Total distance sailed 4277 nm. (7699km)
Time taken 40 days. (960 hours)
Average speed 4.5 knots.
Fuel consumption 115 litres.
Engine hours 90 hours.
(A blow by blow description can be found in our “Tracker notes” at the very bottom of this post.)
*Warning: phone produced post.
Helloooo!! We have arrived at the Marquesas. Beautiful islands, with much more civilisation than I expected. You can buy all sorts of food, and the village is lovely!
The passage took nearly 6 weeks, but we “left” land 7 weeks ago. We had planned to have one night on anchor at an island in Panama to gather ourselves after the hurly-burly of preparing to leave. Whilst there Magnus started to feel a bit off, so we judiciously decided to wait near land till he felt better, just in case. His peakiness turned out to be COVID- so we were there for a week. After a couple of poorly days, he rallied, and was fine before we took off except he couldn’t smell the rotten eggs. A blessing of a side effect under the circumstances!
The passage across the Pacific thus far departed our expectations a little. The relaxed downwind sailing was minimal and instead we had a double/cross swell and it was most often uncomfortably rolly. The boat rocked with the swell, with just too little wind to get sailing comfortably. The squalls were to be expected, and many other boats had far worse than us.
No major injuries, illnesses or breakages – and some beautiful sailing, stunning sunsets, sparkling night skies, ocean swims, fish, and adventure!
A wonderful experience overall.
- Crossing the Pacific for a start!
- Living on 3 litres of freshwater water a day each.
- COVID for Magnus.
- Sailing with a genaker.
- Finally leaving the dock, after much preparation.
- Small celebrations to mark our progress, sometimes with a coke, pizza, or cake.
- Fishing. We hooked 10, lost 3, released 2, and ate 5.
- Our stash of fresh fruit and veg lasting well, with no wastage.
- Crossing the equator. I got emotional nearing home, and Magnus was jubilant to be finally sailing in the southern hemisphere. We offered a toast to Neptune in the form of a shot of rum.
- Looking at our position on a large paper chart when we were smack bang halfway across. We got butterflies! Seeing where we were in relation to land was a little overwhelming, a real “drop in the ocean” moment.
- Being welcomed by a fellow boater with fresh pamlpemousse.
- The stickiness of ourselves and the interior of the boat – due to all ablutions being undertaken with salt water.
- Bårdh family heirloom towel being set free mid Pacific. It wriggled free during a rinse and quickly descended towards the sea floor. Another of our many offerings to Neptune.
- Being seasick and hot inside the boat on interminable night watch when it was too awful to be outside.
- Complete failure with herb cultivation. I will try again, maybe with a more hospitable soil. The concrete like sand was too tough I think.
- Failure of the depth sounder at the last minute, as we entered a crowded and tricky anchorage. It turned out to have a veritable jungle growing on it – unlike the hull, which was pretty clean.
– A close encounter with a bird. He unfortunately hit our wind generator, and dazedly landed in our cockpit. After a moment he appeared unharmed, and stayed for quite a while, face to face with us. We had many avian hitchhikers en route, but not usually in the cockpit.
– Bucket bathing. After pulling up a bucket of salt water, we would bathe outside, half the time feeling exhilarated (it was cold sometimes!) and the other half of the time feeling like a senior citizens having a sponge bath! 🤣
– “Boga” ie bogus yoga. I thought I had downloaded some yoga videos, but apparently not, so not being familiar with yoga, I had to make it up as i went along. The desired effect of maintaining some flexibility was achieved – but it was not pretty.
- I was very amused practising pronouncing Swedish vowels correctly. Compared to English with an Australian accent – there is a lot of mouth movement and exertion required to correctly pronounce each of the 9 vowels – and it becomes impossible when giggling. Australians’ reputation for speaking through closed teeth (to keep the flies out of course!) feels close to the truth as I attempted the oral gymnastics required to distinguish one vowel from another, and Magnus is a strict teacher! No stopping until the sounds were at least intelligible. It took some time!
- What 2 people can do on 6 litres of water a day, inc “showering!” After a salt wash, we trickled a little water out of a hole poked into the lid of a 500ml bottle. This could last for 4 “showers.”
