Sunday, April 27, 2008

Good News

April 27, 2008--I want to begin by saying that while we have some pictures we would like to share, the internet connection here is painfully slow and very expensive; therefore, we will post the pictures when we get to Tahiti and can find a high-speed internet cafe.

This week has been pretty uneventful except that we learned that our part has been shipped, so we will hopefully have it by Tuesday or Wednesday. We also received our old part back from the shop in Tahiti. Steve was getting nervous because the old part had the fuel connections necessary to install the new pump, and the old pump seemed to be lost in transit. So it was good news all around this week.

We have spent several mornings at our favorite restaurant on the wharf. Yesterday they had egg rolls that were excellent. I always have a pastry that is filled with a mixture of banana and some type of jam or jelly, which is really quite good. Steve likes their shrimp fried in tempura batter and either fresh tuna, if they have it, or chicken. We have also been hitting the grocery store about every other day in order to get fresh bread. We have both become addicted to the baguettes. The round loaves and regular bread loaves are also excellent. Bread is one thing that is reasonably priced here. That makes me happy because I don't have to bake bread, so I can save my flour.

On Friday night, Rose Corser held a pot luck for the cruisers in the bay. She and her husband sailed here 45 years ago and stayed. He has since passed away; however, she is busy building a few rooms for rent and running a restaurant. Her place is called He'e Tai Inn. She also has a wonderful museum with many old Marquesan artifacts. Steve helped her out by drilling a hole in a PVC pipe so she gave us a couple of beers for payment. About 30 cruisers showed up for the pot luck so we had a chance to meet quite a few new people and exchange travel plans.

On Saturday a local school held a fund raiser so we stopped by. The school teaches the youth the old arts of wood carving, making flowered head decorations, and a method of sewing that somewhat resembles quilting. In addition there were several young girls about 16 to 18 who were in training for the hotel business. They study for one year on this island, and then they will go to Papeete for another three years. They were serving food and beverages and were just lovely young ladies, and they allowed us to take their pictures. Three young ladies also performed a Polynesian dance. What we found interesting was that a local took our picture--I guess we were a novelty for him.

Sundays are very low key here. Just about everything is closed so we will stay on board and take care of charging the batteries, doing laundry, and doing general cleaning. We are slowly taking care of our boat projects so we will be ready to go just as soon as we can.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tour of Nuku Hiva

April 22, 2008--We are still here in Taiohae Bay, Nuka Hiva. As we suspected, they couldn't rebuild our fuel pump in Tahiti; however, the new one is suppose to ship from San Diego by FedEx, and we are supposed to have it within 6 days. We certainly hope so! We are getting along fine, but we really would like to be out and about in some of the more remote anchorages.

Yesterday, we came ashore around 7 o'clock to have some breakfast and very good coffee. We met some local men, one of whom was Henry, and we had a wonderful time talking with them and learning all about them. Henry is one of five mayors from this bay, but there are a total of 25 for the whole island. He was really quite interesting,entertaining, and informative. Yesterday a cruiser informed us that he had seen a ten-foot shark by his boat; however, Henry assured us that one one has had problems with sharks in this bay. I'm not sure that I believe him.

