ONGOING CROSSING - latest update July 7. PHOTO DAY 1.
We will try and send updates using our sattelite phone email every couple days or so and ex-crewmember Olek has been kind enough to help copying them to the blog. This is the post that will be updated so check in often!
OBS We will not be able to read comments util we reach land (hope they have Internet in Marquesas?). If you want to contact us, please find the Iridium info on the Contact page
Start of trip: June 16th 2016, Puerto Villamil, Isabela, Galapagos
Distance Isabela, Galapagos - Hiva-Oa, Marquesas: 2920M
Position: 9.48S, 139.2W
Distance sailed last 24h:43min: 129M
Range Hiva-Oa: 0 (-123)
Total distance sailed: 3123M
Average speed: 6,4 knots
Arrived in Hiva-Oa
Today at 9:45 Simon announced from the helm that he saw land! Barely visible at 30 miles distance and in cloud heavy skies but sure enough it was land. We were worried about not making it to the anchorage before nightfall but luckily it did not come to that. The whole day the squalls came one after another and every time with strong winds giving us 7+ knots speed using only the genoa. It rained a lot too but we were smiling knowing we were getting closer. Also happy to get a good cleaning of the boat, haven't had much rain in a long time.
This island was a beautiful sight, all green with volcanic mountains reminding of jurassic park. Rain clouds around the mountain tops and the sun shining through here and there. Coconut palms and many other beautiful trees I've never seen before. Seemed a bit magical really. Entering the bay behind the breakwater we passed the other ten or so other boats at anchor. Two were friends of ours, John and Julia at Mary Ann 2 and the Aussies on Lady Amithy. We went into the shallow water far into the bay and anchored close to the beach, having a 1,3m draught is really nice sometimes.
On the shore we were greeted by Erik, new crew member for the Marquesas. He had arrived from Sweden just a couple hours earlier, incredible timing! In with the stern anchor and a quick landfall drink ceremony then we went ashore to pick up Erik. Walking in grass with bare feet...what a feeling after 21 days of bobbing around at sea. Back to the boat with Erik and the many things he'd been kind to bring us from civilization (electronics, boat gear, licorice...).
We are very happy with our crossing, good winds and good spirits, couldn't be better. Tonight we rest and tomorrow we'll take care of clearing in at the village which is located 3 km away. We really don't know much what we will find on this island and it will be exciting to discover. It's time for a whole new part of the trip to start.
Thanks to friends and family and maybe some others who've read this along our way and to Olek for helping us post it. Supposedly there is some wifi to be found ashore so we'll do our best to get a post with our pics up asap.
/Lukas at anchor in Hiva-Oa
Position: 9.50’S, 136.58’W
Distance sailed last 24h: 134M
Range Hiva-Oa: 123M
Last couple of squalls
It feels like I wrote my last update yesterday. The last couple of days have passed by in what feels like no time at all. I guess it’s the daily routines of working, working out, stretching etc. that makes the days come together. That, and the fact that we will soon be seeing land again. Yay! Could easily sail longer if that was plan but I can’t deny being excited to put my feet on something other than Kenobi for a while. During these three weeks I have plowed through a lot of audio books and documentaries to pass the time while sitting at the helm.
This night we sailed with the gennaker until 03:00 when it started raining. The wind was changing direction and it was hard to keep the gennaker steady. The whole crew was woken up to bring down the sail and set the genoa instead. Changing sails reduced the overall speed which is always sad but it’s more important to keep the gennaker in a good state and not use it in unsteady conditions.
During the day while sailing with the gennaker we got hit by another two squalls. This time we saw them coming and could change to the genoa before the wind picked up and it started raining on us. The squalls didn’t last too long and it was nice to experience something other than sunshine and easy sailing. Not that I am complaining, we have had a really nice and smooth crossing overall and I'm glad for that.
Today for lunch we had the dorado that was caught yesterday evening. The preparation of salting the fish to keep it fresh without putting in the fridge made it taste really good when just boiling it! For pre-dinner snack Hampus whipped together small pumpkin pancakes before we had tuna, noodles, ginger, coconut milk and sprouts.
