Our position at 18.00 GMT, Monday 13th May:
3 degrees, 42 minutes south, 93 degrees 28 minutes west
We are happy to report that all is well aboard Maunie after an uneventful night – uneventful is good! We reefed down as the light faded so that we could enjoy Di's excellent Lemon and Honey Chicken at a not-unreasonable angle of heel and also to stay within sight of Stormvogel (who are still slightly slower than us in these conditions) through the night. The wind was a nice Force 4, the waves relatively gentle, the current helping us along at nearly 2 knots and the was sky full of stars – the Plough is only just visible (upside down) on the horizon and so we are now getting to know the new southern hemisphere sky.
Graham woke in his off watch and describes the feeling of Maunie underway as 'reassuringly composed'. Hearing the noise of the water rush past the hull was the only real indication of progress – it was a bit like being on an express coach at night (with comfy bunks rather than the normally cramped seats) where the noise of wind, tyres and engine merge into a comfortable hum and the suspension converts bumps in the road into gently, swaying undulations. The waves were at an angle that didn't impeded Maunie's movement but you could feel her rise and fall gently as each one approached from the side and she just felt, well, solid and secure. Very reassuring.
Today has dawned bright and sunny again and we continue to sail a south-westerly course. A New Zealand boat on the radio net relayed weather information from their Pacific weather guru back home. He advised sailing to 5 degrees south, 110 degrees west then to head west, using the maximum current, to 5 degrees south, 124 degrees west before turning further sw towards the Marquesas (around 10 degrees south, 135 degrees west). This was good to hear as it is pretty much what we are planning to do based on the weather Grib files that we have.
As I write, Dianne is asleep in the bunk after her two night watches and the generator is humming away, providing subdued engine noise to complete the express-coach-at-night analogy if she's awake to hear it (I suspect not). More importantly it's powering the breadmaker and watermaker as well as producing hot water for showers later and recharging the batteries.