- The postures one must perfect to do anything in the kitchen with swell. eg making coffee: Lean right forward, hips onto the bench. feet as far away and apart as possible. Elbow hooked over the raised edge of the bench. Cup and coffee jar cradled in the same arm as is hooked over the bench. Other hand free to open coffee, and spoon into cup. Pouring the boiling water is another level. Try it!!
FOOD AND BEVVY HIGHLIGHTS:
- Fresh tuna and Mahi, eaten as sashimi, or fried in butter. You can’t beat fresh fish.
- Pamplemouse! Like grapefruit but not bitter.
- Cheesecake as a celebration food, made to our boat neighbor’s recipe.
- Bonnie’s caramel popcorn, a boat fave.
- Fresh bread
- Homemade yoghurt.
- Homemade pickled beetroot
- Sugar cake
- Pistachios from Christer
- Some pantry hits; pineapple burger, with tinned ham; and fajitas with corned beef, parmesan and tomato sauce. Far nicer than it sounds.
- Pizza with tinned mushroom, onion, and cheese.
- Winch service en route.
- Protruding nails in cockpit sorted.
- Hatch handle fixed.
- Long necks scraped off the stern and depth sounder
- CLEANING! We had a very salty boat.
- Bimini fixed.
- New soft shackles.
- Mounting for pockets in cockpit.
- Fixing the captain’s shorts!
THE SWEDISH STUDENT:
Lite framsteg här! Jag pluggade nästan varje dag och har avslutat min svenska SFI-lärobokskurs C. Jag kommer att upprepa detta och hoppas att jag kan behålla det jag har lärt mig.
A little progress here! I studied nearly every day, and have finished my Swedish SFI text book Course C. I will repeat this, and hope I can retain what I have learned.
TRACKER NOTES: (from our Iridium tracker)
Hello from Almazul!
First mate speaking, on this, our 10th day on passage.
We have had mostly beautiful sailing, and a couple of days of little/ no wind, and we have used the metal sail a little.
Today was a glassy day, and so we bathed in the ocean. A lovely cleanse for mind, not to mention the body. The water was somewhere between sapphire and aqua blue, and circa 3 km deep. Wonderful!
At dusk, a school of hunting dolphins travelled beside us at a distance for some time.
Two days ago we crossed the equator, and proposed a toast to Neptune as we offered him a dram of rum. It felt surreal to have sailed to this point from Spain!
The day before that we caught the biggest tuna we have ever caught, so many, many meals for us. 😀
So far the yoghurt production is successful, but the herb cultivation is not. TBC I hope.
Hi from Almazul,
Yesterday we had rain! Glorious rain!
Hair washing, laundry, about 30 litres into the tank, we felt rejuvenated! A couple of lengthy squalls provided this luxury. Pancakes for breakfast topped off an energising morning.
More great news – seven sprouts have emerged in the herb pot!
Oh the joy!
I had given up on them. Not sure if they are parsley or mint – probably not the chives.
All is well aboard. The metal sail has been in commission from time to time, but not for the past 24 hours. We have clocked 1000nm, on a beeline for the trade winds. We hoped to find them in a few days, but are currently in some sort of hopeful wind – maybe this will continue.
We had the close company of a pair of pilot whales? for a short time yesterday and caught a small Mahi Mahi.
A busy day yesterday! We caught another Mahi Mahi, and Magnus fixed a broken hatch handle, and fixed some Bimini attachments. I dealt with a smelly egg situation, and briefly adopted a nurse role. The scarf I am knitting for my grandson grows a little longer each day, punctuated by small mistakes made when a sudden sail change or fish require my swift attention.
We are cautiously optimistic that we might actually BE in the trade winds that we have been looking for. Time will tell. Another perfect day of sailing. A quieter night, and good winds during the day.
We haven’t seen another boat for five days… but are in contact with our friends on MaRe who are on the same journey a couple of hundred nm from us.