Now I will examine the sourdough bread I mixed together a few hours ago. I checked it not too long ago and it almost hadn’t risen at all. I hope it’s just a slow starter…
Position: 9.38S, 134.43W
Distance sailed last 24h: 131M
Range Hiva-Oa: 257M (-128)
A few last crossing words from Hampus
Kenobi is still pushing ahead calmly in the smooth waves and is making enough speed for us to be satisfied. Today we hoisted the gennaker at 06 to have as many hours as possible with better speed, the general plan is to sail with the gennaker during the days and the smaller genoa during the dark nights. Late afternoon we caught a reasonable sized Dorado. It was too late to use it for dinner and since our fridge is turned off to save electricity, we perserved it by covering it in salt and kept it outside for the night. It will be interesting to see if it is still good for lunch tomorrow.
Today we set the clock back one more hour, now we are 11h behind swedish time.
Now we are aproaching the end of this passage, hopefully we will make landfall on Hiva Oa on wednesday afternoon. I must say I am looking forward to having a beer and a meal on solid ground for the first time in three weeks. This passage have in many ways been easier than the shorter ones in the caribbean with less waves, less tricky navigation areas and certainly less traffic to keep track of. Three weeks sound like a long time to spend on a boat with nothing but ocean in every direction but we have been able to keep ourselves busy with keeping the boat in shape and also doing ordinary things such as working out, reading books, cooking good food, learning how to make sour dough bread and making cakes, and of course having a good time together on the boat. Though, now I am really looking forward to exploring the pacific islands, the more we have read about the upcoming islands we are about to visit the more keen we get on getting there.
It has been a great pleasure writing these live update blogg texts to share our experience with the outside world. Hopefully they have been appreciated by our friends and family at home, as well as beeing a source of knowledge and inspiration to whoever might be thinking about doing a similar trip to ours.
Position: 9.15S, 132.35W
Distance sailed last 24h: 138M
Range Hiva-Oa: 385M (-134)
The last 24 hours we have been using gennaker during daylight and changing to Genoa at night. With the wind and speed back we are getting closer to Marquesas and Hiva-Oa.
For me its something extra to arrive in this remote part of the world after 21 days at sea and the first person I will meet is Erik, one of my best friends from home. He will become a new crew member on Kenobi during Marquesas. We are not only looking forward to his company and great sense of humour, but the extra bag filled with spare parts and other goodies we've been missing. You are so welcome Erik ;) And according to the current speed we will arrive the same day as Erik, thats what I call timing.
It will be fun to see land and people again. The only thing we've seen is some birds cruising by. One day a big boat far in the horizon and it disappeared pretty fast. But during some night shifts a white blinking has appeared, since we don't have any AIS anymore we guessed it would be fishing boats. And that's about all we have seen during these 3 weeks, except sunrise and sunsets every day, full moon, clear skies and million stars every night.
We are more or less on our last pieces of fresh food now, everything is almost gone. Our last bananas looks more like something you will find in a dumpster. But they turn out great in different cakes. We have lots of oranges and lemons left in good condition, good for both breakfast and making rhum drinks in the afternoon. But we all have good skills in the kitchen and we are improvising well with our dry stash. And don't forget all the fresh fish we put on the table, so you will never be hungry on Kenobi.
Position: 9.03S, 130.18W
Distance sailed last 24h: 115M
Range Hiva-Oa: 519M (-109)
Oh sweet gennaker
Thanks to this light-wind sail we have been able to sail the last couple days in, well, light winds. Without it we would surely have motored during the most time. Sometimes speed has been only 3-4 knots but it's okay, as long as the sail is full and not flopping as the heavy main sail would, chafing itself and causing worry. Also we can go pretty much straight downwind and have no problem staying on course.
These light conditions and easy sailing have somehow changed our mood too. Stress level is very low and we're taking time to bake bread, make hummus, drink rum, read books and just chill and hang out more than before. Just in time for dinner making today a small skipjack tuna got caught on the very effective pink/white caviator lure.
Now it's 19:00 here and winds have picked up a bit to maybe 12-15 kn and waves are around 1,5m. We're doing 6-7 kn with the gennaker. The question is how fast we dare to go before dropping in and switching to the more sturdy and safe genoa. The gennaker is a new sail for all of us and we really don't want to break it just yet. Feels too good right now to take it down and GRIBs promise stable weather, not much stronger than this. We have agreed to try and let it stay up tonight as well and be alert to any increase in wind. Hopefully well get to report bigger numbers on our distance sailed in the coming days!
