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Apsara's Log: Week in the South Pacific

Monday, May 31, 2004  
Clear starry night, 80 degrees, 10 knots of East wind  
Position: Generally, thousands of miles from anything, specifically, 07 24 S 118 44.4 W  

Hello friends and family,

In good spirits the crew of Apsara continues their passage to the Marquesas. We have now sailed 1700 miles are now 1250 miles from the Marquesas. Here's what's been happening aboard over the past 10 days:

The Sailing: The sailing for much of the week has been the best in my life. For days and days we had beautiful 15 to 20 knots winds on our beam (the side). Apsara flew gently along, surfing down the blue, blue waves at 8 to 10 knots, over and over and over again for three or four days. The motion was calm and comfortable without rolling. This is as good as it gets!

Since then things have changed around a lot but in general we have not had as much wind as we'd of liked and in fact are now motoring slowly.

What we are reading: Adam is working his way through Thomas Pychon's "Gravity's Rainbow" (760 pgs), Sharon is reading "Hitler and Stalin, Parallel Lives" - (we don't know why) (1185 pgs), I am reading the Bounty Trilogy (600 pgs)Nancy is halfway through "War & Peace" but has given up.

What we are watching: The Southern Cross on our porthand every night, a waxing moon, shooting stars, phosphoresce in the water, dolphins, our dwindling supply of fresh vegetables.

What we eating: Mahi Mahi, Molinari salami sandwiches, fresh baked homemade currant scones, blue berry muffins, Peet's coffee, Tuna 5 minutes from ocean to mouth.

Who's out here with us: For the first four or five days we saw no sign of other human life. Finally we saw a few very large Korean (?) fishing boats headed north, probably after raping the ocean down here. Since then nothing.

Other highlights:
  • Squid attacks: The first several days our decks were littered with squid bodies (and black ink); on his night watch, Adam was beaned in the forehead by a 6 inch squid (coulda put his eye out!).
  • Cool weather: surprisingly, the weather has not been hot and sticky like the Atlantic crossing
  • Nancy, the watermaker repair woman, spending 3 hours fixing the watermaker so I could "waste" 1/2 a tank washing the decks.
  • Halfway dinner of Pouille Fusee wine, mahi mahi, green beans, and brownies with whipped cream and berries.
  • Nancy jumping up and down yelling "get em! get em!" when we hook a fish.
What we really, really want:
  • Three knots more wind (16 instead of 13) from 10 degrees more south
  • More fish
Where we'll be later this week:
  • Still in the middle of the south pacific... but if the slight winds hold, we'll arrive in the Bay of Virgins, Fatu Hiva, the Marquesas (10 28.5S 138 26.00 W) some time early next week.
Happy Memorial Day, sorry we missed the picnic,

Scott, Nancy, Sharon, and Adam
The faithful crew

Post Script:  Daily stats:

Day                 Days run*        Avg Spd       Total        Miles to go
1.  Sat 22nd        174 nm           7.25 kts      174 nm       2,794
2.  Sun 23rd        175              7.25          349          2,621
3.  Mon 24th        187              7.8           536          2,437
4.  Tue 25th        156**            6.4           692          2,283
5.  Wed 26th        191              7.96          883          2,090
6.  Thu 27th        203              8.45        1,086          1,887
7.  Fri 28th        190              7.92        1,276          1,695
8.  Sat 29th        167              6.95        1,466          1,555
9.  Sun 30th        140***           5.83        1,606          1,421
10. Mon 31st        175              7.25        1,781          1,250

* Days run: this is prior day's noon position to current day's noon position. Thus, this is a point to point measurement and is equal to the total miles sailed only if the course for the entire 24 hour period was a straight line. In other words we usually sail further each day but the traditional measurement is noon to noon miles.

** No wind motored for 12 hours

*** 140 nm this is low because we gybed (turned about 45 degrees) halfway through the period

s/v Apsara

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