4th week on the Pacific Ocean: Good and bad news halfway

Peter and Pierrot are halfway the Pacific now. The bad news: Pierrot twisted his ankle, the fishes disappear with the fishing gear, and Ya meets some squalls. Read on for more good and bad news!

Full and by

Day 1. Sat Apr 20 2024

Since we hit the 3 degrees south theoretically we could go in a straight line with a course of 245 degrees to Gambier.
But because we are on a sailing boat we never really go straight, we do the best we can with the wind, waves, and currents. We opt for the better course so that we can take the maximum speed out of it and so that we can be the most comfortable.
This is the reason that we go more to the south. We come in the east/south-eastern winds.
We are at the moment sailing full and by: outher jib, stay sail, main sail and mizzen.
Our average speed is about 5 knots. If the trade winds keep blowing, then we would arrive in Gambier in about 3 weeks.

Steady and stable

Day 2. Sun Apr 21 2024

This morning the wind dropped, picked up, changed in direction. Peter was busy with trimming till 11 o’clock. Then, the wind started to blow with the same speed and from the same direction. It hardly happens, but from that time till now, 6 o’clock, we didn’t touch the sheets nor the rudder, nothing. This is stable weather.
After Pierrots catch of the kingfish two weeks ago, no fish bites anymore. Pierrot keeps on trying. But, since we passed the enormous industrial fishing ships with their nets of many miles long, Peter is afraid that here is no fish left anymore. Also a stable situation, but Pierrot does not give up.

Half way

Day 3. Mon Apr 22 2024

Last night we passed the 1900 miles. So we are half way to Gambier. We are three and a half weeks underway now. The first 800 miles, with the doldrums in it, were really time consuming. Sometimes we only did 30 miles a day. But now we do a daily 110 to 120 miles. So if everything goes smooth, like it should on this puddle jump, we will see our destination in about two and a half weeks from now.

Meanwhile we discussed the fossil free way of cooking, of living, and how you stand in life, in society, that sort of things.
So, great discussions here on Ya, with only the trade winds blowing and an ocean of waves around us.

Pierrot sits

Day 4. Tue Apr 23 2024

Yesterday evening while trying to cool down some homemade yoghurt, Pierrot fell down the stairs and twisted his ankle badly.
After cooling it down for 2 hours in seawater and wind, Peter made him a beautiful bandage, all there was left to do was rest.
When Pierrot woke up for his watch, Peter had changed course to make it more confortable and made a beautiful setup to steer the boat so that Pierrot has to move as little as possible.

During the day
Pierrot sits down and slackens the sheats for Peter
Pierrot sits down and Peter brings him the fishinggear for him to fix it
Pierrot sits down and read a book while Peter makes diner
Pierrot sits down and Peter brings him his laptop
Pierrot sits down and eats the pork and vegtable cury Peter made

Peter has to work twice as much and Pierrot can only sit down and wait for the pain to go away.

The worst part is,
All this happened for the yoghurt that turned out bad anyway

142 miles last day

Day 5. Wed Apr 24 2024

Now the wind is perfect, the waves not to high and we can put Ya on a beautiful running course of about 100-120 degrees from the wind. Last 24 hours we did 142 miles; that is nearly 6 knots. A 12 meter yacht generally makes about 120 or 125 miles per day. The hull speed (the maximum speed) of this length is about 8 knots. But Ya is only 10 meters long and has a hull speed of 7.2 knots.
Since we are out of the doldrums, our daily mileage has increased. We started with 90 miles and it increased every day. Although from 110 miles a day in little steps.
The nice thing of such high speed is that the hydrogeneration charges well. That is also necessary, because one of the two propellor alternators doesnot charge anymore. Combined with the unfortunate angle that we make to the sun, we don’t generate much energy. But the batterybank contains 62% the last days so we will manage it to Gambier, no worries.

The dinner. Now because of Pierrots wristed ankle, Peter is cooking. Lucky us, we ate the stew from the freezer that Pierrot made last week. So no worries, we will survive.

Good news, bad news

Day 6. Thu Apr 25 2024

With the change of watch, Pierrot told Peter:
“I have some good news and some bad news”
“Tell me” said Peter

“Bad news: We are at 58% on the batteries, so we lost 4% since yesterday.
The good news: With the wind we have we are now charging a little and we can unreef.”

  • “Ok, we can handle that.”
  • “There is more. Good news: We have caught 2 big fishes. Bad news: the 2 fishing lines coudnt resist and broke.”

-“Is there also just good news?”
-Yes there is. I gave one last try to fix the broken keyboard on my laptop, and it started working again! And, my foot is feeling much better and I can walking on it a bit already.

-“That is great. A day starting with more good news than bad news will be a good day.”

And yes indeed, it turned out that way. Especially because Pierrot’s foot is doing that well, so he is back in the galley cooking again.


Day 7. Fri Apr 26 2024

This morning we could hoist the Parasailor. Beautiful. So we took the sails down: Outerjib furled in and taken from the bowsprit back into the bag. Then, to lower the main sail we have to go upwind. Instead of using the engines, we do that by sailing so we hoist the mizzen to get the ship upwind.
Then when all was down, we hoisted the Parasailor. But, something went wrong so we had to lower the sail again and we would have to fix it in the wind shadow of the main sail. So, mizzen up, then the main sail up, then the Parasailor up to fix the problem, then the Parasailor down again, then the mainsail down, then the mizzen down, then the Parasailor up again.

This afternoon the wind was a bit too strong and there were squals coming. So, we lowered the Parasailor. We hoisted the staysail, the mizzen and the mainsail again, put the outerjib on the bowsprit and hoisted that one.

So a lot of hosting and lowering this day. Ever tried it? Now, the hands of Peter are red and a bit painful, and Pierrot has a blister here and there.

What came out of Pierrots blistered cooking hands was a great Penne Bolognese.