I receive a present of dry waffles ,arrived in good condition and tasting good also ,my mother did them !
I have discuss with a guy from the French Navy ,he will have a look for some old charts but without enthusiasm ,I am knowing like him that charts may be more or less accurate being an ex geography student !
In town I buy plastic jerrycans to have 200 liters of fresh water aboard ,the Pacific ocean is great ,and my speed average need such care …...The prices are double than in French metropole 6 months ago ,custom taxes they say .I success to find one tank without tapes ,so less expansive ,and small one of 5 liters ,less expansive than one of 20 liters .Small saving money !I pass by the post office where the employee is slow but sympathetic ,a slow way surely known all over the world because of the number of foreign yachtsmen coming to take their mail ! .Anyway she gives me 3letters ,2 are with a good amount of money ,I wasn't waiting for it and that's so good for the financial side !
I am having a drink with some friends from Madera and Canarie when we meet sympathetic suisse tourists arrived by plane ,that were without knowing the sailing difficulties and the unsecurity from some local countries .
I meet also the 2 french women seen by Madera ,that are on the way for a circumnavigation . They say me not to be confident in some lonely anchorage around Sainte Lucie island , where the encroachment of kids beggar and thieve is systematic
Next day ,nice one ,lunch on Alphée ,at night on Péquod ,not time to be bored .
Out of that I read and be thinking what I have to do
An English single handed sailor met in Madera is arrived ,I shall meet him one day .The hull is losing annat ,but green algae is growing .
December 31th I see arriving “PAUL” that would have to be by Brazil or southern ,but politic and season have prevent .Hearing they were out of fresh products I invite them aboard where I have at least fresh eggs ! Chattering,dutch neighbors passing ,they teach us skippers and hostess are wanted by Sainte -Lucie . I think about having a look there but without feeling serious . Advantages goods are at a lower price .But I learn also that the skipper from the dutch yacht I was yesterday is hardly ill.
I am on the way to clean the dishes when a German single handed ,met in Madera ,invite me to spend the Eve in a small bay with friends .But the night quicker than my boat decides me to come back ,just in time to be howling at 12PM with the others boats from the harbor.
Others visits to yachts ,mail checking ,receiving a package ,phoning to France .
At the bar I hear that next Friday I may have some old charts .
January 6th I receive some money I leave it at the post office bank .I fail the meeting for the charts but find some somewhere else ,continuing to have a look for them ,also for friends that give me oranges and bananas after a visit in the north of the island . They have done jam with theirs.
January9th I give a hand to a french yacht ,”Patience “ that is in a dry dock (place where you can fill out the water to have access to the hull of your boat ) for cleaning the hull and painting upon .Of course rainy and cloudy day . At night I met a sympathetic yacht “Bel espoir “ and Henry Wakelam ,the friend from Moitessier .He is on a 3 masts yacht he has repaired ,but with a great deception from his first charter season .
I go for a gift of my blood ,young and healthy no excuses , and they give a meal !
January 10th last night I celebrate my birthday with the Paul ,Sarabande ,Dingdingues and 2 young Swiss.
A package I am waiting for always misses
I have seen the damage by direct view from alcohol when a human has smeared my dinghy from his vomiting when I was visiting the Soupape .I admire also the arriving at the pier of a small line ship high fortune ,impressive in the crowdy yacht harbor .
I begin this morning my stocks for the the following travel
january 12th The stock is well begun but the package is always anywhere else .I am along a nice french guy not too sure to continue. The waves done by crazy motored dinghies are sometimes hardly moving the yachts .Good yachtsmen are rowing or with a little motor going, trying not to disturb the corporation .
But other “humans” are existing only by being seen with power ,like powerful dinghies over speed drived ,the height of bad education .That's at this anchorage that I have the luck to approach a Riva that one day lives me on my board because of the bad condition of my dinghy . A Riva is an outboard boat in wood varnished ,'beautiful “ .Midday ,royal meal aboard :turkey wing and curry rice with salmon that my guest ,the neighbor brings
I repair a dripping tank and give protections to the other ones .The friction spoils .I do storage and some other jobs
january 13th nothing new ,out of 7 nice Italian girls by the neighbor . And also that the barmaid from my usual bar in town has given me a package ,books and glass storage .I read ,rainy weather .I anchor further ,I tinker and repair the dinghy again .
