TNS458 16/03/2016

Aft Starboard

What a difference a day makes….
Yesterday it was typical equator weather – grey, sullen skies, hot, steamy
with lots of rain and fitful winds. Today at 6 degrees South we may just
have found the elusive trades. The winds have started to blow more or less
consistently from the right direction and we’ve been sailing all day. Still
squalls sweep in from the horizon and give us a warm bath of rain but we are
optimistic we are close to the SE trades.
This morning Captain Simon announced his plans for the next stage of the
voyage. He has been sharing these with us since we sailed so we are aware of
the complex mix of weather, bunker availability, expectations and
alternatives that go into the decision. Taking all these into consideration
we are bound for the Marquesas rather than Pitcairn with an ETA around the
4th April. We are all excited about what our next stop might be but
meanwhile enjoying sailing. Time goes too fast!

It’s already over 1000 miles and a week since we left Cocos Island and we’ve
been reflecting on our good fortune in being able to land on that fabulous
and rarely visited island.

With an ecosystem almost as unique as the Galapagos it is almost unheard of,
probably because Darwin didn’t visit and tourists aren’t permitted. This
tiny green gem of jagged mountains and waterfalls cascading into the sea is
filled with wildlife and some of the best diving in the world.

The approach is visually spectacular with great quantities of sinister
frigate birds above and the seas alive with pelagics including one of the
largest known schools of hammerhead sharks in the world.

We landed at Wafer bay which forms the opening shot of Jurassic Park to a
tiny settlement of rangers and eco volunteers. From here muddy trails led
steeply up into the mountains, another, where most of us headed, led to a
fresh water pool fed by a waterfall and shaded by trees. Access was via a
bizarre bridge straight out of “Apocalypse Now” made out of woven lianas and
fluorescent fishing net and decorated by skull-like fishing buoys. A
convenient rope was suspended from a tree to enable Tarzan-like swinging
into the cool water which was as refreshing as the beer brought ashore by our
Canadian watch member.

We returned to the ship in a spectacular thunder storm which only added to
the atmosphere of this mysterious and spectacular paradise amid the endless

Now a week later we are a long way south steadily munching our way through
the mountain of stores brought aboard in Puntarenas, enjoying the variety of
each day and each other’s company and wishing this wonderful voyage would
never end.
W/Leader Chris, Craig, Jeff, Sari, Izzi, Mike and Norman
PS for those of you expecting phone calls or emails, the satellite system is
currently down but should be up gain shortly.