We then picked up our rented a Ford Ranger 4WD and toured (circumnavigated)the whole island. Surprisingly, it was a really fun trip. A third of the roads were paved and the rest were not. A quarter of the unpaved roads were along the north shore of the island and were very marginal, steep, and precariously excavated from the shear edges of cliffs overlooking the Pacific. Upon leaving Taiohae Bay, we climbed to 864 meters at Muake Pass and out of the caldera for a breathtaking view of the bay. The road then dropped down to Taipivai, a small and very clean town at the head of Comptroller Bay. It was obvious that the work in that town is coconut farming as thousands of acres of palm trees covered the substantial valley, and workers were out and about tending to the "crop." The road then turned to dirt and climbed up close to 3,000 feet on an extremely steep volcanic flow ridge and then back down valleys to sea level on the northwest corner of the island. Just before arriving in the small town of Hatiheu, we stopped at a significant archaeological site called Paeke where many islanders had once lived. The whole site reminded me of an ancient American Indian ruin except that everything was made of large black volcanic rocks. There were tikis, ceremonial areas with steps to a rock platform, rock wells, grain grinding areas, and numerous flat stone "pads" called Paepaes where individual families built their homes. I couldn't help wondering if this is what Captain Cook saw when he arrived but suspect that this site was much older than that. When we arrived in Hatiheu, we ate lunch at at Chez Yvonne. Our lunch consisted of 1 1/2 three to four pound rock lobsters each. Mine was fixed "Whisky Flambe" while Steve's was grilled. The meal came complete with deep fried bread fruit, a fruit that tastes and cooks very much like potato, salad, and, of course, a Hinano Biere. Afterwards we followed a very poor dirt road along the sea, but it had significant elevation changes along the route. There were times when it looked like the road would drop right off the edge of a cliff and fall 1000 feet to the sea. We saw things driving that we would never have seen from the boat. After 2 1/2 hours, we arrived at the northwest corner where the airport is located. It then started to rain, and the clay roads that climbed to the Takao Pass led back to Taiohae Bay. The pass reached 1,224 meters, and we were in thick fog, heavy rain, and wind with temperatures in the 60's as compared to the upper 80's at sea level. Most surprisingly on our trip were the large mature pine forests in the higher elevations--just like home--and in the center of the island was a volcanic caldera very similar to Valle Grande but so much more green and lush and complete with grazing horses and cattle. As things go here, the trip was not too expensive. The car was $160 for the day and the fuel cost $75 for the refill. Now, if we are delayed for too long, we can just move on to another island because we have seen all of this one.

We returned in time to come back to the boat and rest up before heading out at 7 p.m. to have dinner with four other cruising boats (a total of 20 people) at the Pearl Resort Hotel. We had to take the dinghy ashore and tie her up to a tree on the beach since it was high tide. The meal was wonderful, and we all got to catch up on what each boat had done and was planning to do. When we left at 11 p.m., the tide had gone out, but there were waves coming in, and I got soaked getting into the dinghy. It had been a long day so we immediately crashed. The winds really kicked up last night to around 25 knots, but the anchor is well set so we were just fine.

Today we are taking care of the boat. I am doing laundry, and we have the generator running so that we can charge the batteries and make water. It is overcast and dreary so we thought that it was a good day to just hang out here and relax.

Anyway, hopefully we will get out of here in a week and will tour Ua Poa to the south and then head on to the Tuamotus Islands that are 550 miles to the southwest. Currently we plan to visit Fakarava, Rangoria, and possibly Toau. The Tuamotus are part of French Polynesia but are completely different from the Marquesas and the Society islands (Tahiti, Bora Bora, etc.) as they are low lying atolls that are not much more than 10 feet in elevation and the only thing that grows there is palm trees. They are supposed to have very clear water, lagoons filled with sharks, barracuda, rays, dolphins, and a lot of fish! We are, needless-to-say, very anxious to get moving again.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Still in Paradise

April 17, 2008—Well, we have now been here in Nuku Hiva for 8 days. We found out that the shop in Tahiti is “working” on our pump, but Steve decided to go ahead and order a new one from the states. He had a hard time finding one, but friends that we met while we were cruising in Alaska in 2005 who live in San Diego have taken on the task of finding one from a shop in San Diego, having it shipped to them, and then shipping it to us here. They have been such a big help!

The past two days have been very wet. Yesterday it rained almost all day, and not just small showers—it poured. Then it rained heavily again this morning. Right now it has let up, at least for awhile.

Yesterday, Steve was ashore, and I stayed on the boat to work on some things. I heard a lot of splashing going on all around the boat. When I went up to see what was happening, I noticed small sardines or minnows swimming all around the boat. Then I saw a small black tip shark chasing them. The next thing I knew, there were six of the small sharks feasting around our boat. A large manta ray also swam by. It was quite a show and it went on for two hours. When Steve came back, he was watching and noticed some type of fish also feeding in the group. He got out his rod and cast a few times. He ended up catching on of the sharks. He got his needle nose pliers and was able to release the shark without getting bit. He then cast a few more times, and he hooked a fish, which gave a pretty good fight. He pulled in about a 6-pound Pacific Bonito. Bonitos are a variety of tuna, and they are supposed to be pretty good eating. We haven’t had much fish, but we now have eight nice fish steaks in the freezer.