Position: 9.11S 128.27W
Distance sailed last 24h: 86M
Range Hiva-Oa: 628M
Up and down with the gennaker
Our gennaker is still going strong bringing Kenobi closer to Hiva-Oa in winds that we wish were stronger. It’s really nice using the light-wind sail and it served us good the whole night after the winds picked up again. As Hampus wrote yesterday, the sails had to be taken down for a while since there was no wind at all. We could only drift towards our destination. But with the wind in our back and a dimmed headlamp fixed to barely shine on the sail (to see it's movements in the wind) we all had nice night shifts. The night is currently dark with no moon out but the stars can sometimes light up everything surprisingly well.
This morning I was woken up by Simon who was yelling for everyone to come out on deck. I came out and saw the gennaker now was under the boat! During the morning shift, the shackle between the head of the gennaker and halyard (line to hoist the sail) had snapped with a loud bang. No incident caused this, we had just been sailing in the same conditions as before.
Happily we noted the sail hadn’t tangled in anything and could bring it back on the boat without problems. It is pretty frail so we were really careful not to get it stuck somewhere or rip on something. The shackle that broke we saw was very worn and rusty, just a matter of time before it was going to break. It was immediately replaced and ropes were strung up on the trampoline for the sail to dry on in the sun. Simon was also hoisted up the mast to bring down the halyard that was stuck there.
A few hours later, after I had some more sleep, a pasta lunch with tomato sauce and beans, the sail and sock had dried and we all had energy to start working on it again. The sock was laid out across the deck so we could put the sail back in and all the lines for controlling its position in the wind were attached. This took some time but we didn’t encounter any problems and could use it again after a few hours.
While the gennaker was out of commission we used the genoa and did around 4 knots. Switching back to the gennaker gave us 1-3 more knots of speed and we could sail on a better course towards our target. Very nice!
It’s interesting using a new type of sail. The boat moves differently through the water and the gennaker makes different noises compared to using a main and genoa. Already have we changed the setup of lines to cause as little noise as possible. The crew enjoys life onboard and will have to be extra observant of the wind tonight since it might change direction and we have to jibe.
Position: 9.08S 127.16W
Distance sailed last 24h: 124M
Range Hiva-Oa: 711 (-61)
Flying the gennaker
Horrible night of sailing behind us. Horrible in the sense of very light winds, heavy flapping in the sails and downwind gybing on a terrible course almost making no way at all closer to Hiva Oa. Good thing we celebrated our 3/4 mark with a big pancake breakfast at 09 just as I left my 06-09 shift at the helm. We were so full of pancakes we had to postpone the sacret lunch hour until 14 (always at 12 otherwise).
The light conditions made us take out the gennaker from its stash down in Lukas cabin where it has rested since day one... We have been looking forward to trying this lightwind sail since before we even bought a boat, it was one of the features we where looking for. It is a great downwind sail, especially for a cat where you can use the wide beam to fly it almost like a spinnaker by pulling the tack point far out to the windward side making it close to symetrical. First we raised it with the main still up but this combination did not allow us to go anywhere close to our target course. After 15 min we decided to down the main, it turned out to be a good decision and after some trimming we could set course directly towards Hiva Oa. During the morning the wind decreased further and even with the gennaker up we have only done about 4 knots all day. At least we are heading straight towards our target which keeps the spirit up. It has been a beautiful day on the ocean and we have come to appreciate the new calm conditions on the boat, even though we are looking forward to the wind returning in a day or two. We do not feel the need to run the engines yet, we are not really in a hurry...
Its pretty odd to have all this water around you for several weeks without being able to go for a swim. Though today we could jump into the great blue ocean behind the boat, of course with a safety line attached. It was a great feeling to be in the warm water with about 4500 meters of it below you. Fortunately no sharks around.
The late afternoon we spent in the cockpit just hanging around. Using the black machete we call "black mamba" we choped up some sugar canes we brought from Galapagos, they make a really nice and sweet snack to chew on as well as serving as a stick to stir your drink with, it brought a little extra sweetness to it.
Right now we have taken down all sails and are drifting like a raft westward at 0.3 knots, Kon Tiki style! I have a feeling we wont be close to making 200M this 24h period...
