WHEN: Friday April 15th 2100Local / 2200EST / 2300BRZ / 0200UTC
WHERE: 07:20S 138:33W
MILEAGE: 2,966 miles since La Cruz, MX (sailed), 141 miles to Taiohae Bay, Marquesas (straight line)
Today was the last full day out.
Yeah, we are about to make landfall. It will be sometime tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon.
Everyone seemed to be enjoying their last day his/ her own way. Adriana is anxious with the arrival and seemingly counting the miles. Raquel has been playful and talkative. Paulo got a little more quiet, but at the same time seeking more interaction. And as for the skipper, well he has been quiet and looking the horizon for most of the day. As I began writing this post earlier today, just after sunset, Paulo and Adriana were playing a board game together, Raquel was watching Mary Poppings on the DVD machine, and I was (still) watching the horizon. And Pesto was sailing happily and fast toward Nuku Hiva.
Yacht, Boat, Sailing Vessel, Home – however the definition, Pesto has been a great platform for this voyage, taking us with safety and comfort along the way. She feels so robust and is so forgiving in fact, and my trust on her grew so much, that we even got a little more daring. It wasn’t uncommon for me to wait until the last minute to reef sails upon the approach of squalls. The feeling of Pesto accelerating wildly as the wind picked up speed is exhilarating and she seems to like it. Adriana was getting a little nervous with this game
Since the day we approached and crossed the Equator, the wind has settled from the E to ESE, thus a Beam Reach to Broad Reach for us (wind direction of 90 degrees to 120 degrees respectively relative to our route). This is a sailing sweetspot and have been indeed some of the best days of sailing on this voyage. We configured Pesto as a cutter for this final leg – flying two headsails at the same time: the large one, the Genoa, and a smaller one, in between the Genoa and the Mainsail, known as Staysail. Pesto loved this configuration and has been outputting excellent speeds as a consequence. I believe the Staysail accelerates the airflow between the Genoa and the Main, creating a “jet” in between these sails. It is also a very flexible arrangement. When the wind gets lighter, the full genoa is out and the Staysail increases its efficiency. As the wind freshens, we roll the Genoa up and the Staysail takes over as the main forward sail.
In a long passage like this, the relationship between the skipper and the boat gets very close. By now I know Pesto’s every sound, and any variation in tone and pitch is a sign of something out of place. She also tells me when she needs the sails to be adjusted. From the way she moves, I know when she is over or underpowered, and can also tell whether we have a fair or foul current. It’s quite cool. Right now, she is a little jealous that I am here writing and not paying full attention to her, and is telling me she needs fine tuning on the Staysail. When I finish this up, and adjust the sails, I know she will give me an extra half knot.
We are now just 130 miles away from Nuku Hiva. There is a chance it will be already visible when the day breaks, and we are all anxious for the “Land Ho” signal.
But it is still a bright, moonlit night. Our last one out. I have a couple sails to adjust, a lovely yacht to be taken care of, and a silvery horizon to be observed for the rest of the night.
Stay tuned for the news tomorrow.