According to the writer John H Chambers, ‘The South Pacific Ocean … is
vast – about 32 million square miles. It could swallow all of Europe, Asia,
North America and much of South America.’ Little wonder then that the last
vessel we saw was a full three days ago, and all the more astonishing that
Captain James Cook and other explorers of the 18th century ever ‘discovered’
any of the islands that now appear in every South Pacific guidebook. The
Marquesas will be our next landfall and, in Captain Simon’s briefing this
morning, the magical island of Bora Bora was also mentioned. What an
experience to cross this great ocean under sail, currently at a steady 7 – 8
knots, and ‘discover’ for ourselves these remote, exotic islands.
The sailing of the past few weeks has been very good with the only
adjustments to our sails being to take in or set the T’gallants and Royals
(the top two square sails) and two of the staysails, depending on the wind
The night watchers have enjoyed the sight of the sea bathed in
moonlight and once the moon has set, myriads of stars. The temperature
continues to be around 28 degrees C and in general we have had dry weather.
However, that said, our 2nd mate Marianne was just enjoying the fact that
she had had three successive rainless watches when a massive line-squall
engulfed us today. It was a dramatic sight and as the line of rain
approached, the waves flattened and a mysterious mist appeared just above
On a more frivolous note, it has to be said that both the Aft
watches occupied their nautical positions in the Pub Quiz on Saturday,
though Aft Port did surge ahead by two points in the final round, thanks to
our knowledge of sweets! Well done to Tracey and Niall who ran the event –
good fun, though we will clearly need to gen up a bit before the next one!
Our current claim to fame is that (perhaps more by luck than good
judgement) we have been on watch both when we passed the 1000 and 2000
nautical mile marks.
Time for supper/dinner/tea – depending on where you come from!
Greetings to all from the Aft Port watch: Kate S, Charlie, Kath & Paul,
David/Dave, Chris W and Michelle.