Only five degrees south

This post was written in the Pacific after 13 days at sea – 20 March 2020

Five degrees south is nothing. Three hundred nautical miles. Less than six hundred kilometers. Five hours along the motorway.

Or 12 days at sea! It is now thirteen days since we left Bahia de Caraquez and twelve since we turned south looking for the trade winds. We only had to sail five degrees south but with no wind, wind from the wrong direction and counter currents, it all became a bit of an adventure. Today, after two weeks at sea we are at 4.5° south and we still have no real wind.

Heidi changing sail for what felt like the hundredth time that day.

And then there is the virus panic. Our plan was 2300 miles to Easter Island, pop in to Pitcairn and then on to Gambier Island. But we received information that Pitcairn is totally closed. No landing allowed. And then a few days later we heard that Easter Island may mean waiting off shore for two weeks quarantine or may be impossible.

So after six hundred miles towards Easter Island we are now turning west for the 3100 miles to the Marquesas in French Polynesia. Good that we are flexible – and well provisioned.

The Pacific is huge. After six hundred miles we have hardly started across it. After the same distance we had done a third of the Atlantic. The Pacific is also much more “lively”. An armada of fish are crossing the Pacific under our boat. They attracted a huge black ray one evening for dinner. Birds also circle us hungrily and one is sat on the bow – no idea where they come from. We drifted through a pod of massive whales and dolphins regularly show off with aerial displays. Even a turtle swam slowly up to us for a better look which just shows what great speed we are making. There are worse places to be while Corona rampages across the world.

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