We have made our way through most of the fresh fruit and veg, and are down to potatoes, pumpkin, cabbage, onions, and a tomato. Then we will begin a weak assault on the lifetime supply of dry and tinned food we have aboard. (We are on day 12 on passage, but day 19 away from land – hence the fruit and veg situation)
Our fresh water use is pleasingly frugal, averaging a total of 6 litres a day. We use saltwater for almost everything, and have got used to the salty taste in the first mouthful of coffee in the morning, from the salt washed dishes. Looking forward to another freshwater hair wash!
We are travelling well; healthy and in good spirits. We have hooked 5 fish, in total, and managed to land 3. The last one we lost was a BIG Mahi Mahi. It broke the line.
Anyway, the sailing is generally good. Most of the time fresh winds and gentle sea are bearing us adroitly westward. We lean into the rolls, enjoying the speed.
But sometimes the wind drops too low for the swell, and It is rolly. The swell is stronger than the wind that drives us forward, so we flop from side to side at the mercy of the waves, making headway but rocking along, askew.
We have our sea legs in place, so no mal de mer affects us – but daily tasks become feats of balance, timing, and calculating shrewdness. How to put anything down when preparing food? Only the sink is safe. The gimble saves hot drinks from spilling, and other things stay firmly in their cupboards until required.
However, an upside of the light winds is that we have been able to hoist the gennaker a couple of times. It is wonderful to watch it as it pulls us smoothly along. So lithe and fluid. Beautiful.
And….we had another swim/bath. The water is so warm!
In other news, a helicopter circled us twice, but no call on the radio.
At a smooth moment two nights ago, we had caramel popcorn and watched a movie.
And yesterday there was cake! Cheesecake to be precise. We are up to the end of week 2 on passage – so cheesecake was our celebration food. Fantastic easy boat recipe – thx SV Carpathia.
Lovely satay Mahi Mahi by Magnus for dinner one night, and fresh Mahi Mahi tacos last night.
Herbs; only 2/7 shoots have survived.
All is well aboard.
The wind has really picked up now. We are more often doing 5ish knots, rather than 2-3. Maybe we are in the Tradewinds? The sailing is lovely, but the swell is significant- so we are getting a lot of big rolls. Not the most comfortable ride, but great sailing. Today we will be 1/10 of the way to Marquesas from when we turned west. Woohoo!
All is well aboard.
Good and bad.
Hello! All well here.
We have had sailing at its best. A brisk reach, gently swishing through the light swell. We mosey around, doing small jobs, tweaking the sails, preparing food, dozing, reading, sewing. Nothing feels urgent. Even the chess game was leisurely.
THEN on Monday evening the waves got big, the wind dropped to nothing and the rolling was awful, and it rained. Rolling, lurching, no relief. Hips bruised from banging on the bench when cooking and washing up.
At night we went inside, and it was hot, noisy, and nauseating down there. The cacophony of squeaks and groans inside is deafening compared to the sound of the waves, wind, sails and rig outside. I was very tired and feeling low and sick. I slept through my watch alarm. Magnus managed to turn my watch alarm off without me waking. Such is the weariness.
Magnus had a (fishing?) boat quite close at night with a very bright light during his watch, after not seeing another boat for days.
We are healthy and so far we have had no breakages – so nothing to complain about.
After the unpleasant night – we had a lazy day with low expectations of ourselves – just to get through as happily as possible. So the day’s activities were; making yoghurt, reading books, cooking dinner. No daily tasks otherwise. Feeling good now.
Last night was much more pleasant, with good wind, and largish swell, but we are moving through it well.
Great sailing, quite big waves.
Often 6 knots on a scrap of Genoa.
We haven’t had a squall for a week, but can see plenty of dark clouds around.
Magnus made bread. What a treat!
We are not fishing because we don’t think we could land a fish in these waves.
More great sailing. Bigger waves, so rolly but we are getting used to it. Good speed. All well – just gathering small bruises on the parts in frequent contact with hard boat surfaces.
Nice surprise in the herb pot. Big sprouts!! Two – not there one day, and the next day they appeared – already about 5cm. Probably pumpkin – not my first choice, but better than nowt. The other two sprouts that survived are hanging in there.
Half way today!! This feels like a big deal, because we have sailed further than the entire Atlantic crossing. We are up to day 21 on passage, and day 28 away from land. We’re in good spirits and good health, and will eat some chocolate and lollies to celebrate reaching the halfway mark.
