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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1 comment:

rjblacketor said...

Wow! What a trip! We are enjoying your updates!
Steve--you were right--Summer Rain now has a new owner!
Take care guys and we will keep in touch.
Robert and Cynthia