Position: 8.52S 126.03W
Distance sailed last 24h: 148M
Range Hiva-Oa: 772 (-124)
An ordinary day
Today (or yesterday) since I'm too lazy to write in time... But you haven't missed out on anything spectacular, it didn't really happen so much yesterday.
Our good flow with the wind is now blown away and we only did 4-6 knots with both sails up. Three fishing rods in the whole day but no fish. We actually had one big bite once but it snapped the line and took one of our biggest lures, probably another huge marlin.
It's funny how our days just flys by and we "only" do our routines and maintenance in between our shifts at the helm and making food. But I guess thats just a good sign of us having so much fun together while doing nothing. With lots of good food, drinks and laughs we don't need much more on Kenobi, I really like this crew and life at sea, and I'm enjoying every minute of it.
Position: 8.20S 124.1W
Distance sailed last 24h: 176M
Range Hiva-Oa: 896 (-170)
One surprising thing about long ocean passages is that it's never boring. As it's blogday for me it's also the luxury day schedule wise with the 06-09 shift at the helm and then pretty much the whole day free. But I never have time to do all I want to do, even in this supposedly stress-free existence! First some emailing, I've been in contact with both our insurance company Pantaenius as well as marinas and technicians in Tahiti were we hope to get the damaged autopilot and Raymarine instruments replaced. Looks promising, as long as Pantaenius holds up on their promise to "replace old with new". Some breakfast a la Kenobi and reading of Landfalls of Paradise, the well known pilot book of the Pacific. Interesting to read about the Pacific people and for example what etiquette applies when visiting the village chief to "clear in". Don't point at anyone with you feet while sitting on the floor!
Then a quick workout at the trampoline in the front, giving both the best scenery imaginable and good balance training as a bonus. The waves were around 3m and a bit disorganised so the boat rolls, even steady Kenobi. Shower on the sunny aft deck.
Then my turn to do lunch, minestrone style soup with the last wahoo and canned veg (only veg left is some potatoes, onions, pumpkin and cabbage). On the "office hours" of the Mollgan shift we did cleaning, engine service (H&J), fixed leak under sink (S) and I serviced and got our third fishing rod working again. Was rewarded with a double bite short after, two small dorados that went straight to the dinner pan. Standard rum and passionfruit drink before. Bananas are over-ripe and has started dropping from the tree, we're eating all we can. The soy-marinated wahoo slices we hung to ry two days ago are already done and taste delicious, a bit like beef jerky.
We took a reef in the main yesterday to get some rest and things are more calm and steady on board. No more 18 knot surfs and not as much waves banging against the bridgedeck. The waves right now are smooth and from dead astern giving a gentle sea motion. Maybe some sleep now before 21-00 shift, best to get it while you can. The moon is waning and thus rising later each night, it will be a dark shift. Good to have the audio book Röde Orm as company.
Position: 7.42’S, 121.12’W
Distance sailed last 24h: 218M
Range Hiva-Oa: 1066M
Fastest day of sailing!
The last 24 hours we sailed 218M, longest distance so far! Had above 9 knots during the whole night. The sea was a bit rough with waves crashing against the boat making it sound like thunder was going on outside.
Last night we sailed with full main and genoa but today before sundown we set a reef on the main in case the wind picks up. We did this according to the steps we wrote the day before and everything went much faster and smoother than earlier times we done it.
For lunch and dinner, we had the last of the Wahoo we caught a few days earlier so now it’s time to start fishing again. I hope we catch a big tuna next! Our baker Hampus made a huge cake with bananas and walnuts that got eaten within a few moments after coming out of the oven. Sailing makes you hungry and cakes are rare and must be eaten fast.
We’ve had nothing but sunshine and good winds during the day. Sometimes birds come to the boat, probably because it attracts fish, but it feels quite strange to see them out here in the middle of nothing. Things can get pretty moldy on a boat and today I went through my clothes for any signs of mold soaking the stuff in vinegar and water to get rid of it. You need a lot of vinegar when sailing, it can be used for anything.
Position: 7.30'S, 117.45'W
Distance sailed last 24h: 138M
Range Hiva-Oa: 1276M (-129)
Team work exercise
Back to regular routines again after two days of celebrations.
