Iron Spinnaker

Author: Mark
Date: May 2, 10.30am MST
Location: 09 38 S - 134 10 W
Conditions: 6-8kts @ 180T, 260T COG, 5.2kts SOG, 1m swell with 9s period

Bummer. We turned on the engine this morning for the first time since leaving Galapagos. I'm not happy about it, but realized we were going to have to motor 'if' we wanted to get to Fatu Hiva in the next 2.5 days vs. 5+ days. Winds have died down, and are heading to zero knots based on the forecast. Our crew needs to leave the Marquesas in about a week so they can be with their daughter for an event in Argentina. So we have some moderate time pressure to get there and give them some time to see the area before flying away. I frankly hate motoring, and usually we don't turn on the engines. On our sail from Panama to Galapagos we spent a couple of days just drifting at 2-3 kts. It was great. We were in no rush and we just relaxed.

The morale onboard is high. Everyone is reading the cruising guides for French Polynesia, plotting our islands and anchorages to visit as we slowly head west. It's exciting to say the least and we are ready to explore the new cultures, wildlife and islands!

We plan on making today an extra special day for the kids. Seas are relatively flat and it is sunny. So, we are going to bring out the small inflatable pool, place it on deck, and let them play in the water this afternoon. Yes, we will be using freshwater since we are 270 miles from Fatu Hiva. After they are finished swimming, I'll use the water to swap down the deck and get the boat cleaned up on Saturday. Kids play today, dad plays tomorrow.

We watched the third episode of the BBC South Pacific series. I think we figured out our fishing problem - there are just not a lot of concentrated fish in this huge ocean. I was surprised to say the least. The Pacific is the clearest ocean in the world. It is clear because there is little plankton, and thus not a lot of life in the middle of now where. There is a ton of life, fish, diversity near the islands, but not so much smack in the middle. We had two large fish on the line yesterday at the same time. As fate would have it, the lines got tangled...and we lost both. Darn!

We'll give everyone an update tomorrow on our progress. Sorry we can't post pics as it takes too much time to upload via the Pactor Modem. We are looking forward to internet in Hiva Oa in about two weeks....lots more fun stuff then!

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