Thursday, May 27, 2010

Under Way for the Louisiades

May 28, 2010-Our last few days in Vanuatu were spent preparing the boat for our next passage. Luganville is a very small town. There are old WWII U.S. military Quonset huts all around town, and old docks rusting in the water, but we did enjoy seeing it while we were here in Vanuatu.

As our visas will expire before the next good weather window, and since we received a decent passage forecast from our weather guru, we left Luganville, Vanuatu, yesterday around 10 'clock in the morning. We motored west out the channel bucking some nasty currents that were flooding, but cleared most of the land by nightfall.

Along the way Steve put out his fishing line because we are both craving fresh fish. Around 4 o'clock in the afternoon I heard the line pop, but I felt no fish. I clipped it again, and again it popped. This time Steve picked up the line to check the lure. He pulled it in, and we could see that something had taken a bite out of it. He tossed the lure back into the water, and then about a minute later a huge marlin broke the surface of the water just a hundred or so yards behind the boat. Both of our mouths fell open, and we just stood there staring at it. Finally, I decided to get the camera, while Steve was trying to figure out how to get rid of the fish without losing his lure. Before I could get back, the marlin was gone. Steve thought that he was caught in our line and not hooked on the lure, but we were both very happy that he got away because there was no way we could have brought him on board, plus Steve got to keep his lure.

The winds were very light for most of the day so we had to motor quite a bit. Around two o'clock in the morning the wind finally piped up enough for us to sail, and then we found ourselves doing 6.5 to 7 knots with double reefed sails. FEAST OR FAMINE! There was a lightning storm off to our port that we kept an eye on, and several rain squalls went over us; but, luckily, none had high winds associated with them, and the lightning storm passed us by.

This morning found us motoring and sailing off and on. It is tough to sit around while the boat is barely moving, but we have only so much fuel to get us to Darwin, some 1700 miles away. We knew that we would have light winds, but our forecast has not been exactly accurate so far. We hope to see the winds fill in tonight. This passage will take us about 8 to 10 days, depending on the winds. It has been awhile since we have been out this long, and it is a bit of an adjustment, but we are fine and all is well on the boat.

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