A friend gives me a small petrol lamp needing some repars .
january 17th Last night I met a friend from Madera .
Phone call to the parents .
I am thinking about sending back to France the packages not arrived .
I meet my first french single handed french navigator ,70 years or more .
This morning I visit a German single handed ,Fram ,then at the post office I find my packages and a letter ,great day ! My bunkering finished I will be able to live .
Back from the post office the friend from Fram invite me to an expedition on the opposite coast of the island by a group taxi with some of his friends .We arrive at Sainte Lucie ,a village where we eat a fish soup .From this place we may see the island of Sainte Lucie .On the way back we have a look on the Diamond island ,and sugar cane fields all along the way .The driving of the cab is scaring me more than the big Atlantic swell ….
Back to town I do shopping and meet a friend from Noirmoutier ,(sympathetic guy that I weren't really knowing but friendship is coming easier when far for home country ) I live him because of an invitation by a yacht . On the way I accept aboard a Swedish guy looking to be a crew ,so he is having a place to stock his luggage .
January 18th I find an old friend that has lived his far place by the trade dock ,for anchoring not far from my boat .
My departure is for saturday .
To night supper with the guy from Noirmoutier ,stuffed crab ,a good food !
January 21th yesterday I cleaned the hull with the paddle I had worked too hard with it ,but it's repaired by a friend . I speak a little more with a south african yacht ,”Venguila “,that is also on the way to Tahiti ,we may meet by there . I help them as interpreter .This afternoon I go with the friend from Noirmoutier and his wife for ,maybe , some tennis plays .At night we have a meal on my board .
Saturday morning ,I have to hurry a little for the last preparations .Trade wind just takes my two nice t shirts I get during my military service (FOYER DES ARMEES or something like that with a nice pattern like a wood fire ) , I save some mozart music on a recorder I bought in Canaries islands.
In the afternoon I go with friends from Noirmoutier on an hostel beach ,where I meet a woman that want to go to Tahiti . At night meal aboard and visiting a sympathetic charter yacht .
I lose my morning at the post office ,and in the afternoon I meet a teacher initiating himself to sailing .
Sunday ,I tinker and store , waiting for the female crew ,that will leave in the afternoon without giving anymore news .
I speak with Antarés living also for Pacific ocean ,Australia, ,passing by Tahiti .I do an exchanging of books with a female crew from the dufour team ,that I may meet at Panama ,surely in Tahiti .At night I am the guess of a german single handed sailor ,sailing on the Fram .
January 21th 1979 phone call to my parents ,send a tape to them ,D day isn't far
January 23th I buy a replacement burner for my petrol stove .I meet some friends and I heard that my ghost female crew has found some work in town .I have a meal on the yacht of a friend and spend some time on an other yacht he is knowing (Rhabarbara)
STARTING FROM MARTINIQUE ISLAND
january 24th that's the day ,after waiting for the custom and having hardly some fresh water . Just starting I have to repair the main sail . Concert of foghorns absolutely sympathetic .
01/26 Yesterday I saw dolphins, a shoal of small tuna fishes or bonitos and a cargo ship. Today that's a plane that I see .I am satisfied with an average speed of 3 knots ,but the wind is moving in speed
01/27wind day at 2 beaufort max ,but anyway 80 miles are done .I clean the gas burner ,that was really needing it ,I burn myself twice by the way . I have 3 different books on . In 12 days I shall arrive ,at this speed .I am between two navigation traffic lines . At the radio classical music and choral songs .
01/28 Always 2 beaufort wind ,and I am faster than with 4-5 beaufort wind when I were arriving to “La Martinique “! last night I saw the navigation lights from a cargo ship ,so I lighted on mines .Today at midday an other cargo ship and also a plane .Hard night because of the chafing of the sails ,no wind .
01/29 my quartz alarm clock is stopped ,I change the dry batteries, I get the time signal on the BBC ,and I wish that's ok .Yesterday I have done some washing .This afternoon ,having a look on my fishing line that was at work I notice that my hook ,bought in Fort de France ,is rusting …..The paint is going away !