This morning we went aboard “Liberty” to help them at the fuel dock. Another cruiser was in his dinghy to help push the boat around if needed, and his shipmate, who spoke French, was on the dock speaking to the attendant. The quay is made of concrete, and it was built for large ships, so you can not tie up along the side. Carl had to back the sailboat—always an adventure—up to the quay. As he was backing, Steve dropped their anchor, and then Yvette and I threw lines from the stern that were then tied to the quay. The result was that the boat was floating just off the quay. The fuel line was passed out to the boat, and Carl and Yvette filled their tanks and then allowed us to fill two of our jerry jugs with diesel. The surge was pretty strong, and there were some good gusts of wind that all combined to keep the sailboat moving all around and to keep us on our toes.

We decided to put up our large awning today. That will help to shade the boat and, hopefully, keep some of the rain from coming down the hatches. It needed to be aired out anyway, so it should work well.

Many of the boats that we crossed with are now coming into this anchorage. It is very nice to get to see these people again, but it just reminds us of what we are missing. We are trying to stay upbeat about the situation. Steve went in today and reserved a car for us on Monday. We decided that we would explore the island by car. There are several beautiful waterfalls and several villages that we would like to see. By doing that, when we do get going, we can head to the next island and save some time.

We keep busy with laundry, checking with the mechanic, getting groceries, and doing small boat projects. We are doing a lot of reading right now, so I’m glad that I loaded up on books.

That’s all the news for now. I’ll write more in a few days.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

April 13, 2008--Steve wrote the following in an email to his mom, and I thought that it was very descriptive, so I have included it here.

Taiohae Bay in Nuka Hiva is a very beautiful place. The bay is actually nothing more than an opening from the sea into what was originally a volcanic caldera. The bay is surrounded 330 degrees by a 1,000-1,500' high rim of the old caldera. The town is built near the shore around the bay and little development exists more than a few hundred yards back from the water because the calderas sides are just too steep. Everything is green and very tropical. There are palms (date & cocunut), magnolias, breadfruit, and numerous other trees, some flowering in bright yellow. There are vines, grasses, and shrubs everywhere. We could have picked a lot worse places to in which to break down. Taiohae Bay is the largest town and central hub for all of the Marquesas. There is a Catholic University and the University of Nuka Hiva here and students apparently come from the other islands (Ua Poa, Hiva Oa, Ua Huka, Fata Hiva, and Tauatau) to attend. That said, there are no more than 1,500 people total in the town, and I can't believe that more than 100 students attend the two schools. The French are a definite presence here. While the Marquesans speak their native language, French is the language most often spoken and very little English is spoken. The Gendarmarie (local police) have French & Marquesans on staff but other than that, the French that are here are probably 1 out of 20 people. There is little industry here. The locals do fish, export coconut, and have a very modest tourist industry; however, apparently most people work in subsidized government jobs so that there is no evidence of poverty. In fact, while there are probably no more than 75 miles of roads on the island, almost everyone drives a Toyota 4 wheel drive, many new. There are 2 banks, 3 grocery stores (called magazins), a small Hospital, a post office, the Gendarmarie, one nice resort ($300-$500/night), a pizza parlor, and a few roadside food stands. As you walk around town, there are signs of the ancients everywhere; very old Tiki's adorn the shoreline and you can still see the "Paepaes", ancient stone platforms that acted as house foundations. The Marquesans pride themselves on their tattoos and many of the men are covered head to foot. The people are not friendly but they are not unfriendly. I think that they just go about their business and generally ignore visitors. While we haven't experienced it yet, it is our understanding that if you do break through and make a Marquesan friend, they will treat you like their long lost family. All in all, it isn't too unlike visiting an Indian Pueblo except there is little or no poverty.

