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Sailor’s update: Dennis Johns Crosses the Eastern Pacific

May 17, 2012

A dispatch from the Johns:

“We arrived in the port of Atuona, on the island of Hiva Oa, in the Marquesas, French Polynesia yesterday after just over 23 days at sea. We averaged almost 5.5 knots for the 3,000 miles. We were hoping to do better, but we had a few days of very light wind and the seas were very disturbed (potato patch) for 90% of the trip. We’ve become excellent “squall riders” as we hit series after series of squalls all the way. Our watermaker failed on the second day out and our refrigerator has gradually lost its ability to keep cool in this tropical heat but other than that we are in good shape and still loving the experience (many cruisers consider these two items as “luxuries,” so we really can’t complain).  We can collect rain water for our large fresh water storage tank and we can get fresh fruits and vegetables every day or so while we are in French Polynesia, so these failures are not critical to our experience and we’ll probably be able to correct them when we reach Tahiti.

Caught a swordfish (probably 30-40 lbs, but didn’t have a chance to weigh it as Virginia dropped the scale overboard she was so excited…and we had to cut it loose as it bent the gaff trying to haul it onto the boat).  We also caught a 15 lb mahi and a 20 lb bonito, which we weighed before we lost the scale. Interestingly enough, the bonito was the hardest to bring in because we were under spinnaker when we hooked him and didn’t want to douse the spinnaker, so I had to haul 20 lbs of dead weight while doing 6.5 – 7 knots.

We’ll spend a few days here reprovisioning and doing some sightseeing, and then we’ll head out to visit several of the other islands in this island group. There are about 30 other boats in the anchorage right now so we have met quite a few other cruisers and will likely see them over and over again as we make our way further west. Our plans are still to make it to Australia by this November and then tour Australia and New Zealand as well as come back to SB for a month or so before returning for the next leg in May of 2013.”

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