WHEN: Friday April 9th 2100Local / 2200EST / 2300BRZ / 0200UTC
WHERE: 06:28N 130:59W
MILEAGE: 1,968 miles since La Cruz, MX (sailed), 1,078 miles to Taiohae Bay, Marquesas (straight line)
The day started with a promise, just before dawn, when a welcome breeze started blowing and set us on course again. The wind came from the opposite direction that it should be coming from, but we took it wholeheartedly anyhow. I should had known better, though, for 2 hrs later it vanished completely and we found ourselves floating hopelessly on the vast ocean again. Even tough it wasn’t raining, the sky was still plumbery, and therein lie the answer – we were still being tricked by that crazy system that had engulfed us during the night.
After grinding our teeth for maybe one hour, Adriana and I decided to reframe the whole situation: we are not running a race, there is no impending appointment waiting for us in the Marquesas, Pesto is in good shape and well stocked up (even fuel should be ok, if managed carefully), and – above all – it was Paulo’s birthday, for God’s sake!
From that moment of acceptance onwards, we had a GREAT day. The sails were rolled in, all the wet stuff came out on deck to dry up in the warm day, we had a long meal together in the cockpit enjoying the fact we didn’t have to brace everything while eating. It was like a pleasant day at anchor – the only difference being there was no anchor set, and no bay surrounding us. Just the vast Pacific Ocean. All to ourselves.
The celebrations started and we gave Paulo a large box of Lego – which he opened in haste and started playing right away with Raquel. His eyes glowed when we opened the satphone and saw all the messages sent to him – THANK YOU !!!
In the afternoon I was considering to have a swim. Scanning the water for anything that could eat me, I was distracted by something else near the horizon. To the Southwest of us, maybe some 10 -15 miles away, the thick grey cloud cover seemed to break, and a few more miles after that there seemed to be white puffy clouds lined up – a suggestion there might be wind there. I thought the possibility was worth risking and we fired up the engine. After motoring 3 hours, we positioned ourselves under those white puffy clouds and, sure enough, we found wind there! Looking back, we could see the mass of grey clouds astern, it looked like a giant ominous spaceship floating above the ocean surface. And we were getting rid of its hold. The winds were very light, and still from an odd direction – probably still effect of the large system – but it was enough for us to set sail, and the engine was switched off again.
We glided at a leisurely pace – just 3 knots – for the rest of the afternoon and sat on Pesto’s rail together to watch the sunset and appreciate the day we’d had. The kids turned in for bed inside the cabin and Adriana and I prepared to sleep in the cockpit – it was a pleasant night, full with bright stars.
I woke up in the middle of the night and the wind had returned. A good 15kt breeze from the East, as it should be. We set the mainsal out, trimmed the genoa in, and Pesto responded swiftly. As I wrap this up, Pesto is sailing happily on organized seas, surfing 2 out of every 3 waves, and giving us a steady 7-8 knots to gain ground toward the Equator.
Our voyage to the Marquesas will probably not be a very fast one (likely circa 23-25 days). But, without today’s interlude, it wouldn’t have been as precious.
We are thankful.
Have a great Sunday !