Sunday, September 30, 2012

Land Ahoy!

Position: 22°S, 150°W

We have sighted land! At 0400 on October 1st, the Skipper was struggling to fix one of the anchors that had loosened in its fitting overnight and the First Mate was clearing up the cockpit before finishing her watch. As the sun came up, one of the peaks of the island of Rurutu appeared on the horizon. It's a small island on the outer fringes of French Polynesia with only 2,000 inhabitants. For us, it has been our first sight of the rest of the world after 20 days and a huge psychological boost to the crew. 'Just' another 300 miles (3 days) to Papeete now...

Our third week at sea continued in the same vein as the first two, with strong weather reducing the fun and comfort factor to zero at times. As we have moved northeast, the wind has been coming predominantly from the east which has meant we have been sailing 'on the wind'. This means that both the wind and sea is coming towards us (rather than pushing us from behind) so we have been basically pushing against both to make our way forward.

This has pushed both the boat and crew to their limits. Ashling has done extremely well so far, her strong hull taking the strongest of waves and wind with no complaint. However a few deck fittings have started to suffer and the steel structure around the cockpit is showing signs of stress, so we'll be ringing around a few chandleries and boat workshops when we get to Tahiti to give her some TLC. As for the crew, well we are still here, still speaking to each other and still in good shape physically. However we both admit that these three weeks have been harder on us than expected. Here's hoping that more pleasurable sailing awaits us as we cruise around French Polynesia over the next two months.

Highlights of this week included hearing news of Rob & Steph's engagement in New Zealand (Stephanie Byrne, email deets asap!), venting the cabin as temperatures started to rise and seeing land this morning. The lowlight would have to be Wednesday morning when a large wave from astern showered the First Mate from head to foot as she stood at the wheel. Meanwhile down below, the Skipper was assessing the damage of a saucepan full of porridge oats that the same wave had caused to volley across from the cooker to the chart table, covering everything in sight. Almost a week later and we're still finding porridge in the strangest of places!



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13 comments:

  1. Great to hear how you're doing - keep up the good work!

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  2. cheers for this weeks installment, sounds like a well earned break is due when u hit shore.

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  3. Great to hear from you guys. Well deserved break then, make the most of Tahiti :-)

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    1. Could do with you here Fred for a bit of translation...there have been quite a few humourous moments as we try to remember the basics.

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  4. Keep pushing forward maties, almost there! Then you can do some well-deserved sun bathing and beer-sipping. And I'm sorry but I'm still laughing over the porridge incident ;)

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    1. Glad you find porridge incident amusing Jen...remind me to recreate for you when we get back to Auckland :)

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  5. Loving your blogs. Keep them coming. Tony and I have had a good few laughs about Wilson, Dave and the porridge. That must have been one big wave. By the time you get this you should be chilling in Tahiti and having a well deserved break. Hope you get all the repairs done and we look forward to some photos of your trip. Have fun and keep on sailing :)

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  6. Enjoying the updates! Thinking of ye all the time. XX

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  7. Woohoo! Sounds like you've managed to keep the stick bit pointing to the clouds and not the bottom of the ocean. Great seamanship! I bet you're looking forward to being dry and warm for a little while. Fair winds and a calm sea adventurers!

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  8. Keep going - you're in the final stretch! It'll all be worth it once you reach Papeete. Think sun, sand and calm torquiose beaches! Well that's what it looks like on google images anyway :)

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  9. Well done Myles and Eithne!!! What a fantastic achievement making the first leg in good time, and keeping it all together. Enjoy French Polynesia and some of the more relaxed sailing you are hoping for. Looking forward to more updates, and pictures of the adventure. Take care!

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  10. I'm deeply impressed! keep on rocking!

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