The one thing that is VERY obvious is the cost of things. Food is not expensive; it is exorbitantly
expensive! Cabbage is $5/head, eggs are $1/each, 1 lb. of bacon is $15, a 6 pack of beer is $10 and an ice cream bar is $3. Last night some cruising friends went with us for pizza. Our medium pizza, 1 beer, and 1 coke was $35. The pizza for our friends who have two boys was $95. Today Linda & I went looking for Herman Melville's tomb and memorial and stopped for lunch at the resort I mentioned earlier. We had 2 cheeseburgers (one with fries and one with a salad), 2 beers, 1 pina colada, and a bottle of water and the bill was $60! Fortunately, we provisioned well in Mexico and have a great deal of food on board and only need to supplement with vegetables, fruit, fresh or frozen meat, and some eggs. We can eat out if we choose to or not. These fiends that we had pizza with last night didn't buy enough provisions in Mexico and are now out of food - and with two teenage boys. They were depressed about how much provisioning is going to cost.
The swell does come into the bay so it is advisable to put down a bow and stern anchor so you can keep the bow into the swell (so the boat does not roll). Our stern anchor kept dragging because the rode was not long enough so today we lengthened it - but no before accidentally dropping the 45 lb stern anchor out of the dinghy with no line tied to it! While you might expect that the water is clear - and it is in most bays, it is very not clear here - actually about 2 feet of visibility down at 30 feet where our untethered anchor lay. It took a scuba dive of 30-45 minutes before I luckily strayed onto it, but all's well that ends well since our anchor is once again tied to the boat and in a location that hopefully will not drag.
We hope to hear about our injector fuel pump by late tomorrow or early on Tuesday. If it can't be fixed, Steve has found one that he can order from the states. We hope to be on our way in a week to 10 days as we are anxious to move on as we have only so much time in French Polynesia.
I am able to include some pictures since we have Internet, although very slow, available. The first picture at the left is our party at the equator, the next picture to the right is a picture of the bay, and the picture at the top is one of a tiki.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Stranded in Paradise

April 11, 2008--It has taken us two days, but we are finally recovering from 25 days at sea. Yesterday we stayed on the boat all day since Steve had to repair a hole in the dinghy and the glue is supposed to dry for 24 hours. We did some laundry and worked to get the boat put back together and cleaned up.

Around 2 p.m. Patrice, who is a mechanic, came out to the boat to help Steve diagnose our engine problem. After much discussion they decided to remove the fuel injection pump. Once it was removed, they were able to see that two of the four tappets (the things that roll on the fuel cam and push the fuel plunger) had no spring tension. He did a little disassembly of the unit and found that those two plunger springs were broken. He was surprised that two were broken but that at least resolves what is wrong with the engine. The pump went out to a shop in Tahiti on this morning's plane. Unfortunately, it is a weekend so it will be late Monday or early Tuesday before we know if it can be repaired. If not, we will have to order a new one from the U.S.

We went ashore this morning to drop off the pump and walk around town. We ate breakfast, which consisted of pastries, chicken, fried shrimp, a doughnut, and raw tuna in coconut milk, on the wharf. The food was all very good. As we were sitting at the table, I noticed a couple that had come ashore. It turned out to be Carl and Yvette from the sv Liberty. They were the boat that checked on us when we were becalmed at the equator and offered us any food or water that we might need. We sat and talked for awhile and then we all walked the main street trying to locate the bakery and grocery stores. We never did find the bakery, but the grocery stores carry baguettes that are just wonderful. The food is expensive here, but there are some bargains such as baked beans for $1.00. Candy bars are $2.00, and Steve paid $8.00 for a six-pack of Heineken beer. Our food stores are in very good shape, so we won't need to do any major provisioning for a while.

We had planned to go to a pig roast and dance presentation; however, we learned that there wasn't much money in that it is not held any more. Therefore, tonight we will go in and have pizza along with the crew from Liberty. We think that we will be here for 2 to 3 weeks, so we have been looking for things to do. It is very beautiful here as everything is lush and green. When we were sailing into the bay, I told Steve the smell was wonderful--all the greenery and the flowers combined to create a wonderful fragrance. Steve and I are not living up to the saying that cruising is "working on your boat in exotic places." I will say, however, that if we have to be stranded, there are far worse places to be.

Tomorrow morning at 4 a.m., yes I said 4 a.m. all the local farmers and fishermen have a market with fresh fish, vegetables, and fruits. The prices are supposed to be more reasonable so we will go in to see what they have. It is over by 5 a.m., so we will then probably come back to the boat and go back to bed.