I was reading cool in the cabin ,the boat quit stopped by no wind ,when she begins to dance ,I jump out to see a cargo ship far away east going with her bow waves breaking the mirror of the sea .
At twilight a shoal is fighted by birds ,and no succes for me .
01/30 I verify my hour with the BBC ,4 minutes 9secondes late ,in place of 33 seconds yesterday .I have to verify if this delay is usual ,other case I should have to put back the old dry battery and find a solution in Panama .It's always surprising the lowing quality way of this product we consider as world standard .
I put the old dry battery and that's operating nice .
Beginning of afternoon I see an empty tanker ,the “ Fotini” , going south .
At sunset squalls are coming ,I reduce the main sail ,the sea is melted waves .
01/31/79 the alarm clock is perfect .Some time before midday an other tanker ,from the Texaco ,ful this one ,is going north .By my plotting position I am also sailing north .I have to jibe .I am not so far from the middle of this crossing .
February 2nd nothing new by these days ,wind is stronger ,4-5 ,normal trade wind .I see almost each day a cargo .I find two dead flying fishes on the deck ,mistake in the flight plan I suppose ! I am not any more far from 2 shipping line for Panama ,and I think I have done the half of the way .I shall soon go south west .The ropes from the automatic wind pilot are wearing out rapidly ,strange . I wish they will arrive to Panama . I am opening “the” coconut from the ship's store .
02/04 Yesterday the wind had got stronger at the night ,falling a little during the day .At 7 pm I turn my head just to see the ruder going away ,fixations broken ,just the time to take it aboard .I send on the storm gib ,to get the waves by down side .I fix the ruder in the cockpit ,I shut the cabin and I think to the repair .It takes me all the next morning and a part of the afternoon ,I wish that will do it !
I restart under main sail and storm jib but I had to put down the main sail ,better for the equipment .High speed anyway ,I am waiting for calms because the sea is impressive ,breaking waves higher than the boat ! I was warned to passe more than 100 milles north of Barranquillas...I shall have to do a good repair by Panama
02/5 at 5 AM breaking again ,the down pin first .I repair and by the afternoon that's running !
But nothing anymore for repair
02/06 ,9h30 AM breaking again . This time it's bigger problem ,the down piece living has distort a nut .Game over ,I hoist the N and C flags after trying to lead with the main sail and the storm jib .To windy ,I slip by the shipping lines way ,I wish , but it's also a current that may stroll me in the Caribbean sea .I am thinking about what to takeaway just in case .
2/07 I have repaired, the night gives me some advice ,and that 's working with the automatic wind pilot .No luck not for a long time and the 2/08 in morning that's broken . I do something with ropes but they are quickly damaged . I have lost the low support of the rudder ,and no way to replace it ,no bolt for the screw . I don't have anything aboard and the ship chandler is far …...
Between 9 am and 10 am I see 2 ships coming from Panama ,that don't stop despite my signals . Afternoon other ropes ,breaking also . I am afraid about my backstay .
At 6h30 pm I see a cargo going to Panama ,signals ,no results .
Position the 2/8 by midday : G78°22W L 11°56N ,180 milles from Panama. Hard to steer with this solution and my hands are painful when I have to put on the storm gib for the night .
2/09 This morning ,slipping the hood ,I see a bird staying on the back security line .It has the size of a fist ,dark brown ,with a beak quiet long . And my rudder's lines continue to break of wear . I steer at night as long as possible until the breaking . A night for sleeping and next morning after repaired I go on .In the night between 2/11 and 2/12 the wind is blowing up, not too sure about my position althougt I see 2 ships by my way ,and I don't put inside the rudder for the night instead the other nights ,the fatigue do me lazy (excuse for my natural laziness ), result at morning :a deep scratch on the bottom of the boat ,araldite repairs it !
I was thinking being under the wind of Panama ,but nice ,this is Panama that is under my wind ! And at 2pm I see the coast . I come into the harbor at 8 pm ,the cargo ships one ,very deep for me I have to say . A harbor service boat comes kindly to say I was in the cargo area ,and offers me to tug my boat to the yacht area . I neglect to put back my ruder ,some laziness more ,and my front balcony is twisted on the way . I do the paperwork on their boat ,mine wasn't fine for the visitor officer .
