Landfall – Nuku Hiva

We were registered in the Pacific Puddle Jump. This is a very loose association of boats from all over the world who, at least this year, provided daily updates regarding their position, and in some instances, interesting things that happened to them that day. Our daily updates can be seen at the link “Where is Marathon”. Location data plus blog text are there.

We recently completed a questionnaire for the Puddle Jump organizers and here is the text that we submitted which provides some historical data:

SV Marathon – Pacific Puddle Jump 2019 – Data for Latitude 38 Survey

Boat Name: Marathon
Boat type/maker & Length: Beneteau Idylle 11.50 – 11.50 metres
Owner’s Names: Nello and Sheridan Angerilli
Boat’s Homeport: Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Departed: San Jose del Cabo, BCS, Mexico. 25 March 2019
Landfall: Taiohae Bay, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia, 22 April 2019
Days for crossing: 29
Miles logged: 2743
Crossed equator at: 131 47.68W
Engine hours total: 19 (may include an hour or two for power generation)
% time handsteering: 1.5%
% time steering with autopilot: 2.73%
% time steering with wind vane: 96%
Best 24h mileage: 139nm
Worst 24h mileage: 48.5nm
Highest sustained wind speed: 25kts
Highest wind gust: 30kts?

Number of fish caught: 0 (not counting flying fish landing on deck)
Gear breakage/failures:
i. Fridge controller failed 2 or 3 days before landfall.
ii. Contaminated fuel led to an extra day at sea because we had to id the problem, change a filter, bleed the fuel line and this took so long, we had to wait an additional night to sail/motor into Taiohae Bay. This was an ongoing problem but was fixed in Tahiti by draining and cleaning the tank and all the fuel.
iii. Whisker pole topping lift wire bale broke.
iv. A hose clamp came off the pressure water system in the head. Lots of lost fresh water and lots of wet paper products. Most of the latter were salvaged and we have a water maker on board so the water could be replaced.
v. Vesper Watchmate 650 gave an incorrect “No GPS Signal” warning for about 10 days and then reverted to normal.
vi. Main sail clew shackle fell off but did not go overboard.

Expectations vs Reality.
Duration was harder than expected and the voyage was more exhausting physically and mentally than anticipated.

Highpoints: Days of sailing in nearly perfect conditions – the boat, the sea and the wind were in nearly perfect balance. Enjoying the 360 degree unfettered few of a perfect ocean. Stars and fluorescence at night. Crossing an ocean and the equator is not a trivial undertaking – the sense of satisfaction was enormous.

Lowpoints: Duration of the trip and the constant movement of the boat, sometimes in very uncomfortable ways, were sometimes problematic. Mild nausea and disinterest in food at the beginning of the voyage. Personal hygiene can be challenging. Heat at the equator and beyond.

Crossing the Equator: We gave a tot of rum to Neptune at the time of crossing and had one each too. We did more of a celebration the following day for lunch – a special lunch with champagne!

Feelings on landfall: Woohoo!

Advice: Given the number of people we have met for whom the voyage was not the destination, I recommend trying this on somebody else’s boat before committing to preparing your boat and taking it “downhill” to an interesting destination like French Polynesia. If its all about the sailing for you, and the duration is not a concern, it is a great experience. If it is the destination that is the attraction, there are easier and cheaper ways to get here. If the destination is also not to your liking (we have met some people for whom this is true), then getting the boat back to where you started is either very difficult or very expensive or both.

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