Getting closer!

Published on 22 March 2024 at 15:32

We're getting closer!!


We're still sailing extra slowly to reduce the pressure on our damaged rigging. We're not using the mainsail at all, just the genoa - and if the wind reduces causing our speed to drop too much we're opting to motor rather than put more sail out. But we've been sailing all day today and still making reasonable progress - we've got less than 400 miles to go now and should arrive by Monday, maybe even Sunday. One more time change to do - Marquesas is 9 1/2 hours behind GMT. First place I can remember visiting where the time difference isn't a whole number of hours! Wonder what politics led to that originally?


It's a lovely night tonight, moon is nearly full, and all the stars are out and warm enough not to need a t-shirt even at night. There was beautiful sunrise this morning and equally beautiful sunset this evening.


Todays excitement was we saw another boat - it caught us up because we're sailing slow without full sails, it was a boat we know well and they came very close as they sailed past us. First boat we've seen for over 2 weeks!


And we have finally been able to order replacement shrouds for the ones that have worn, so we should be able to fully repair the rigging in Marquesas. The intermediate shrouds that support the middle of the mast have chafed through - they have to be ordered to exact length so we've had to measure them precisely, necessitating numerous trips up the mast to be certain of our measurements - a lot of money down the drain if we've got it wrong. We've been trying to run a string where the shroud goes then measure the length of the string - but the string stretches, it's like measuring with a piece of elastic! But we think we've got it right now, the new parts will hopefully be made up in Tahiti and delivered to Marquesas next week.


In the meantime the temporary rigging that we put in place when we first spotted this problem is still working really well. It would probably be fine if we carried more sail but better safe than sorry!!


Everything else is all good - looking forward to getting there now!

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3 months ago

Amazing what you. A source from the middle of the Pacific Ocean! Great work! From what I saw from the boat a year ahead of you French Polynesia looks stunning. Enjoy!

3 months ago

Looks beautiful out there, and that must have been an exciting moment to have another boat alongside for a while. But such a bummer about the rigging as you were going so well. Hopefully you've got the length correct, looked like a hell of a job measuring it!
Like Bob said, I could definitely live on a sea food diet. I would have thought the lack of beer would be enough to drop a few kilos 😆. Are you sure you haven't been sneaking in some late night munchies during those lonely night shifts!
Not much further to go, hope you make it without motoring. I'm sure you'll be lookng forward to a good night's sleep and a bar where your drink doesn't slide off the table 😄

Sue Smith
3 months ago

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BILL!!! Hope you have a fabulous day. Would be fun if you reached your destination on your birthday - that would certainly be cause for a celebration 🍻. What a journey you’re having - we love catching up on all your exploits. And the photos are brilliant. Have you seen any whales yet? Maybe one will come by to sing Happy Birthday to you!! Have a great day today and stay safe. Lots of love Sue xxx

3 months ago

Happy Birthday Bill. What a fantastic location to celebrate your Birthday. Hope the rigging holds up for the last miles into the Marquesas. 🍻🎉🐟

3 months ago

Happy Birthday, I was going to say that a visit to peach county is out of the question this year. That said it looks like you are close enough that you’ll make it to Hiva Oa in good time for what I imagine will be a rather good birthday celebration! Enjoy!!

Sarah Barnes
3 months ago

Happy birthday Bill🤪 Hope today brings you the best wind, no rolling, precise measurements and rigging that behaves as much as it can! Exciting to see another boat and other human beings! Recent readings re the height thing … a high at 33m! We’re down in London again… went to the football last night at Wembley, England Brazil, Des went to the Saracens Harlequins game. You’re drawing ever closer to Hiva Oa… how long are you there for? I guess until the rigging is ship shape! Enjoy the terra firma… hopefully that’s not too wobbly. Anyway, lots of love to you both xx

Andy Ritterband
3 months ago

Already messaged you on whatsapp, but just in case here's another Happy Birthday from a fellow 63 year old.

3 months ago

Happy Birthday Bill!!🍻
Looks like you are going to get a celebratory cold beer today - only 24 NM to Hiva Oa when we looked at the tracker.
Love to you both, have a fabulous day!
Sarah and Bruce xx

Bruce Bousfield
3 months ago

Happy Birthday Bill, what a great way to celebrate. As I write this I think you must be able to see land. Hopefully you'll get to enjoy some R&R before the repairs start! Enjoy 🥳.