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Greetings from south of the equator…

April 15, 2013

Persephone and all hands arrived safely in the Marquises on April 12 after a 20 day 10 hour crossing from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We are clearly in another part of the world as we look out on lush rain forests and high peaks. Now we must struggle to communicate in another foreign language; French!
Our Mexico departure is a bit stressful as we finish provisioning and check out of the country. Randi and Wayne have joined us and their help is greatly appreciated as a steady stream of dock carts shuttle provisions to the boat and somehow find a home on Persephone. We have sacrificed the forward shower as a pantry and it is filled to capacity as are every little nook and cranny.
The weather forecast is for light winds through most of the week and many of the “Puddle Jumpers” headed for the South Pacific plan to leave when the wind fills in and provides a stronger connection to the north-east trade winds. But once we are loaded we slip our dock lines at 14:20 on Saturday and take advantage of some local wind and start our journey.
A whale puts on a show by breeching and “waving good-bye” to us as we sail out of Bandaras Bay. The wind holds for two days and we break free of the invisible force field of North America and make it to open ocean before it lightens and we pull out the spinnaker.
The next couple of days are spent sailing in 10 kts of wind as we continue to put miles behind us and search for the NE trade winds. On day-5 we are in the trades and racking up 24-hour runs of 150nm and more.
We enter the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) at 5.5 degrees north latitude and dodge rain squalls as we turn south. We exit the zone at about 3.5 degrees north where we lose our wind and must motor for a day before entering the SE trade winds.
We still keep an eye on the radar to see approaching squalls, especially at night when they quickly form and descend on us with rain and wind. None of the squall has winds above 25 kts, but they still require reefing of sails and altering of courses.
Our night watch schedules are relaxed with four of us aboard, each person standing 2.5 to 3 hours. The days are spent reading, eating, and napping with an ad hoc watch routine. Meals are always a much anticipated event and we often precede dinner with a cocktail hour. We find time to play “dice” which has become very competitive.
Randi is the first to spy land at 22:18Z on April 12. The wind dies late in the day and we must motor the last few hours to Atuona, Hiva Oa, and arrive after dark on a moonless night. The radar goes on the fritz as we enter the anchorage so we decide to anchor outside the breakwater. We awake the next morning and find ourselves in the middle of paradise. We are met by our agent Sandra who helps us check into the country while we try and adapt to the high temperature and high humidity.
We will leave Tuesday for Fatu Hiva where we will spend several days. It isn’t clear where we will find Internet next so this posting may have to last a while.

Landfall on Hiva Oa

Landfall on Hiva Oa

Anchorage at Atuona

Anchorage at Atuona

Being a tourist

Being a tourist

Exploring Atuona

Exploring Atuona

The view we woke up to

The view we woke up to

Whale in Bandaras Bay

Whale in Bandaras Bay

lots of spinnaker time

lots of spinnaker time

Cocktails with live music

Cocktails with live music

Ready to leave Puerto Vallarta

Ready to leave Puerto Vallarta

Chinese longliner

Chinese longliner

Randi making pizza

Randi making pizza

Dinner in the cockpit

Dinner in the cockpit


Wash day at sea

Wash day at sea

Squid and flying fish land on the boat at night

Squid and flying fish land on the boat at night

Dice in the cockpit

Dice in the cockpit

Mexican food night

Mexican food night

Wayne showers in a rain squall

Wayne showers in a rain squall

Too wet to be outside

Too wet to be outside

Sunset at sea

Sunset at sea

From → Travel

3 Comments
  1. Carolyn McDonald permalink

    Continuing to absolutely LOVE these updates! How lucky and blessed you are for such wonderful adventures. Love the pictures!

  2. Wow, great pics! Looks like the best stop so far. Can’t wait to meet up with you guys somewhere!

  3. Great Pictures, Lisa and I miss you guys, hope to catch up with you in or around New Zealand

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