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Walkabout - Day 18 - We found some wind

S9:15 W133:48

After days of on and off motoring we now have some steady wind, since the last update the wind has built gradually as was predicted. We were able to fly the BWR the whole of yesterday making great progress until around 5 in the evening. But at that stage the wind had reached 17-18 knots and we were storming towards Hiva Oa at 8-9 knots. It was great to make such good speed but with the forecast only set for the wind to build on what it was we had to bring it down. We reverted back to 2 reefs in the main and 1 in the Genoa both on the starboard side with the main on a gybe preventer. We were still making good speed, as the evening was drawing in we had a squall come past with some rain. We hadn’t seen a squall in a good 10 days, maybe as we are getting closer to land?? We put another reef in the main incase the wind picked up overnight. Then had cheesy pasta and chorizo for dinner and joined in on the daily SSB call for the evening. Just as we were getting towards sleeping and into the night shift pattern one of us had forgotten to take the fishing rod in…... It went screaming out and we started fighting the fish. It put up a good fight for a little while as me and Andrew took turns winding him in. As we got it close we could see it was the biggest yellow fin tuna we have ever hooked. It wasn’t going to be easy to land in the swell, the boat was rolling around He must have seen the boat and thought no thanks. Before we could do anything he thrashed around, wrapped himself and the line around the Hydrovane rudder and dislodged the hook and swam off……. We were gutted, yet another fish not landed.

The night was one of the most uncomfortable we have had in the last week. Nothing major just a more uncomfortable sea state, means you have to sleep in something similar to the recovery position otherwise you might get a face full of the cabin wall. We are all definitely looking forward to a flat boat in the anchorage and a night that doesn’t contain night shifts! Another ARC boat called Mary Doll have just shown up on AIS, its great to see them and know you aren’t that far away from some other people that we know. The closer we get to Hiva Oa the more we will all group together and see each other. Once we are out of the night shift pattern we can give them a call to see how they are.

The fishing lines are back in and we are ready for that tuna this time, hopefully we have some action on that front it always makes the day a little bit more exciting.

The sun is just about breaking through a thick bank of clouds on the horizon, having the wind is lovely it makes the boat and life onboard a whole lot cooler and more comfortable. We now have 310 miles to go so we are really counting down now.

Its about time for another hard, strenuous day onboard,

Love from us all,

Tom, T and A x

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