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Rodrigues... a cursory glance after a very brief visit...

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At the moment Tin Tin and her intrepid crew of 3 greybeards are making the final 40 miles to the northern end of Mauritius (pronounced Maurice en Francais) having said goodbye to her smaller associate island of Rodrigues where we spent a few days relaxing after the long voyage through stormy seas from the Australian Indian Ocean outpost of Cocos Keeling.

The islands of Rodrigues and Mauritius were wrestled from the French just over 200yrs ago and one might have thought that in the intervening two centuries that the English language and customs might have all but superseded the French... but no.. It is veritable melange ... although traffic does drive on the left, English is an official language, road signs are in English and a strangely familiar feeling came over me when I came across double yellow lines. Despite these signs of a British presence it appears that French and Creole is the dominant mode of speech, on Rodrigues at least. Looking at the map of Mauritius you will notice th…

The intermittent Blogger returns....

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YES! .... it is me, myself, I... After a very long absence when I have rather lazily suggested you look at my photo albums, thinking that if each photo was worth a thousand words then it wasn't really fair to inflict any actual written words when you may already be reading the Skipper's blog which is apparently a regular cascade of verbal reporting of our every moment and latterly, in particular, our culinary skills with cabbage...

I am attaching four photos to this post (4000 words I need not write?!) which I promise will not include white beaches, crystal clear blue waters and overhanging palm trees.... this time at least, as we have seen a goodly number of those three constituent parts assembled together to the recipe of the classic holiday brochure idyll.

The first photo is a shot taken looking forward over TinTin's bow as the large swell raced past lit by the afternoon sun. It is very difficult to capture the real size of the waves on camera and I at last found that…

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! …