Wednesday 25th November

10:00 forecast. – E -ESE 12, 00:00 S 6, 03.00 SSE 6/9. Doesn’t really apply until I get out of the island effect but fighting long and hard, then to be faced with S and SSE doesn’t excite me. This is turning into a bit of a disaster. I drifted south on para anchor but also east which means I now have to re row 2nm, there’s two hours of my life I won’t get back..

18:30 GMT – Got through the night, struggled around 16:00 but ok now. Made 7nm in 8.5 hours, 6nm to go to 166° when I should be out of the islands wind shadow. If it takes 6 hours, just in time for S wind. First 4 hours last night I had S/SW wind, light but still headwind, then miracle of miracles it turned ESE, no strength, hardly moved the flag, 40 minutes later it turned NW and stayed there until now. Also got north and north east swell to contend with, nothing going my way, everything fighting against me. The south current is due south so that’s not helped and I’m going a bit north now, could be the current isn’t strong enough to combat the swell.

No choice but to push on, at 166° the current is supposed to be SSW, if the wind is S/SSE then para anchor may be only option.

06:00 GMT – Well as I thought I was going north, the south/ SW wind was back, spent 4 hours grinding against it and I made 166° just before 00:00. Just in time for some stronger south wind, it was forecast at 6/9 knots but was well above that. It’s been scorching hot all day, the wind up to 166° was just enough to make it hard but not enough to cool me down. At least when I got the stronger south wind I knew I was out of the island wind shadow. Two hours later the wind went SSE as forecast, this was really a lot stronger than forecast, at least 15 knots if not more. I won’t bore you by moaning only to say for less than 18nm, I rowed for 17.5 hours with one 20 minute stop. With the strong SSE at the end, I decided to use the para anchor and wait for the east wind forecast for 2 or 3 hours from now, get up early and add the 1.5 hours on in better conditions. I just got the new forecast from Tony, the east wind has vanished and to make it worse I have 3 days of SE/SSE wind to cope with. Not sure I shouldn’t have jumped in the resupply boat.

I’m keeping this short tonight for obvious reasons. But I had two treats today, the second was very brief;

I saw some massive splashes in the swell, it obviously wasn’t a breaking wave, it sounded all wrong, about 30 seconds later, two whale flukes popped out of the water and crashed down making a large cracking sound. Never saw the whales but it was cool non the less.

I was rowing along and saw a big, and I mean big grey shape in the water, I jumped up and thought it was a shark, had white spots down its side. It passed behind the boat, I could now see it was a Blue Marlin, the spots had gone though, had a look to see if there were two, nope. This guy was nearly as long as the boat, massive, then I saw another Yellowfin Tuna not looking to good hiding under the boat. The marlin circled away then shot under the boat, as he did so, his sides lit up with iridescent blue stripes. The Tuna must have got out of the way but the Marlin did this 7/8/9 times. Eventually I had to get going but what an encounter, incredible fish. Hope I got some good footage, it was hard to miss him but he moved fast.

I’ll try and do a bit better tomorrow, not sure if I can drift yet. Just going out to check.

John

Out
Notes

Mike: 30nm a day would be good now. Have spare everything Mike, even have a spare hat, it’s a critical piece of kit.

Brian: Sounds like a perfect day Brian.

Dave: Don’t care, I’m heading straight there and keeping the GN’s, who put you in charge anyway?

Rob: The only boat magnet at the moment is Vanuatu, are you saying I look fat in the picture? Thought I was scrawny, we need a vote!

Geoff: Not sure about CC, they have a straight run, I have at least three or four more tough days. I’ll do my best.

Brian: Just got the weather, looks like three or four tough days before I can do any romping.

Glenn: Getting there Glenn today was a tough one.

Paul: It may take more than one to keep me happy, tough old place to leave for sure.