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New photos album

Here is the link to the next photo album documenting our voyage from Tahiti to Tonga... It is difficult to find internet connections with enough band width to upload photos even here in Tahiti so I will try as best as I can along the way. We hope to visit, Bora Bora, the Cook Islands, Palmerston Island and Nui before arriving at Tonga for a  a big crew change over. Sign in as a follower of the album and you will get informed when new photos or text are posted. https://goo.gl/photos/Lq4GgBWDU86eSa8z9

Return to Tin Tin....

A lot has happened since my last blog soon after we head arrived in the îles Marquises back in mid April.

My journey back to England was uneventful and I was met at the airport by Matthew who had taken a day of work to greet me and ferry me back home from Heathrow. Matthew was the reason four my return as he was getting married just two days later!
I knew I had lost some weight since I wad last home in November 2106 but I was not really expecting to be able to fit into MY own wedding suit quite so well!

The Matthew and Lisa's wedding was a magnificent occasion, very much in their style and a 'great party' as one of the oldest guests commented! Not only have M&E spent months organising their wedding but they have also managed tho buy and move into their own house at the same time... A real feat of organisation and financial wizardry!

The following week were filled with all sorts of 'things that must be done' including sourcing and securing a number of spare p…

A whole day on Fatu Hiva....

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For the first time in 20 days we did not have a watch system so, after a great pasta and lentil supper washed down with a very smooth bottle of Sainsbury's Rioja we were all able to look forward to an unbroken night in bed. Well.. Not quite unbroken as it started to rain at about 2am when I went up to raise the cockpit hood.

I provided breakfast of bacon, American pancakes, butter and maple syrup followed by our normal oats and granola washed down with our normal breakfast drinks round of 2 teas (Emily and me), coffee(Paul) and decaffeinated coffee (Justin).

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I like to get as high as possible when visiting an island. It gives one a very much broader perspective of the surrounding environment and usually a fairly good workout as a bonus. So, Justin and I set off to follow the only road on the island which runs between the two inhabited valleys. The concrete road is the same one we followed yesterday when we walked up to an amazing waterfall wit…

Missing photos from previous blog

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I just checked tie 'Sent mail' folder and have found that only one photo was uploaded with my previous posting... I'm attaching the remaining two described in the last paragraph.

Pacific ocean... crossed!

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Today we completed our crossing of the open Pacific Ocean when arrived at the island of Fatu Hiva, the southernmost island of the Marquesas islands. Paul was on watch as dawn broke at 05:42 and was the first to spot the island as we approached from the south west. At this point the island was 30 miles away. The first impression was of the huge vertical cliff on the southern end.

Since leaving Puerto Ayora in the Galapagos on the 23rd March we have sailed and it has to be said, motored for some) 3024 nautical miles in 19 days 1hr. We had scurried around to source extra diesel on our last day in the expectation that we may have had to motor for nearly 2000 miles if there was not enough wind to keep us going at 5.5 knts. As it turned out we only had to motor for the first 3 and a bit days before we got enough wind to exceed the minimum speed we needed to get me to Hiva Oa in time for my flight to Papeete on the 16th April.

The crossing went very smoothly, we had enough a few things to …

The Bedraggled storm petrel...

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Overnight the winds increased into the thirties and as dawn broke and I handed over watch to Justin. I went forward to investigate a clanking sound Justin had been hearing in the night and found the deck strewn with tiny flying fish. Paul emerged about an hour later and we decided to bring down the main to give us more flexibility in terms of course as we are running almost down wind (and means we don't have to constantly be aware of he possibility of a slam gybe).

So we reefed the Genoa and tightened it so we could sail close hauled while we brought the main down.

At some point after me going forward and the main coming down a small storm petrel landed on the forward deck in a very sorry state, wet, bedraggled and exhausted. I went forward again to rescue it and wrapped it in a tea towel. It has dried off a little now and has done some preening and now looks more like a bird! We offered it one of the small flying fish but rather think it may be the biggest one it has ever seen! …

A busy day at sea...

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Yesterday (the 4th Apri) was a frustrating day in some ways. Despite two fishing lines being deployed each day, and perfect trolling speeds of 5-7 knts being sailed, there was not a single nibble, let alone strike, by any fish at all. So despondent was Justin that he decided to construct two home made lures (recommended by Steve who installed the new refrigeration unit back in Gosport. It was the same Steve who recommended using Liddl's W5 clothes stain remover to clean the teak decking and based on the results of his first recommendation we thought his second might be worth a try).

We have been plagued with collapsing cutlery since a brightly coloured set was bought last year before our Round Britain voyage. So, a broken spoon and fork were dug out of he recesses of he cutlery drawer, drilled, had a hook fed through and then wired in place (see photo)These were attached to the lines replacing he expensive lures bought in Jolly Harbour back in January. These were deployed for sev…

A Borthday at sea

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The day after we said goodbye to the Galapagos was my birthday, (21st... once again!)I woke just before six to start my watch to find the cockpit and forestay bedecked with balloons! Thanks to Emily who had been busy blowing them up during her watch from 3-6 am.We all had a sunny breakfast around 8:30 and I opened cards and presents from my 3 crew mates, one recurring theme... Chocolate! A lot of KitKats a Toblerone and a bar of he finest Swiss dark chocolate... one happy recipient! Then in he afternoon a real surprise as a freshly baked cake appeared and then a Piñata shaped like a ukulele which was hung from the aft Bimini. I then donned a blindfold and grasping a rounders bat attempted to destroy it whilst balancing on the rolling deck! The contents of the piñata were scattered across the cockpit and aft deck when I eventually managed to bring the bat to bear on the brightly coloured cardboard construction. The piñata had been smuggled aboard right under my nose and I was absolutel…