18 April, 2014

Pacific Crossing First Night at Sea

I do not sleep well the night before a start of a passage. I toss and
turn trying to sleep but the to-do list is forefront in my mind. I go
over all that has been done, that which should have been completed but
not essential and finally what I would have liked to do but did not get
round to doing. On this occasion I did not have to think about crew so I
knew I could undertake any task ant any time of day or night just when
it had to be done. On the three previous passages the crew stood the
8:00 pm to 2:00 am watch so they slept in at the end of my watch –
invariably right through the whole morning and mostly until I had made
lunch and miraculously they woke to hear the lunch being served. Then
again they took a nap before their watch and again woke just as I had
finished preparing the evening meal. Well all that has changed. I
prepare meals when I want and stand watch when I want plus do odd jobs
in the middle of the night.
After leaving Sab Christobal at noon I was well under way through the
island chain when the sun set and the moon soon appeared over the stern.
On this evening it was full andd lit the surrounding sea almost like
daylight then as it reached its zenith a shadow fell over it and the
world went dark again. I was experiencing an full eclipse of the moon. I
have never seen one of these before but it must have scared the people
of an earlier era when the moon went out during it path on a cloudless
night. I lay in the cockpit and watched the moon move across the sky
then the shadow slowly moved away and we where back in the bright moon
The moon was near the horizon when the east started to glow red as the
sun came up on my second day at sea. I will be watching the sun rise for
the next 20 to 26 days as I make my way across the 3000 nm to the Marqueses.
A magical moment on Malua

14 April, 2014

Malua has left Galapagos

Malua has now left the Galapagos for the Marqueses

Malua in Galapagos

Malua passed through the Panama canal in two days and anchored in the roadstead just out of Panama City to provision before leaving for a three day cruise in the Las Perlas islands.  This was a time to slow down and enjoy the environment with the new crew Toby.  Christine had reluctantly left Malua wanting to stay free before she got a new berth but non were  available to she stay free with people for a few days.  I was pleased to see her go.  Toby on the other had was a great asset on the boat and soon learnt how to stand watch and do the things on a complex boat.
Our passage to the Galapagos was a dream run.  We had three days of wind aft of the beam with the reacher up for two days and the big spinnaker for a whole day.  Malua loved the conditions.  On Toby's watch the wind dropped and went forward and we had to set different sails and a new course.  Luckily it was a close reach in 10 to 115 knots of wind so we settled down for an easy ride into the Galapagos.  We arrived just after sunset on the fifth day almost 12 hour ahead of Jack Tar.
The agent came aboard and took all the papers and $700 for a 21 day stay.  The most expensive checkin we have experienced.  It included an underwater inspection of the hull to see we where not carrying any foreign creatures.
After a days rest I booked on to a five day tour of three other islands.  It was the best way to see the islands and the animals and birds.  The group was good, the food great and the guide - the most important part very knowledgeable.
I am back on Malua ready for the next leg towards the Marqueses.  I do this alone, happy to have the boat back to myself.  It will be a 21 to 26 day passage.
A magical moment on Malua.