Past 24h or so we have done the not too impressive speed of about 5-6 knots and it felt like we got more propulsion from the waves than from the wind, quite frustrating. The wind did pick up again this morning but we were still sailing with only the genoa, keeping our speed down. Around lunch time the wind had shifted more to a more southerly direction and we realised we could keep a good course with also the main up. After setting the main we now do about 8 kn again straight towards Hiva Oa. Great!
We have been on the boat for quite a while now but since we have only been doing long legs in steady trade winds we have not been forced to set, reef and taking down the sails that often. Of course all of us knows what needs to be done in the different situations but we saw a possibility for improving the teamwork of team Kenobi. Therefore we have now written down checklists and step by step descriptions of all the processes that involves the setting of the sails. This was a really good exercise and we could see the difference already today when we put the main up this morning. Soon we will do it like a professional team.
Now we are looking forward to a night with good speed again, and therefore probably less sleep...
Position: 7.03'S, 115.34'W
Distance sailed last 24h: 147M
Range Hiva-Oa: 1405M (-145)
Half way there!
While the sky is covered with thousands of stars I'm tired and trying to summarise a great and big day for us. During the early morning we past our half way mark (1470M) to Hiva-Oa, yeah! Unfortunately only two of us was up that early and could celebrate that with a proper toast, bastards. With weaker winds the whole day we only did 5-7 knots with full genoa. But with two fishing rods after the boat a single genoa is a lot easier to handle when the fish is hooked, and thats just what happened right after lunch. One of the rods started spinning really fast, we all did our trained procedure with bringing the rods in, starting the engines, bringing down the sails and started to chase down the fish. About 20 minutes later we hade our first Wahoo on the boat. A big one, 139cm and aprox 15kg, dinner was done for tonight!
We started our half way celebration with drinks and some delicious Wahoo sashimi, sooo good! (Lukas is awesome in the kitchen by the way!) After that we enjoyed the Foie gras that Olek kindly gave us with some sourdough bread, to this we popped a bottle of red. We ended our three course meal with Wahoo noodle soup and a couple of cold IPA's. Life at sea is great and we really know how to celebrate stuff, imagine when we get to Marquesas...
Position: 07.03'S, 113.13'W
Distance sailed last 24h: 181M
Range Hiva-Oa: 1550M (-169)
Midsummer feast and close encounter with The Blue Marlin
What a day! Good food and fishing but first some sailing stuff. We are now down in the area with strong winds we had seen on the GRIBs, time to do the change in sail setting. Dropped the main to run downwind with only genoa. We still do 7+ knots in the 20 knot winds and we can go straight on target. Even able to go a bit north to make up for the times when the wind backs. Seems like a good setting for now.
Then we had the Midsummer Feast! Tried to do it as Swedish as possible. Pickled herring (tuna), gravlax (tuna), boiled potatoes w mayo, baked bread (tasty but we really need some practice here), wästerbotten cheese (parmesan) and some snaps (rhum agricole infused w lime zest and mint). Håkan Hellström got to be our Swedish soundtrack. Took quick rotations at the tiller, toasting with snaps and beer in between. It really felt a bit like home which is completely bizarre, in the middle of the Pacific ocean and big waves rolling all around us!
We haven't been fishing much since the big tuna, just too much wind and waves and still much food left. But with the new sail setting it's easier so both rods go in. As a midsummer treat we caught a nice 2kg blue and yellow dorado on our blue and yellow bullet head lure that we call "Svennen". We put Svennen back in and BANG! A big splash and I see a huge blue marlin, maybe 100kg, thrusting in the surface. This is my dream fish, if I catch it I promise I can stop fishing all together. It does a big run to port almost emptying the reel at once. I yell to Hampus and Simon, who are following protocol and going upwind to take in the sail, to just follow it downwind instead with cranked engines. Figure that would be my only chance to get some line back. But then the fish does a 180 and comes straight for the boat! Three meters from the stern it came flying by in the surface, leaving the line in a big u-shaped bow of slack. I frantically try to take in the slack but when i do the fish is gone, line cut in the middle. We will miss Svennen but it was a worthy fish that took it, we really got outplayed this time. It was an amazing experience to see this massive and beautiful fish furiously crashing by the boat just a couple meters away, it will haunt me for some time!