Next day February 13th I need 45 minutes to go ashore at the landing point against the wind with my beach dinghy .No paperwork except if I go to the fee yacht club . I ask for way to repair the damage of my yacht . An US sailor with a big dinghy accept to haul me closer of 2 french yachts . At night I see arriving an English yacht I saw in Madera and Fort de France , I meet a french yacht that I help to go through the canal on next friday . We need a specified number of crews by yacht to pass the canal ,and that's a constant help between the yachts . I come back by train with an other crew ,US one .
By the time a brand new dutch ship does me new metallic pieces for my rudder and offers me a coca
On thursday I meet a norvegian single handed navigator
On saturday morning after my shopping at the local supermarket ,that's an english one that's here ,with a longer boat that mine ,from one foot ! I invite him for midday meal .
At night I am invited by an other english boat that I shall help passing the canal tuesday .
Sunday02/18 the wind is often strong and I have to handwork aboard .The nuts from the fixation of the rudder are turning free ,there are included in the fiberglass, not easy to repair . I do also some cleaning in the cockpit ,not useless .
At the yacht club I meet a crew ,french girl I glimpse at Fort de France ,very disappointed about the tyrannical way of life aboard ,she want to go to Tahiti .
02/19 I am looking on cargo ships for other rudder metallic piece ,just in case ,but impossible ,I shall have to go in town .I have a meal at the yacht club ,nice atmosphere . Tomorrow I help crossing over the english yacht .
02/27 anything ok for this travel . I meet a german yacht knowing well the the german's yachts I know .The troubles find me :dinghy flat ,no more glue ,alarm clock lazy, radio time difficult to catch ,spare part for the ruder to do myself ,money level too low ...Anyway to morrow I am the crew of a norvegian single handed navigator .
March 3rd anything going fine ,the 2 german single handed are arrived ,I go by the channel on the 03/05 for 65 dollars, 5 of them because I am towed . I shall have for crew this girl met in Fort De France .
So I have help the norvegian yacht ,towed by a big american yacht , a rope has failed two times ,but without damage . But ,just being out we were alongside some waves have broken the traveller for the rope of the main sail and the support of the safety line . Just for memory I have been wet on atlantic side as a cargo was passing by ,we were along side also .
At the Balboa yacht club I am surprised to find a letter for me !
I succeed to hear a french radio very low .This morning I borrow a dinghy for fresh goods that I bring back by taxi .A lot of wind in the harbor ,that's not helping me with the dinghy .
I clean the hull for the towing ,just with a brush in diving , a new paint would be better but so much complicated . Yesterday 2 of march I went by an english cargo ship for a ruder spare part reparation . In beginning they were thinking I were looking for a job ,but after they soldered it very well . During this repair we were drinking a bier ,chattering . They gave me food tins and a bottle of whiskey ,and some rope . They toke a photo of me also ,very kind Scottish guys !
I got the bbc signal for the accurate time ,the alarm clock running time is correct . This morning I pass by a cargo ship from Poland , that may do me a spare part for the rudder also . They have aboard somebody speaking french ! They stay here because of a mechanical problem . During the afternoon I help a friend for selling diving equipment to an other friend .
03/05 next day I pass by for my spare part on the cargo and get 2 sea charts on an english cargo ship.
My dinghy has to be this one of a french neighbor yacht ,because mine is only possible for small course ,Styrofoam in the out room,some air in the other one ,flat like the bottom .
The french yacht invite me for lunch and give me some books . By the afternoon I meet an english trimaran that give me a petrol lamp .Saturday afternoon I think I find a french cargo ship that is in fact a belgium one .A few time after I am aboard with my neighbor ,having a drink and chattering in french language .Kindly they give us sea charts ,red sea and England approach ,not so useful but nice of them .The” only “ french guy from Colon ,the trade agent from a french shipping line ,finds us aboard and invite us to his house where he holds us spellbound with his travels in north africa and south america . A lot of knowledge for the french couple that will pass by .
To morrow that's the channel day for my yacht ,and before sun set I go towed by Fram the german yacht towing me on this way .My female crew that was from the Dufour team (conveying sailboats through the atlantic ocean )arrive at night . Next morning ,surprise ! The boat driver is there at 5h20 in place of 5h .I put the navigation lights on and let's go .Many missed throws at the first gates ,but that's quickly better . We arrive on other side at 2pm ,but having to wait many hours to pass the down gates .
