Walkabout - Day 16 - Motoring on a flat Pacific Ocean
The last 24 hours has seen Walkabout change from a sailing boat to a motorboat!
With flat calm seas comes very little or no wind at all. It was in the forecast and so expected and the prediction actually arrived when they said it would! As we move to single figures on the wind front, we can sail with lighter sails either our Blue Water Runner or G1 but when the true wind drops below 8 knots coming from dead behind on a regular basis, its time to start up the engine. We certainly wont be able to motor the remaining distance but we can motor through a low wind patch to where we can pick up more wind and sail the rest of the way to Hiva Oa. The forecast is telling us that the wind will pick up from later today (we hope) and will increase to 20+ knots for a few days driving us in to our destination. It will be one extreme to the next when Walkabout will be fully reefed once again as we sight land and prepare ourselves for island life once again.
Motoring is a little noisier but it does mean we can leave all the hatches open and what little wind there is created from Walkabout motoring, is gently swept through the boat. The other bonus is that we are fully powered up, the fridges and freezer are back in business keeping the Mahi Mahi and tuna fresh as well as our drinking-water cold.
With the boat reasonably flat, it was time to get the cards out and a Roantree special, Coppit! We finally managed to introduce Tom to Coppit yesterday afternoon and I think he enjoyed! It brings back lovely memories of when my mum came out to visit and we had a few nights on our old boat Trilogy, we spent a few evenings enjoying the thrill of Coppit and especially Andrew's in-house rules that go along with the game! (Iddle for diddle, King for the day!! etc). The Gammons will also know and remember Coppit from our many August bank holidays together spent on Trilogy playing games of an evening. Today could be the day we introduce Tom to Perudo, what a lucky chap he is!!!
We also played crazy whist and Uno whilst nibbling on some nuts in the cockpit as Walkabout rocks gently from side to side listening to the gentle lapping of water as we make our way across this beautiful and huge blue waterscape.
The last few days have whizzed passed, keeping ourselves busy catering, chatting, laughing, cleaning the fridges, playing games, reading, resting, blogging, showering and generally enjoying our time together in the close confines of a 45 foot boat.
The sky has been full of clouds that are scattered as far as the eye can see, in that wonderful ’Simpson-esque’ formation which I find really rather pretty. I might have to ask my Dad a little more about clouds and what to expect when sighting different formations and what they mean and what we can expect up ahead. At the moment, the sky is a warm burnt orange colour along the horizon as the sun is about to show herself and start another truly blessed day. This morning the clouds are long and wispy forming zigzags across the pale blue sky.
Walkabout and her crew have spent 16 nights at sea so far, a first for us all! Its been an easy and relaxing passage with time to reflect and understand a little more of ourselves as time isolated on a small vessel in the middle of the pacific can teach us. It can be very therapeutic, having time to yourself, to think and contemplate what is important in life. Life generally is lived at such a fast pace and having this time sailing across the Pacific has been enlightening, for me at least.
We cross the 2500nm mark today (another celebration of a beer and pot of Pringles perhaps? The Crew Committee (Tom and I) might need to draw up a business case for Skipsy's approval!).
We are in 18th place out of 25 boats, not that its a race but they do post daily Position Reports and we have to log motoring hours and we are given handicaps at the very start! Also taking into account that one boat (Seaside) left a few days early to make a wedding and two boats (Kaimin and Liberty) left late due to repairs. There has also been two boats who have altered course to assist a double handed boat called Beez Neez. The female on board had a seizure and needed urgent medical assistance and the remaining crew contacted the ARC Pacific fleet via our Rally Control to ask if any boats in the vicinity are able to assist with the possibility of sharing a crew member to sail on board Beez Neez the remainder of the way to the Marqueses. Sam and Hannah from Zissou did exactly that. They rendezvous with Beez Neez and two of their crew jumped aboard with Zissou and Liberty buddy boating them the rest of the way. The sailing community is like no other I’ve known. We all know when you need help, there are many hands and boats who go out their way to assist. Any one of us could be in that very same position and so all of the boats would have been happy to turn back to help without a question. Quite a sobering thought …
The boys are down below in their berths, well Tom is actually sleeping in the saloon as his berth is rather noisy and hot while motoring.
I’m about to make a fresh pot of coffee and enjoy the remainder of this glorious sunrise before the boys are up and we all begin another day in paradise xxx