Just one hour later we get another big strike. This time definitely a tuna since it went straight down 300m and refused to let Johan reel in any line. Unfortunately it came loose too, at least had the good taste to leave the lure. 15 min later Johan reels in the lure to check something and gets a bite from a smaller fish that also get away. Well played, fish.
Soon time for our interpretation of Swedish midsummer dinner - pancakes with whipped cream and strawberry jam. And best of all is that tomorrow is the real big celebration of the trip, the Midway Party!! Should be hitting the midway mark in the night (1460M) so tomorrow will be dedicated to eating and drinking all of the good treats we have left, no point in bringing them ashore. Also, there will be fishing.
Position: 6.22’S, 110,28’W
Distance sailed last 24h: 199M
Range Hiva-Oa: 1719M
The first two hours of my night shift started out really comfortable with steady winds and I could do with just a hoodie since it wasn’t that cold. Then all of a sudden things changed. A squall hit us with strong winds and a lot of rain. You couldn’t see anything and it looked like someone put a grey sheet around Kenobi. The wind direction was changing, hard to get a grip on and we had to go more south than we wanted to.
I had of course forgot my rain jacket in the cabin and was left to steer soaked in the rain since I could not let go of the wheel because of the strong winds. Lucky for me, Simon woke up by the weather and could hand me my rain jacket while still in his underwear. Lukas who had the shift after me woke up earlier as well and we were all three out to survey the situation. The winds had stabilized by then and we could continue with the same sail setup. Although, later during the night Lukas was also hit by a squall.
The crew has been pretty tired the whole day because of the bad sleep we got during the night. I woke up to eat breakfast at 09 before going back to bed shortly after. Woke up again at lunch for the next meal and to do some work. Unfortunately, the hatch to the space where we stash a lot of our food had been leaking during the rain so the area and some of the food packaging had to be dried. Fortunately, no food got bad and had to be thrown away since it’s either in cans of protected by plastic bags.
Tomorrow we will celebrate Swedish midsummer with a midsummer themed lunch. We started preparing some of the food today and also made a chocolate cake as dessert after today’s dinner! Very good, thanks for that Hampus.
As I’m writing this the sun has come down and no moon is out so it’s like sailing in a black box. You steer by staring at the compass and just have to take the waves as they come, nothing to see and anticipate. Just before the sun came down we set a reef on the main sail and took in some of the genoa in case the winds start picking up again. All in all, its been a fun eventful day and I can’t wait for all the good things to eat tomorrow!
Position: 05.42'S, 107.24'W
Distance sailed last 24h: 183M
Range Hiva-Oa: 1900M (-179)
New time zone on Kenobi
In total one third of the passage distance covered today!
Yet another day of great sailing, about 8kn straight towards the Marquesas all day long basically. Today we sailed a distance of 183M according to the GPS. A few days now close to 200M covered in 24h but still waiting to make it, we will let you know as soon as we do. The weather has changed a bit and this afternoon came the clouds, we even had some rain for an hour or so. The guys off duty spent most of the afternoon in the salon or in their cabins. Lets hope the sun is back tomorrow.
Today we put our clock back one hour, now Kenobi time is 9h behind Sweden (CET). Not really sure its the correct time (time zone wise) but it works for us. We decided to do this every 15 degrees we travel westward (=360' / 24), we will have to do it another two times during this passage to keep up. Its amazing how fast the time of sun set and sun rise change while you are making way straight westward, or eastward.
Since leaving the Galapagos we have not seen any marine life at all, only company have been some occasional birds following the boat (to be honest, not that interesting...). During breakfast this morning three dolphins showed up, we love to watch these guys playing about in the waves of the bow of the boat. One of them made a huge jump and waved his tail fin in the air before landing hard on his stomach, ouch! We tried to catch them on film under water but it was too hard to keep the GoPro stick in the water at the speed we were making, hopefully we got a few shots of them at least. Later during the afternoon we also passed by a lone sea turtle, wonder what that fellow was doing all the way out here.
Catch you later!
Position: 05.14'S, 104.24'W
Distance sailed last 24h: 186M
Range Hiva-Oa: 2079M (-177)
Our days at sea goes by fast and so does Kenobi in these strong winds.
