!

UTC/ Locl -8 0140/1740

Latitude: 03 37.307 S
Longitude: 133 06.592 W

Conditions: Sun is shining, had about 40% cloud cover earlier, now it's down to 10%. The swells have subsided a bit to 1.5 meters. The wind is fairly steady at 14 knots. We are still on a close reach as the wind is coming from the south southeast. If it would shift a little more to the southeast as it shows on the gribs, we would be happier because we could stay on course or just a little below. Right now we are working hard to stay close hauled and at 220 degrees south at 5 knots. When the wind slows down we fall off going closer to 232. Hiva Oa is 220 on our current path. It's 84 degrees and about 74 percent humidity. According to our navigation software, at this pace we will reach Hiva Oa on May 5 or 6.

Last night was my night off. I slept sideways in our bed, head on the leeward side, feet on the windward side, a good heel for natural foot elevation. Of course, I also had to have a few pillows under my head to prevent blood rush to the brain! Woke this morning with no toe or foot pain, good news. I heard Russ turn on the radio at a few minutes before 1500 Zulu, now 7:00 a.m. local time. No one seemed to know who was the net control for this morning. The schedule is pretty loose out here as boats head further and further south. Between Russ and another boat Blue Bottle, they were able to muster a half dozen checkins. We are starting to get checkins now from some of the earlier boats that are leaving the Marquesas and making passage to the Tuomotus.

Russ has been dragging our bowlines this morning to see if we can't coax some of the barnacles off our waterline. The bowline on the leeward side is snaking alongside the boat. Not sure it is actually making contact with hull. The upwind side bowline drag seems to be a little more effective. It's amazing that barnacles can find a boat and attach themselves. We've got quite a crop growing, many of them quite a ways above the water line that attached when we were on a starboard tack and heeled to port. Neither of the bowlines extend past the pilot house doors, so we will have some measure of success if we have fewer barnacles in front of the doors.

1930/1130 am Garyn has been looking forward to a sat phone call to Jessica. Today's the day! Jess is in Colfax delivering Cat Balou to Grandma and Grandpa for cat sitting while she joins us in the Marquesas next weekend. We are all looking forward to her joining us.

2030/1230 pm We took some noonsite readings with the sextant. Russ's calculations place us with in 5 miles of our gps location.

0130/1730 pm The wind has piped up to 16 knots this afternoon and the swell has increased to 10-12 feet. We are bounding at 6.3 knots and have finally dropped south of our course line which will give us some leeway to ease off the sails. For right now we are still on a close reach. Every once in a while our ship's bell clangs. At rest the clacker is on a 45 degree angle almost touching the side of the bell. When we lunge through a wave, it doesn't take much for the bell to ring.

We are making good progress today, having traveled 86 miles since midnight.

All is well on Worrall Wind.