I think Fathom and I are as ready as we’ll ever be for the long passage to the Marquesas Islands. Yesterday we departed the anchorage at La Playita and spent several hours motoring in no wind before having a nice sail over the last few miles to the island of Isla Contadora in the Perlas Islands. This morning I went up the mast to check everything over before it got too hot, replaced the self steering lines and went over the side to give the waterline and propeller a scrub. Unfortunately the bottom isn’t as clean as I would like, quite a few barnacles have got a grip and some will have to make the passage with us. The boat is full to the brim with stores there is not one bit of space in any locker or cupboard. Highlight of my fresh food provisioning is probably the box of green bananas I purchased at the large local market for 10 dollars, a bargain. Only trouble is I have 100 of them and they are bound to ripen all at once! In addition to the 220 litres of water and 110 litres of diesel in the main tanks, there is an extra 100 litres of diesel in jerry cans and just over 100 litres of bottled water. Waterline, what waterline?
I have heard many good things about the Perlas Islands but as I am already tucking into the fresh food and water want to get cracking asap. Intend to set off in the next hour or two. It is quite hard to prepare mentally for such a long trip alone, nearly 4,000 nautical miles, more than double the Atlantic crossing. The intertropical convergence zone (doldrums) and large areas of calms are sure to be frustrating and may drive me mad but I know conditions will improve once I am far enough south to reach the S.E trade winds. It looks like two or three days of N.E breeze to get Fathom out of the Bay of Panama. There is an option to pull into the Galapagos Islands if very short on diesel or water but will avoid if I can. The cost and regulations for visiting yachts these days is sadly not making these islands a viable option for those of us on a budget.
A quick mention of my inreach tracker which sends tracking points to the map on my blog. Yesterday it malfunctioned and wouldn’t update the map but today it seems to be working again. Hopefully it will keep on working but who knows. Don’t be alarmed if it stops.
Bye for now.