We are now well into our routines and shifts. It only takes a day or so to come into the rhythm of sleeping and taking turns standing at the helm.
We have divided the day in three hour shifts. We have 9 hours between our shifts, with the little exception for "the Molgan shift" every day between 12-15. At the Molgan shift we take turns steering while the others do our crossing routines and other maintenance work. Food should be at the table everyday at 12:00 and 17:30 (of course, we also have a running schedule for this) So, some days you need to get up at 03:00 and steer for three hours in the dark and then go to bed. Or if your lucky to have the afternoon shift with the warm sunset next to you, or as I prefer, the sunrise shift between 6-9, thats a pretty nice way to start your day.
Crossing routines that needs to be checked during the Molgan shift:
Both motors every 10:th running hour.
Fruits and veggies needs to be checked every 3:rd day.
Rigging, sails and ropes check every 3:rd day.
Clean the cockpit 3:rd day.
Crew meeting 4:th day.
Clean inside 5:th day.
Run the water-maker every 5:th day.
Battery water 7:th day.
And of course all other maintenance that comes up along the way... But over and all we have much time to just enjoy our life at sea!
As you might tell, our days goes by pretty fast with all the work that needs to be done. But we like to keep our boat in good condition and really look forward to getting to Marquesas fast!
Position: 04.38'S, 101.42'W
Distance sailed last 24h: 178M
Range Hiva-Oa: 2268M (-152)
We are now well down in the trade wind belt we've been seeing on the GRIB weather charts at about 4-9 degrees south. What has been surprising is that we've had wind all the way here. A fresh S breeze that didn't show in the GRIBs or was experienced by friends sailing some days ahead of us! Before leaving we expected we'd have to motor a couple days SW to catch the trades but so far only had to run the engines a couple hours, going WSW by wind. It really makes all the difference and spirits on board never been better.
The trade wind we're in now is a lot more easterly so we have to focus and try to steer as much north as we can. The bearing to Hiva-Oa is currently at 262 degrees and we can only do 252 since we need 60 degrees off the wind, otherwise the main shadows the genoa and it starts flapping (backward tilted spreaders so no "butterfly" sail setting for us, grr). If the wind holds we'll keep this course a couple days more since the trades looks a couple knots stronger south of 6 degrees, approx 17kn. Then we may consider dropping the main and sail only by genoa to be able to go a more direct route. Oh well, everything has probably changed by the time we get there.
Also, we baked our first sour dough bread today! Turned out a bit staunchy but was pretty great with some peanut butter and fried plantines. Now got some tips by email from sour dough guru Henrik back home, have high hopes for the next one.
Position: 03.49’S, 98.49’W
Distance sailed last 24h: 192M
Range Hiva-Oa: 2420M
I woke up just before 00:00 to start my three-hour night shift at the helm. From the boats movement I could instantly feel that we had picked up some speed! At Galapagos the crew switched cabins for the first time so now I was finding out how it’s like living in one of the front cabins. There you can really feel how the boat moves through the water and sometimes your bed likes to throw you in the air when hitting big waves! While it’s calmer in the back there is no real problem sleeping in the front. I actually prefer the front cabins because of their layout and higher distance to the ceiling. They don’t have as much storage as the ones in the back but still enough for the personal stuff we’re bringing.
I switched seats with Hampus who had the previous shift and enjoyed some smooth sailing with speeds around 8-9 knots together with a bright moon shining the way! It was great to feel some resistance in the wheel while trying to keep the boat on a steady course. Weaker winds during previous days allowed us to steer with our feet, monkey-style. It has really become second nature to us but not ideal when the wind is picking up.
During the day the wind got even stronger and we hit speeds around 9-10 knots with my personal record of 10.7 knots. With the sun shining the whole day we couldn’t believe how good of a start we have had on this leg of the journey.
Today we also had our first of many reoccurring crew meetings. During these meetings we discuss how things are going and bring up stuff that might have bothered us or good things that we should continue doing. The crew felt good about everything and had nothing major to discuss. We only added some extra cleaning routines and put one person in charge of bringing out the daily fruit platter :) Very important business!
The engines got their routine check and we ran the water maker for a few hours. Running the water maker is something we will be doing every five days to keep the filters clean and produce drinking water. We have had water from old filters and would very much like to not drink that again… Fish is still on Kenobi’s menu and for lunch we ate yesterday’s tuna tartar and ceviche for dinner. All is good!
