Location: 09°20.505S 132° 03.359W
Date: 11:00 April 18 to 11:00 April 19
Day 20 at sea.
At this very moment we are 400 miles from Hiva Oa. The wind stayed low today, but constant today, going our way. Put up the spinnaker and ran downwind like a leaf on a pond. A really heavy leaf on a really, really big pond. Without much else to do on watch tonight, I crunched the numbers. If the boat was a leaf the size of your hand, a pond the size of our Galapagos-Marquesas passage would be 54 miles long. Go math!
Made a pretty good split pea and ham soup today for dinner. It has been easy to cook with the recent light seas. Or maybe we’re just getting used to the motion. I suppose after 20 days, you’d hope we’d get used to it. I’m afraid that after this trip we will all find ourselves propped next to solid objects when we stand still anywhere, as we are obliged to do on the boat. Try it. Sit, kneel, or lean any time you stop moving, and grab onto things for support as you walk around your house. It’s the behavior of a drunk man. We really perambulate like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Depth sounder reads last recorded depth once it can’t see the bottom anymore. It shows you that it can’t see the bottom anymore by blinking. So usually, the depth meter gives a blinking readout somewhere between 90 and 120 meters (~300 ft), where the sonar effectively lost the bottom. This transducer is not a fish finder. It’s only meant to read the bottom. We’ve sailed over schools of fish, dolphins, and frothy, wave whipped water, with no discernible change in the depth readout. Once in a while something spooky happens. The depth sounder will jump from 90 meters, to 3 meters, as if something was swimming under the boat. Something big. And it’s only there for a second, passing, and then is gone. But the depth sounder records the last position it saw the bottom, or something so big it appeared to be the bottom. Something 3 meters… some 10 feet under the boat. It’s blinking like that right now… Eventually we switch it off to reset it, but it’s a creepy feeling to see that happen.
Making contact through the Manihi station in the Tuamotu islands, French Polynesia. Bodes well for our progress. Clear night. Fabulous stars. Light wind and seas. All quiet and good aboard.