Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Photo Essay: Marquesas Passage and Landfall

This photo essay accompanies the text from our Passage Notes and the Landfall at Hiva Oa blog posts. (Some of the initial photos appearing below have a blurry spot on them. Sorry:  I guess the lens needed cleaning.)


Passage from the Galapagos to the Marquesas



Dorado killer

I shouldn't look so happy to be taking another life, but this was the first mahi-mahi I ever caught! The fish also represented fresh meat on a trip in which, due to a variety of circumstances, we left port for a three-week passage with only two packs of frozen chicken in the refrigerator. (We had plenty of canned meat, just no fresh stuff.)
Wing and wing downwind sail configuration



The headsail is poled out on the left and the mainsail is on the right. What's all the spiderwebby stuff? Some of it is the standing rigging---stainless steel shrouds, or shadows of them seen through the mainsail. Some of it is the running rigging (lines) such as the spinnaker halyard (holding up the spinnaker pole at the far left) and the topping lift (behind the mainsail at the far right.) Some of it is made of the very thin lines comprising the lazyjacks, a sort of scaffolding that the sail collapses into when we strike it. 

Mainsail clew
The clew is the corner of the sail that attaches to the aft end of the boom.
Sailing downwind
Even though we were on a broad or beam reach 80% of the time during this crossing, all my pictures seem to be of running downwind. This picture shows a reef in the main. The baggy fabric at the bottom of the sail represents 40% of the sail area. We reduce sail when there is plenty of (or too much) wind in order to keep the boat stable. Even with the reef, the inclinometer over the companionway entrance probably shows an angle of heel of about 15 degrees. Reefing often (but not always) results in very little reduction of speed.
More wing and wing

This picture shows another downwind configuration with a reef in the main. I'm guessing we soon shook out the reef from the sail in the picture shown above. You can see that the headsail isn't full, and there are no white caps on the waves, meaning that the wind is probably under ten knots:  one of our few periods of light air on this voyage. 
Spinnaker Interlude


Cloud formations


These clouds haven't become squalls yet, but they're starting to get that flat-bottomed "squall line" look.
The co-pilot gets ready for night watch


This is the "airvane" part of our self-steering Monitor windvane. The wind pushes it. The airvane, in turn, is connected to a rudder-shaped paddle in the water, which steers to follow the wind. If the wind shifts, the windvane continues to steer to the wind and can steer you right off course---so it requires attention and periodic adjustments to the control lines affecting the angle of the airvane---however, it saves us from having to hand steer under most conditions. We also have an autopilot which can be use while motoring and in some conditions, under sail. But the autopilot is electronic; while the beauty of the windvane is its simplicity of design.

One way of collecting water

Yes, you guessed it. Another picture of the downwind configuration with a reefed main. Only in this case, we also have a reef in the headsail (it is partially furled) because we were sailing through a squall. If you compare this picture to the sunny picture titled More wing and wing above, you can see that the red logo in the lower corner of the headsail is missing (that's because it's rolled up) and that the overall area of the sail is smaller. The reason the mainsail is so baggy in this picture is because the reef caught a lot of water during that squall!

Landfall at Hiva Oa 

Landfall!

A clearer look at Hiva Oa, Marquesas

Rounding Cape Matafenua on the northeast corner of Hiva Oa

A jagged ridge connects the main island with the cape

Approaching Puamau near sunset
Tropical green:  safe at anchor in Baie Puamau

Sunrise over the Land of Men

Close-up of sentinel at the entrance to Baie Puamau

Broad reach to Atuona

Mohotani and Terihi as seen from the south side of Hiva Oa
Silhouette bringing it in
Salt crystals at the end of a voyage

The white, lichen-like spots you see on the plexiglass of the hatch cover are salt crystals. If you look closely, you can see a couple of large crystals on the varnished forward edge of the hatch cover, too. Every surface of the boat is covered with these after a passage.
  
Approaching Atuona
Mont Temetiu overlooking Tahauku Bay
Welcome to Paradise, you have arrived

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