Still on our first tank of water.
The chess tournament still has an undefeated champion, but I am working on it. Where is the 8 yo chess champion when I need her? (Bonnie?)
The wind is still good, and the waves a little less – another good sailing day.
A couple of squally nights, another pumpkin spout, and enough rain to wash 4 Tshirts. Magnus got the worst of the squalls – requiring full wet water gear. My share of them has been less dramatic, just speeding us up a bit!
Good wind, a cloudy sky, yoghurt and sugar cake. A productive day in the kitchen, and clocking up the miles.
We are generally running with the swell ATM making it quite a comfortable ride. The whisker pole has been up and down, mostly up today.
We are overdue for a fish! The waves are such that we may be able to land one if we should be lucky enough to catch one – so the hook is in, and under careful surveillance.
The Swedish training is coming along. I am halfway through my text book, and have felt compelled to speak Swedish most of the time over the past couple of days. It’s like a little switch flipped in my head. I hope this heralds an improvement.
Apart from the squalls, the night watches are wonderful. We had a full moon early on, showcasing the mercurial sea, and now the stars are the main event.
The southern cross glitters, beckoning me home.
All well aboard.
A nice, slightly calmer day. The boat was no slouch, humming along with no fuss.
We had a movie and popcorn to mark reaching 40% of our trade wind distance to our destination.
In terms of total distance to travel, we have covered well over 50% – roughly 2500 of 4000 done and dusted. Time wise, we’ve done 3 1/2 weeks, with an expected 12 days to go.
Another good sailing day, but with quieter winds. We took the pole down and jibed. This is only notable because we have been going for days on the same tack.
The days are whizzing past! It is time for the evening routine before we have finished our daily tasks!
We have well and truly fallen into the rhythm of our night watches, and so try to eat well before it is time for the first watch (and first sleep) to start.
Unfortunately I have drowned some of the sprouts – and cannot seem to solve the drainage problem in the pot. Three struggle on, yellowed but not quite beaten yet. I am coaxing them along with tea leaves, trying to reduce the density of the concrete like sand they are being raised in.
The pole has been up and down again. Generally a good easterly wind is pushing us along. The swell is up and down, so we just appreciate the quieter periods, and try to do the jobs that are easier done without too much rolling.
Squalls, wind drops, sun, rain; it’s a bit like Melbourne weather out here!
We caught another tuna today, which will save us from another mystery tin dinner tonight.
We are currently smack bang in the middle of the Pacific, apparently as far from land you can be anywhere in the world. It feels wonderful, scary, and a bit surreal. Two mid lifers out here doing this alone on a small boat. We are but a speck. No more than a drop in the ocean on our tiny boat, halfway across the expansive Pacific Ocean. The chart shows us our position, which is near nothing.
Here we are in the middle of nowhere, weeks away from land in every direction. Wow. And crikey! The feeling of isolation is magnified by the fact that we have only seen one boat in the distance in several weeks.
We are happy and well, if a little awestruck right now.
21 – 22.4
The swell has increased, and the waves approaching and lifting the boat are getting interesting. We expect a few days of this, and then they will die down a bit.
Making good speed though.
We managed to whip up some brownies and flat bread despite the waves. What a girl won’t do for chocolate brownies!
The stars are brilliant, and I love watching the movement of various cloud formations in the dark.
We are happy to hear that our friends on Gemma are within a few days of reaching the Marquesas.
All is well aboard.
The sun is back after many cloudy days. The cloudy respite from the heat was welcome, but generally speaking the heat is more pleasant, not as oppressive here in as the higher latitudes. The kitchen was a hive of activity today. Magnus made bread, sugar cake, and a lentil dish for dinner.
No chess today – the reigning champion retains his title for another day.
Well! The sunny day preceded the most squally night we have had yet! No wind, and rolling for brief periods, but mostly short squalls with strong winds and horizontal rain. Night became day in the grip of a long squall that lasted many hours. Storm winds and heavy rain. No thoughts of doing laundry came to mind though, funnily enough.
We have less than 1000nm to go!
We have been away from land for 35 days, and on passage for 28.
