almost half way to the Marquesas, and all is well. This is now the longest passage
I’ve ever made – a milestone. Conditions have been good: consistent trade
winds of from ten to twenty knots from the east southeast on the port
quarter, light to moderate seas, rolling and slatting sails at a minimum. We
tried to hold our course at one degree south for the first one thousand miles
to get the most push from the west-setting South Pacific equatorial current,
but the wind angle required more of a southwesterly course to minimize
rolling. We are now at five degrees south and the current is north of us.
For the first week our speed over ground averaged seven knots and our
daily distances ranged from 130 to 157 nautical miles. Not bad for a boat filled
to the ceilings with diesel, fuel and provisions. . . .
We haven’t seen one boat since leaving the Galapagos, seen one target on
the radar, received one alert on the AIS, seen one plane or heard one voice on
the radio. The eastern South Pacific has to be one of the loneliest places on the
We haven’t had to use the engine at all since leaving the Galapagos. . .
It’s nice to be almost half way to the Marquesas with all fuel tanks full.
Log entry, 22 October: Day 12. Yesterday a wonderful sight – a huge pod of
dolphins raced on to us and swarmed all around the boat for half an hour.
They were darting and weaving everywhere, under the boat and from side to
side and circling around from bow to stern, some leaping into the air. There
were a couple hundred of them, the largest pod I’ve ever seen . . .
Log entry, 28 October: Day 18. We are now 2600 miles west of the Galapagos
with about 500 to go. We’ve fallen in to a comfortable routine, splitting the
night into two watches, reading, napping, polishing stainless during the day.
Eating well. No rain. Starry nights. A freighter, bound for Tahiti according to
the AIS, passed us yesterday – the first vessel we encountered in more than two
Log entry, 30 October: Day twenty. More of the same – delightful South Seas
tradewinds sailing. The days are sunny, scattered white clouds, stiff winds, but
reefing sails hasn’t been necessary as Gillean demonstrates again her easy, sea-kindly
motion. We have had some 25 knot winds with boat speeds briefly exceeding
her 8.5 knot hull speed, but she moves steady and easy. Seas have been up the last
few days – six to nine feet – but it’s been a comfortable reach the whole way.