Pacific Ocean

Free Lance; In Polynesia

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"The Ecuadorian village of Bahia de Caraquez is still sleeping. 3550 miles separate us from the Marquesas: there's a bit of sailing to do before our next stopover! By the end of the day we are sixty miles from the coast, and we still haven't seen any fishing boats, big or small. The captain had chosen the departure date based upon the tide, the fact that the fishermen don't go out on a Sunday, and the moon. To the south of the Galapagos a young red-footed booby bird landed on a stanchion. He balances there all night, and leaves in the morning. He comes back to see me at the end of the day, circles around looking for a landing spot, and this time chooses the pulpit. He keeps an eye on everything: the horizon, the sails, the flying fish. Nothing escapes his watchful eye. He set off again at daybreak. At 140° to the wind, my log frequently passes 10 knots, and the waves struggle to catch me up. We manage to cover 220 miles in 24 hours, which is my personal record! Throughout its daily voyage, the sun doesn't head north or south. It rises in my wake, goes over the masthead at midday, and sets in the bows.
We are approaching the Marquesas. At first light, the island is visible over the bows. A school of dolphins accompanied us along the coastline. I weighed anchor at 1pm in the Taha Uku Bay. We had been sailing for 26 days and 10 hours. Our average speed had been 5.90 knots. This meant that the captain had been able to eat and sleep well. Ahead of us is a whole new world to explore: Polynesia, the sailors' paradise."

Yves on board Free Lance

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