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Walkabout - Day 6 - A Quarter of the way to Hiva Oa!

S6:55 W101:00

We have made steady progress over the last 24 hours, heading in the right direction towards Hiva Oa. This morning we went through the one quarter distance milestone!! WHOOHOO
The wind is fairly stable from ESE at between 14-20 knots. There have been a couple of sail set ups over the last 24 hours as we try to optimise speed and direction. The Blue Water Runner went up yesterday lunchtime, which worked quite well, but the wind angle meant that it prevented us heading any further south. So we reverted to main and Genoa overnight. That started with 1 reef in the main, until 2300 when the wind built to 20knots and the desire for a more comfortable night meant we put the 3rd reef in.

As I write, the decision needs to be made for our set up for the day - BWR could fit the bill. One benefit of the BWR is that life on board becomes a bit easier. The boat is flatter on the water, and it is possible to eat your dinner off a plate on the cockpit table without hanging on to both the plate and the boat (or losing it onto the floor).

Yesterday was another cloudy day, so our solar power production was less than ideal. To boost the batteries before the night we ran the generator for an hour and a half - taking the opportunity to run the water maker and put the washing machine on at the same time. Hopefully heading a bit further south overnight will get us into an area of less cloud and more solar production. Day break looks promising.

Fish Whisper Tom’s fishing licence is under review… Happily, this is due to too much success, and not enough fridge space. We have enjoyed oven cooked Mahi Mahi for the last 2 nights, and still have tuna, wahoo and Mahi Mahi in the fridge/freezer. Meanwhile, Traci’s pre-prepared chicken curry still needs to be eaten.

The Catering Club has put forward a radical suggestion - that we eat our main meal at lunchtime. Looks like that will get tested today. There is quite a lot of time pressure around trying to prepare a meal and clear up around 1800-1900. We are getting the sail set for the night, there is the evening SSB call, and it gets dark around 1830. So a lunchtime meal could make sense. More news on that tomorrow.

One idea under review by the Catering Club is to collect the squid and flying fish that end up on the deck and in the cockpit, and serve up a delicious calamari and “sardines" lunch. But is this just the sailing equivalent of eating road kill?? ;)

There has been chat on the SSB about time zone changes - and in fact the SSB times have already shifted by an hour as we head west. When we crossed the Atlantic, we decided to run on ‘Walkabout Time’ - our own, changing time zone as we headed west. We plan to do the same on this crossing. If you don’t make changes, effectively we will arrive in Hiva Oa with jet lag, due to the sudden time zone change. The plan is that we shift back one hour for every 15 degrees of longitude that we travel. This keeps sunrise and sunset at sensible times of the day. It can also get very confusing when communicating with others, and keeping track on what zone we are using. It is very important to have at least one clock that doesn’t change, and is there as the reference point to check back to. Phones and watches sometimes seem to have a mind of their own regarding time zone changes - so we need a fixed clock to check back against.

To add a little confusion, the SSB Net arrangements have already changed by an hour, but ‘Walkabout Time’ has not yet changed. Looks like that may happen tomorrow.

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