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Skyelark of London - 1000 to go

Sunday, March 15 at 2000 hrs and we have reached another milestone – we are two thirds across and have only 1000 nautical miles left to go to reach our destination of Hiva Oa in the French Polynesian archipelago of the 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 since traversing the doldrums at the beginning of the leg. So our two-thirds milestone was celebrated with Happy Hour, the ETA competition, and some specially-arranged entertainment in the form of circling storm petrels and scores of dolphins cheering us on, cavorting at the bow. Two lucky crew happened to be enjoying their salt water shower on the bow at the time.

We have not seen another boat for days, and are enjoying the solitude that ocean sailing provides. Despite there being no other humans around for miles, a strange phenomenon can be witnessed on Skyelark every evening at around 1600 hours. With about 85% of the crew hailing from the British Isles, the instinct to form an orderly queue out in the middle of nowhere is very strong. Keen to freshen up before Happy Hour, one-by-one they wait their turn and then stagger to the bow for the much-coveted saltwater shower behind the staysail which forms a very convenient shower curtain. Refreshed, they return with big smiles on their faces, and the process repeats itself the next night. There is definitely a primeval satisfaction gained from this nightly ritual.

Food has been fantastic throughout. We are still enjoying fresh food, but the fish are definitely outsmarting us. We have lost so many lures that we have lost count. It is reassuring to know that the lack of fishing success has been felt fleet-wide. We are even eyeing up the tiny flying fish that sacrifice themselves on the deck nightly, wondering if they would be good on toast!

While excited to make landfall, there is a certain sadness that this unique experience will soon be drawing to an end. We are savouring every last moment.    



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