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_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

On passage to Tahiti June 6, 9:00AM 16deg41'S, 147deg25'W (Ginger)

We've had a good passage so far. Marcy is burbling along on a broad reach in a comfortable (but not fast) warm Polynesian breeze. The seas are small, the sun is sparkling on the wave tops, and a boobie is circling. We started out in light winds which got lighter over night but somehow Peter managed to eke 3 knots out of the wind and we're back up to a comfortable 5 knots this morning. We were lucky to turn on the radio last night for the warm up session of the Seafarers net and hear our friends
on Pacifica calling. They're torturing us with stories of incredible shave ice at their anchorage in Hawaii.

The Tuamotus were fantastic. The lagoons are vast, the size is impressive. Inside it's like being on a lake 35 miles long and 10 miles wide. Once on the lagoon the ocean is invisible, except for occasional glimpses. The waves stop and the surf is typically a 10 minute walk across a motu or island. We didn't go to the south side of either atoll we visited. Occasionally when the surf was very large we could see the full force of the waves as a white plume would rise high enough to be seen over
the horizon. Typically the south sides have lots of coral heads and are difficult to traverse so we stuck with the less difficult but still tricky north sides. One of the most noteworthy advantages of the Tuamotus was the radio reception. We were able to clearly hear other ham radio stations and email stations though most of them were over 3000 miles away. The snorkeling, of course, was great and the quiet slow pace of "deserted island life" was enjoyable. As we approach the Society Islands
we're bracing for the big city and lots of people and boats. It sounds as if our most crowded anchorage with 9 boats off the town of Rotoava in the Tuamotus will seem like isolation compared to the most quiet anchorage in the Societies.

As the moon is waning and rising later the stars are easy to pick out. Since the equator we've enjoyed several stars and planets every night. My favorite planets are "easty" and "westy". We don't have a nautical almanac on board right now so I re-named those 2 planets. I also found a "new" constellation. "Giant Ray" has been our early evening companion for several months. It's actually the head of scorpion but the tail always came up on Peter's watch for the first week of seeing it so I made
up my own constellation. Of course there's the southern cross, or as another boat said it looks more like the southern kite. Even without the moon there is so much light from the planets and stars it is easy to make out all the details on deck. When the full moon comes up it's just like a dark rainy day in Seattle. As we do have a constellation book on board we've even read a little by moon light.

The propane seems to be holding out so there's still a little instant coffee for Peter and at this speed we're planning to arrive in Papeete tomorrow morning so the prognosis is good for coffee for the whole trip.

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