Position: 03.21'S, 95.52'W
Distance sailed last 24h: 145M
Range Hiva-Oa: 2608M
Beautiful beginning of the third day. Last night I did the 18-21 shift and I got a good eight hours of sleep until I it was time to take over the helm again at 06 this morning. The sun was just rising and we did 7-8 knots over ground, pritty nice! All of Kenobi crew got a good rest with the boat gently rocking in the calm ocean, for once all of us had breakfast together at 09. The good conditions lasted all day with clear blue skies and good speed, even though the wind dropped occasionally we definitely felt like we gained a lot of ground today. During the afternoon we had a big front of clouds ahead of us but it kept away from our path, sun kept shining.
We have a routine of regularly checking our stock of fresh fruits and veggies. Now when we have a lot of them its important to make sure they are in good shape and remove bad ones so that mould don't spread. These super nice freshly picked fruits don't last as long as the boring ones you get at your supermarket at home. We were "forced" to eat a big papaya, and a whole bunch of passionfruit were getting too ripe so we made a load of passionfruit jam to keep in the fridge. We could not resist the opportunity to also make an exotic drink or two from our harvest.
The food we eat is amazing. Today we had oatmeal porridge with caramelised banana and passionfruit for breakfast, spicey tuna for lunch and asian style tuna tartar for dinner. We should probably write a sailors cook book as soon as we get home, Kenobi cooking!
The smooth sailing continues and the spirit is still on top at Kenobi.
Position: 2.3'S, 93.40'W
Distance (last 24h): 128M
Range Hiva-Oa: 2749M
My night shift
With my coffee cup between both my hands it warms up nicely on my first hour on the night shift while I'm looking at the bright path the moon is making in front of me. In almost straight course to Marquesas and 7 knots speed I can easily sit and steer with both my feet on the wheel in absence of our autopilot. It feels good to hear the sound of water washing up on both sides while we break through the waves in this speed. I can also hear our wind generator got its life back, but thats all signs of life-form out here since the small little birds that been following us is now gone. At 5-8 knots the whole day with clear blue sky and bright sun on all our new sliced tuna hanging on starboard side for drying, we have really enjoyed our second day at sea. Good conditions and fresh fish on the menu, Tuna a la Kenobi for lunch and our new favorite Ventresca, the delicious part of the tuna stomach for dinner, all this with fresh vegetables and cold beer. Life is wonderful on Kenobi :)
As the sails get lit up by the sun rising behind me, Hampus is not one minute too early for taking over his shift at 06:00 and I'm off to bed, good night.
Position: 1.15'S, 91.42'W
Distance sailed last 10h: 48M
Range Hiva-Oa: 2874M
Insane fishing on first day
Left the anchorage at 08:00. The german couple on HR40 Infinity saluted with their horn. Light southernly winds, set full sails. Two fishing rods in the water. 9:15 we get a strike! Up comes a 5kg sierra, similar to spanish mackerel. While starting to clean it the same rod gets another hit. This time a nice 1,5kg spotted rose snapper. Two new species! Typical Galapagos. Done cleaning and Isabela about to disappear on the horizon - big strike on the same rod!! Lure w pink/white skirt and caviator head is on fire today. This time furl the genoa and follow the fish with motor and main in the light winds. After 45 min Lukas' arms are soar and we can finally land big yellowfin tuna. Scale is broken but it's 132cm long, 80cm around. Maybe 30kg? Biggest fish of the trip, what a way to start! We did amazing sierra ceviche for lunch and oven baked snapper with fresh herbs from Troyas farm for dinner. Crazy. For the tuna: stomach part (the fattest, tastiest meat) and a couple kilos fil
let kept fresh in the fridge, 7kg boiled and picked in vinegar in airtight boxes. 4 kg cut into stripes for drying - 2 kg marinating in soy sauce and srirasha, 2 kg in salt brine. Will hang them to dry tomorrow morning. After the tuna the wind picked up, we had a beam reach all day doing 7-9 knots most of the day (did not put the rod back in). Please let it stay this way! Ok that was a really long post, get excited about the fishing. On my night shift now and must focus on steering. Wind has died down a little, big moon is up. Over & out.