Off at Last

At last we are at sea, after a departure which was not without incident. The torturous channel out of the bay has only enough water for deep drafted vessels at the top of the tide. For us this was just before nightfall. With our pilot aboard we let go our fore and aft mooring lines and promptly fouled our propeller with an old, sunked mooring line. Against the tide we needed the assistance of 4 dinghies to hold Tainui off adjacent boats while the prop was cleared.

helping hands

helping hands

Off we went. Pedro, our genial pilot, left the boat in the bay and we motored out into the dusk in choppy waters against a 15 knot headwind.

For the first 6 hours we dodged unlit fishing pirogues in the bay. They brought themselves to our attention by shining powerful lights into our faces from frighteningly close up. Poor Rosie freaked.

We crossed the busy shipping lanes and a 50 mile band of larger fishing boats and it was not until 10 hours after departure that we were alone, motor sailing slowly into a fresh headwind.

24 hours later though, the wind backed. out came the big genoa and off we romped. It is surprising how cool the nights are here, just 35 miles south of the equator.

Now, half way to Galapagos, we have calm seas, a steady southerly breeze and a booby which has taken up residence on the pulpit. Rosie says he’s a red-footed booby, intermediate stage. He’s been with us now for 24 hours and is quite happy we think.

Little storm petrels skitter over the water, white-tailed tropic birds circle cautiously and a solitary shark crosses our wake.

This is truly dream sailing, with dry decks and a steady 8 knots of boat speed.

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