Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Billabong begins cruising season 3

Current Location: Underway from Majuro, Marshall Islands
Current Position: 03°37.00' N 174°58.47' E
Next Destination: Samoa, Wallis & Futuna, or Fiji
Approx Miles Traveled: 370
Approx Miles to Go: 1430

You know it's time to leave when a cockroach the size of a small kitten
flies from shore, through your open hatch and lands on your bare back in
the middle of the night. I am thankful for two things; that Chris is
the one who sleeps directly under the hatches, and that he has very
quick reflexes (which he used to capture and destroy the unwanted

With light winds and flat seas predicted we departed Majuro on Monday,
May 15th. Even I, the non-sailor, thought the conditions were pretty
comfortable. In order to make it to Western Samoa or Wallis & Futuna,
we need to get pretty far east, and have therefore been pinching every
degree possible - slowly inching our way over. We haven't been
completely successful - as we didn't make the Eastern side of Milli, but
have since been able to make up a few degrees.

Our first two days at sea were beautiful, winds were light, but enough
to keep us moving around 5 knots … and the seas were some of the best
we've had (in my opinion) since leaving Ventura. Chris dove right into
his reading, already finishing over five books. I held off, testing out
some new sea-sickness remedies (which include not reading in the first
few days, and so far seem to be working). We've had a few bites on the
fishing lines, but nothing hooked - we aren't trying to hard yet as I
precooked five days worth of food that we have to first get through
before we have room for fish. We also spotted a large pod of small
dolphins, who didn't hesitate to show off with some amazing jumps.

Over the last day and half the wind has been on and off, and we've had
to motor over fifteen hours. So far it looks like we might have to
continue motoring for a bit longer. The positive side of motoring is
that we are able to get further east. As of now we still haven't
determined whether our landfall will be Samoa, Wallis and Futuna, or Fiji.
We've been lucky to not hit too many squalls and so far the passage has
been relatively dry. We are slowly getting back into the groove of
passage making; rediscovering our sea rhythms after four months at
anchor. The trip up to the Marshall Islands was deceiving with all the
stops we made; most of our "passages" were easy one or two nighter's.
We hadn't realized, until preparing for our passage back south, that we
had covered over 1800 n.miles! With a potential two weeks left at sea,
we'll have plenty of time to get our sea legs!

The most ironic thing-the DAY AFTER leaving our last package finally
arrived in Majuro!!! Unbelievable! Luckily a few boats are still in
Majuro and will be heading in our direction, so with any luck we'll hook
up with the package in Fiji.

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