Internet service is not great here, but it is available so I hope to be able to upload some pictures in the next few days.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

We Made It

We are now in Taiohae Bay, Nuka Hive, Marquesas, French Polynesia. It was a long last night as we stood off until dawn and then the wind died. Fortunately a squall gave us that last push to sail to anchor. We checked in today with the Gendarmerie and now we will sleep for a week. At that time we will have the energy to write more of our adventures. The trip from Cabo San Lucas to our destination was 2,783 miles, 25 days, 100 three hour watches each, and only 15 hours of engine run time before if failed.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Land Ho

April 8, 2008--The good news is that we are in sight of land--Ua Huka. The bad news is that Nuku Hiva, which is where we need to go, is still a bit more west. Yesterday we thought that if the wind held, we might make it in by this evening. Well, last night the winds died, which meant that we would get in at dusk, so now we have had to actually slow down in order to try to time our arrival for tomorrow morning. If we can't, we will have to heave to and wait outside the entrance to the bay. We were hoping to avoid another night of watches, but it just isn't meant to be.

The day before yesterday we had a spectacular 24-hour run of 162 miles. We had almost a knot of current pushing us to the west, and that really helped us to make those miles. Yesterday, we had another good day with a run of 147 miles. Both days were picture perfect days with blue skies, white puffy clouds, and a beautiful blue ocean.

Unfortunately for Steve the fishing has not been too good. He has not caught anything in quite awhile. The boat needs to be going at the higher speeds in order for the fish to hit the lures. We spent so much time barely moving along that the fish didn't bother. We have had a fair share of flying fish come on board during the night. Night before last, I was sitting on watch when suddenly I heard a loud sort of crash. I immediately thought that the Monitor line had broken again, but it turns out that a large flying fish had come sailing into the cockpit and hit the steering pedestal.

We will keep our fingers crossed for our making landfall some time tomorrow morning.

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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Life is Good

April 6, 2008--Just a quick update. Oops--if you are following our Yotreps course, you might notice a problem. Our friend Dwight reminded us to be sure to indicate south and not north on our latitude. We usually enter our position after a night of standing watch so we might be less than 100 percent.

We have had a fantastic 24 hours of sailing on a beam reach--10 to 15 knots of wind and boat speed between 6.5 and 7.8 knots. The seas fairly calm which makes for a nice ride. We are now 325 miles from the Marquesas and HOPE to arrive by Wednesday.

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Things are Looking Up

April 5, 2008--Our days since the first of April have been a very mixed bag. The winds have, until last night, been anywhere from 4 knots to 10 knots. The sea state affects us more than the wind. With the lower winds, if the boat gets knocked by a wave, it loses all forward momentum, and we end up bobbing around waiting for more wind. So we have had very moderate days lately as far as mileage is concerned.

The night before last, we were in a lull, and I was sleeping down below when suddenly Steve called me up to the cockpit. A squall had come through and the winds were increasing rapidly. He was hand steering the boat so I had to help him pull in some of the head sail to reduce sail area in order to make it easier to steer in the high winds--they got up to 28 knots. Then it began to rain. We have a bimini over the cockpit; however, the rain was coming in sideways. Needless-to-say, the cockpit and Steve and I were all soaking wet. What's really amazing is that even though we are south of the equator, it is still cool in the evenings. We were both shivering in no time. The good thing about the squall was that we finally had some wind, at least for awhile.

Yesterday was not good at all. We had so little wind that the sails were just slapping back and forth. It's amazing how that noise begins to irritate you. It is also extremely hard on the sails and the rigging. That went on all day and almost all night. Every now and then we might 10 knots of some decent wind, but then it would drop off again. I came on watch at 4 a.m., and Steve went below to sleep. He had pulled in the jib, and we were just bobbing in one spot. Not 15 minutes later, the wind piped up to 12 knots, but the boat was basically into the wind so I called him back up to help me get the sails set. He thought that it was just wind from a rain cloud; however, we got everything set up, and then he went back to bed. The wind is still blowing around 11-13 knots, and we have had great sailing since early this morning. We have averaged between 6.5 and 7.5 knots, which will make it a very good day.

We are now under 500 miles to the Marquesas. We are definitely ready to get there and relax before we tackle the engine problem. The whole fleet behind us is experiencing very light winds. It was supposed to be a La Nina year, which meant above average trade winds. I'm not sure what happened, but we haven't seen them. We have been very lucky regarding squalls. The few that we have encountered have had rain but no lightening. One boat was in squalls for 3 days straight. The rain is fine since it washes all the salt off the boat.

Today is really beautiful and sunny with just few clouds in the sky. Yesterday and today have been good solar days. We have had to use the generator about every 4 days since we don't have an engine to charge the batteries. The wind generator really kicks in when those squalls hit. The winds were up to 28 knots the other night so the generator was screaming.

