Skyelark of London - delusions of landfall
Today is the day we should have made landfall in the Marquesas. We are imagining the high lush mountains, the baskets of fresh fruit, the waterfalls and fine specimens of welcoming warrior men and grass skirted girls – like stepping into a Gauguin painting.We have been at sea for over 3000 miles, the longest of our ocean crossings and these delusions come easily. Whilst in good spirits, the crew are of course ready for some of the luxuries of land – however access to the land has been denied to us, and we divert another 700 miles to Tahiti.We are feeling the first of the effects that the world has changed since we pushed off from the Galapagos some 18 days ago.Whilst we may not have reached land, we are going to pretend we have and have an arrival party in any case. The plan for the day. read more...
Skyelark of London - 1000 to go
Sunday, March 15 at 2000 hrs and we have reached anothermilestone – we are two thirds across and have only 1000 nautical miles left togo to reach our destination of Hiva Oa in the French Polynesian archipelago ofthe Marquesas. Spirits remain high, and we continue to enjoy beautiful weather,with moderate seas and winds of 13-18 knots. We have not had to motor sincetraversing the doldrums at the beginning of the leg. So our two-thirds milestonewas celebrated with Happy Hour, the ETA competition, and some specially-arrangedentertainment in the form of circling storm petrels and scores of dolphinscheering us on, cavorting at the bow. Two lucky crew happened to be enjoyingtheir salt water shower on the bow at the time. We have not seen another boat for days, and are enjoyingthe solitude that. read more...
Skyelark of London - Mid way
Friday 13th and 9 days in, we made the halfway pointlast night – 1500 miles from Galapagos, and 1500 to go to Marquesas.We celebrated with fine dining thanks to Dan and Em, beef fillet, gratin potatoes red cabbage and white chocolate cheesecake, washed down with a fine bottle of prosecco provided by Sammy.We had the kite out for most of the day yesterday as the wind has come aft, and enjoyed classic blue water sailing all day. Shark hooked on handline....chewed through the line taking the lure, thus avoiding us having to deal with mr. Toothy.Later we had a flurry of strikes on both lines, sadly none of which resulted in a fish being landed [no blame here]...so tonight we have rotten pumpkin and squash curry, unless the fishermen up their game.We had a close encounter with one of two. read more...
Skyelark of London - 1/4 across the pacific
Six days in and already a third of the distance to the Marquesas covered. After we stormed over the start line in Puerto Ayora, Galapagos – first monohull – we had a few days of flukey winds, some rain and drizzle even, before settling into a steady reach/broadreach towards are destination, reeling in 200M plus days under clearing skies.The crew – a motley collection of unsavoury vagabonds and cut-throats, some from the colonies, one apparently rejected by the Foreign Legion – have now settled in well after early insubordination issues, violent outbursts and occasional duelling on the foredeck, so presently only one or two are still confined to the brig. Morale has been further improved after the daily rum ration – or close equivalent – has been re-introduced as a reward for improving. read more...
Skyelark of London - Galapagos
Arriving into the Galapagos is quite a process and it is refreshingly clear that tourism takes a very 2nd place to the animals, environment and eco system. Eleven inspectors visit the boat, including a diver, a doctor, meat inspector, quarantine officials and the navy. Only biodegradable products can be used onboard, and there is a strict limit on food stuffs to protect against invasive species. This is enough to put some people off visiting the islands - which is kind of the point. But we are certainly glad we stopped by, it is a naturelovers paradise and a one of a kind stopover.Skyelark stopped at the 3 ports that you’re allowed to visit with a yacht, and from there made various sorties by foot, bicycle, flippers, speed boats and jeeps. We confess to ‘bagging’ animal sightings. On the. read more...