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Mad Monkey - 21/03/2018 - Mid-Pacific Crossing

We are now two thirds of the way to the French Polynesia, having left Santa Cruz- Galapagos- a week late due to an unexpected medical situationÂ…

For me, this is an ocean crossing like other. I certainly did not expect to be the recovering patient having to spend most of my time on the saloon sofa, keeping my spine straight and my foot elevated; all whilst wearing a corset! When I lie awake during the night, I never thought I would miss being outside doing a nightshift so much, battling the elements and reefing due to squalls, however I better be careful what I say about that because I may soon be regretting those words in the Indian Ocean!

Thankfully, for most of this passage the wind has remained constant and the sea state has been reasonably calm, meaning it has aided my recovery big time and I am now able to take on jobs like SSB monitor and coffee maker! Unfortunately, over the last couple of days the wind direction hasn't been in our favour. We are unable to point straight to our destination (Nuka Hiva) as the wind is too strong and would be straight up our backside; this makes it challenging to put the sails in a 'goosewing' formation. Therefore, we are currently having to point 30 degrees off course and this is having an unwanted impact on our VMG. Before now, the wind has been ideal for pointing towards Nuka Hiva so we've been able to sail with the same wind angle and head in the right direction.

On a positive note, we have not had to use the motor at all since leaving Galapagos; the wind gods have been on our side! (Makes a change). Discussing with the main fleet and other sailing friends who left Galapagos a few days ago, they have all had to use their engines so it looks like we found a good time slot in the middle.
The fish don't seem to be biting either, compared to our Atlantic crossing our fishing results are in a different league! The current total stands at 4 tuna, albeit not many, they were a good size. As 'Sods Law' would have it, on one occasion both rods went at the same time and the boat was performing well at 8.5 knots. Normally, we would have one person take the helm, one person on the rod and 2 people slowing the boat down by bringing in the foresail and then preparing the cockpit with buckets and water. We've practised this drill enough times that it's normally like a military operation! HoweverÂ… This time with me not able to offer much assistance and only three other crew members on board, AND a second fish on the run, it became very hectic very quickly. Never the less we succeeded in the end; Mother took the helm and Stewart and Dad took the rods. Dad initially held both rods as Stewart went to quickly reduce the sails, in the meantime I was getting out the buckets. Soon enough both fish were on board and Chef Stewart cooked up something special. Now with 2 'biggish' fish in the fridge, the rods were put away.

On a more heartening note, it seems there is a great crowd doing the World ARC this year, the amount of support, hugs, kisses and emails I have received from the fellow sailors (and Yellow Shirts) has been really lovely. It turns out my mum is not the only person on the fleet willing to mother me, I noticed there were a lot of home-sick mums missing their children in Santa Cruz who offered to help in many different ways and treat me like one of their own!
Hopefully not long to go now, our aim is to make the rendezvous on the 28th in Nuka Hiva and catch up with the fleet before we all go off and explore the islands.


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