We are hoping that these winds are now really part of the trade winds. We will just have to wait to see if they continue this evening.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Underway Again

April 3, 2008--We are on our way again. We spent the whole day on Tuesday just bobbing in the ocean. We were really beginning to wonder just how long we might be stranded there. Yesterday the wind came up just barely in the morning, and Steve worked and worked to get us going. At first we went very slowly, about 2 knots, but as the day wore on and the winds continued to steadily build up to almost 10 knots, which meant that we were sailing at about 5 knots. That is a lot better than nothing. The winds continued through the evening, and we have had up to 13 knots of wind today and boat speeds up to 6.5 knots.

We feel pretty confident that we are in the trade winds now, but they are from the east. That means that we are sailing almost due south. As soon as the winds clock around to southeast, we will be able to sail a much better course for the Marquesas. We have been lucky in that we have not run into too many squalls. The few that we have gone through have had just rain, no high winds and no lightening. Some other boats have experienced some nasty squalls on their routes.

We have completely lost our engine, so we have spent the past few days getting information from other cruisers regarding the best place to find a diesel mechanic. There are not too many in the Marquesas. Instead of going to Hiva Oa, we have decided to go into Nuku Hiva, which is also a port of entry and has some pretty good facilities. It also has an airstrip for flying in parts and also a mechanic, or so we have been told. We will have to sail into the bay to anchor, which will be good practice since we haven't done that in quite awhile.

We are always amazed at how the cruising community comes together to help fellow cruisers. Every night the boats heading to the Marquesas check in on a SSB radio net giving their positions and weather information. When they heard that we had lost our engine, many of them stepped up to try to help. One boat motor sailed past us when we were becalmed. They called us on the VHF radio to see that we were all right and to ask if there was anything they could do. They wanted to be sure we had enough supplies on board and that we were able to make power--we were fine on all counts. A couple of boats discussed giving us a tow just to get us a few miles south into the winds; however, we decided that we did not want to do that. We have had three other boats with diesel mechanics on board call us on the radio to offer their help. It is reassuring to know that people are there to help.

Well, it's time to put the bread in the oven, take care of some other pesky items, and figure out what to have for dinner.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

We made it across the Equator

April 1, 2008--We are very happy to report that at 9 p.m. last night we crossed the equator. Steve wrote in the ship's log

0356 UTC--Be it known to all that at this time and on this day aboard the s/v Linda, Stephen B. Maggart and Linda L. Maggart paid their respects to King Neptune with the appropriate zeal ad excitement due him on such a momentous event. Here at 130 degrees 32.8 minutes west the equator was crossed on a heading of 220 degrees True, under full sail, bound for French Polynesia, and the aforementioned polywogs shed that title for the honorable title of shellbacks.

Steve had his dram of Glen Levit scotch, with an offering for King Neptune as well, and I had a glass of wine. We blew horns and tossed confetti. We will post pictures when we next have internet available.

The morning did not begin well. We were basically in dead calm, drifting back to the north because of a counter current, and our engine was out because of fuel problems. Steve fixed the fuel situation so that we could start the engine and motor from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. That helped to get us into some wind, which was good because when the engine died at 7 p.m. we were able to sail. We had light winds almost all night. During my first watch at 11 p.m. a dolphin, which was large compared to the ones we are used to, came to swim next to the boat and was only a few feet from our boat. A second dolphin was a little farther out.

During Steve's watch that began at 2 a.m. the winds died down even more, and he found us drifting back to the north again. He thought that we might have to celebrate the crossing a second time. Anyway, he hand steered for 3 hours in order to keep us heading south.

My next watch began at 5 a.m. I was amazed at my surroundings. The evening was so beautiful. The crescent moon was throwing its reflection onto the water, the sky was completely clear, and I could see the Southern Cross. I makes me realize that we are just a speck upon a large ocean, which is a humbling thought. I was happy because some wind came back and we were able to sail using the wind vane. I want to put in a good word for this old gal that we sail. In 6.6 knots of wind we were sailing at 3.5 knots. That is pretty amazing considering how heavy she is.

We are doing well but will be happy when we get into a bit more wind. It always seems to be just ahead of us. We have 750 miles to go and are anxious to arrive.

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