Not that we’re counting….
I generally enjoy the long passages, and only occasionally think about things I look forward to on land. Most of them are related to fresh water – showering, washing, and cleaning the boat. Going for a walk, eating fresh fruit and veg, (and possibly a lamb chop) also sometimes cross my mind! Magnus has higher aspirations; like exploring the islands, and scaling high peaks. I think I’ll go with him – stuff the laundry.
Another nice few days of sailing. We flew the gennaker and it was perfect. A smooth ride, making the most of the light winds, and a beautiful sail to watch to boot. Eventually however, we lost wind. Currently sailing at about 3kn, but at least we’re moving. Today we are trying wing on wing, which hasn’t added much speed to the poled out Genoa. Really hoping that the large area of no wind that is behind us won’t catch up. Or maybe we are already in it?
We may need more brownies for morale… Actually we are happy and well, no morale boosting required, but the brownies are good!
We have under 800nm to go, and starting to feel anticipation and disbelief that soon our feet will be on terra firma.
All well aboard.
26 – 27.4
Still almost no wind, but at least we’re moving a little bit in the right direction. We’ve had a couple of swims behind the boat, hanging onto a rope. The water is warm and an extraordinary shade of ocean blue. It is a good chance to check out how much growth we have on the bottom of the boat, pleasingly not much. A few longnecks right on the stern – that’s all.
Some business in the kitchen; yoghurt, brownies, bread, and a bean curry.
We are STILL on our first tank of water! At this rate we could get all the way to Australia without topping up!
We also tried a new laundry technique – putting some clothes in a net and dragging it along behind the boat for a while. They smell better, but are full of salt of course.
Speed 2.5 kn. Very comfortable though, due to only small, long swell.
This afternoon we are hoping to see some wind.
All well aboard
The wind took its time! We had another calm day, taking care of small boat jobs; fixing some nails, switching to the “rock” slot on the anchor, more laundry, and cooking. If we are lucky, this may be our last day with little wind, so it felt wise to sort out any loose ends while we had an easy ride. We are slowly mentally preparing for making landfall. It could be as soon as five days, depending on the wind.
After the calm day, finally the wind arrived! During the night we increased from our familiar 2-3 kn to more like 5 with our night sails – hallelujah!
As I write this I am up in the cockpit on night watch. It’s a beautiful night lit by a half moon and plenty of stars. There a a few benign looking clouds about, and good wind. We are hoofing along, with a nice long swell from astern, making good headway.
In other news, we have caught two more fish the past two evenings, but unsure of what they are, we have had to release them. This takes our total to 8 fish hooked; 4 of them landed and eaten, two lost, and two released.
All well aboard.
The wind continues, but we also have bigger waves now. After the calm weather, this made us both a bit seasick. This was a surprise, because we well and truly had our sea legs, but apparently they weakened during the calm weather.
After a day of feeling a bit cheesy, today we’re fine.
We caught and lost another tuna last evening – and then caught and LANDED a big tuna this morning! About time!
TOTAL – 10 fish. 3 lost, two released. 5 landed and eaten. (2 Mahi 3 tuna)
Since the tuna catch, the swell has been big, and mostly the waves are at quite short intervals. The wind has been variable, and squalls fairly frequent. So our life on the boat has been reduced to tin tacks – just the necessary. The physical difficulty moving around the boat, and the seasickness dulled the mood for a day or so. However we forced ourselves to wash yesterday, and made pizza despite a tricky sea. A good start to feeling human again.
We expect to arrive within a day or two at Hiva Oa, and the uncomfortable few days has heightened the anticipation.
Generally speaking all is well – today I tried to rebuild a yoghurt starter culture from about half a teaspoon of left over yoghurt. We accidentally ate all the yoghurt we had, without leaving any for the next starter. We are missing it!
But now we are nearly there! And, the former undefeated chess champion has been toppled. Only once so far.
Just our luck – we couldn’t quite time our arrival in daylight, so had to stretch out a night by sailing as slowly as possible, to ensure an early morning arrival at Hiva Oa.
I am on the night watch, and am currently looking at our first land sighting in 40 days. Anchor down, a shower and a sleep soon I hope!