March 6, 2012

Published: March 21st 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

We are rather frantic to buy final fuel, water and provisions. As well Jeff is looking for replacement pumps for the boat, especially the salt water wash down pump which would allow us to take salt water showers on deck prior to a fresh water rinse. No luck though, so it will mean using buckets of water instead. Ashleigh and I go to the municipal market where there are stalls with fresh produce and butchers. The sight of all the butchered animals and the meat being cut from them plus the sight of all the flies makes us not terribly anxious to stock the freezer with this meat. We do, however, buy 5 lbs. of ground beef then go to the market and buy 4 lbs. of frozen chicken breasts, too.

In the afternoon while sitting reading in the cockpit, a boat passes us close by causing a wake which sets the boom flopping back and forth which causes a line to go taut which scrapes the side of my head causing my expensive pair of sunglasses – and the only pair I have with me – to go flying into the water. I jump up unable to believe this all happened so quickly and I watch as they drift down into the water. The water is quite murky here, so even when Jeff goes in with a mask and snorkel to clean the waterline of Sea Falke, he cannot see anything on the bottom. Fortunately, we had had dinner the night before with the people on the catamaran next to us. They are avid divers. I call them on the radio and describe my plight. As luck would have it, they are planning to go diving in 10 minutes and will stop by and see what they can find. I had the sense to watch which way the glasses drifted as they sank and also to triangulate our position so I could describe the location if needed. Within minutes of diving, the woman finds my glasses right where I described they should be. Bad luck, good luck. . .I had it all this day.

We depart Academy Bay at 4:30 pm, Monday, March 5, 2012 to begin what will probably be the single longest passage any of us ever makes. From our departure point of Academy Bay, Galapagos to Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas is just over 3,000 miles. On board we have 125 gallons of water and 125 gallons of diesel. The water is a big concern since this trip may take up to 30 days and we have three people on board. That is only 5 gallons per day. Now this may not seem like so little, but in the heat and humidity we drink about ¾ gallon per person for a total of 2-1/4 gallons. That leaves another 2-3/4 gallons for showers (rinsing only), washing dishes, washing hands, cooking, making coffee and tea, etc. And the fuel can only motor us a total of 800 miles. There is very little wind right now so we may spend some of the passage bobbing up and down without making much progress. But, hey, this is all part of the adventure!
We begin standing watches. My first watch is midnight to 3 am. The nicest thing about the middle of the night. . .it is the closest we get to being cool.


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