The channel output is without problems , except to understand the pilot , pronunciation ,all is pronunciation ….We find a buoy and my crew offers me my Pacific d day meal ,hot dog because the restaurant was shut . Next morning I am stopped by the yacht club woman secretary and two
customs asking me why I stopped at the Balboa yacht club without having ordered for a mooring .They ask me to live as quick as possible , although I was having to help some other yachts to go through …..So I go to town to the french embassy with my crew in a cab driven by an Austrian guy speaking french , advertising about the discomfort of the local jail ! He drives me to a Chinese woman growing vegetables where I provision .He offers me green coconut water ,nice .
A cargoship officer tells me too late that they would have been able to load my yacht on their deck to go by the channel ! and possibilities of careening ! Next time !
Well you have to get a permit fee to stop at Las Perlas , pacific islands short of the channel ,but small steps are not my cup of tea , also less when I have to pay ….
There are also small islands on the Atlantic side ,San Blas , well known for their handcraft production of patterned fabrics ,but because of the damages on the yacht when I arrived ,in case I would have known ,I won't have gone ,and upon it : less stops as possible .
An ultimate can of fresh water and I start ,it's 12h30 pm .
So starting time 12:30 ,tacking with the help of the current against the wind .With the help of the scull I pass short of a french cargo ship at the anchorage ,then the wind moves a little and I realize that the wind pilot is turning hardly ,but the time may help ...Back wind all the night ,dolphins playing in front ,two currents meeting with a shark passing by .My first LOPs :I would have done 50 miles ,quit good .After studying the pilot chart ,US one ,giving percentage of direction and strong of wind and currents all over the world ,for each month by square parts of may be 100 milles side ,just bought , I decide sailing south of Malpelo ,600 kilometers south of Panama ,and to pass north of Galapagos ,where I shall not stop ,we have to pay for anchoring . I see a lot of cargo ships .I take the opportunity of a no wind period to modify the wind pilot .
The 8 of March a floating wood scares me , striking the boat ,but no damages that I may see .I cut my hair .It seems I well progress .The time signals are different between each local countries ,30 seconds ,minimum !
March ,11th I have put new batteries in my radio and now I receive Australia ! Yesterday night I got my first calm since a long time ,I have had to put the sails down .It was farther some flashes of lightning ,having small rain . A cetacean 3-4 meters long followed me this morning
March 12 short time to shoot the sun this morning ,I got only the longitude .I am going more south to get the the current leading west . I got my first real rain with 3 Beaufort wind during 15 minutes .It's small raining and the sky is cloudy .
March 13 do I get the south east trade wind ? I see a piece of bamboo ,and yesterday a flying insect was on the ruder ,small and green like a dragonfly
March 16 average 100 milles a day ,may it last long . I modify my fishing line ; I try this morning a breakfast with corn flour ,to improve . My fresh food are going low level but I don't want to stop in Galapagos islands .They ask 35$ to stop and same for start ,with 40$ credit I am game over !island Marquesas are only at 33days with my actual average speed .
March 19 I am too north and going more ,speed too small and current by the side .After many hours of calms I wish I may go on other case I would have to sail East and lost 2 weeks .
March 20 this morning at sunrise I see perched on the back of the boat a sea bird with a bill pale blue and webbed red feet ,size of a gull. Of course it leaves some traces .I have again progress in latitude ,being out of wind . This morning I clean the hull that's quiet covered by barnacles .The rudder just new panted isn't so much more clean . I feel better now ,no more on the way to sail East ,Gilboy ,an other single handed sailor from the beginning of the century succeeded to pass ,in spit of current and no wind .By these days from 10 pm to 3 am no wind .This afternoon the sky becomes cloudy ,the wind looks like effective ,but I don't believe it .I pump the dirty water from under the floor ,and clean the place ,some kilos less . I succeed to hear The Voice of America ,in french ,unfortunately if a lot of international news ,nothing about politics opinions and strikes .My morning bird comes back to understand why I were always here
March 21 the wonderful wind from yesterday last 12 hours and lets me going south from 46 minutes of latitude ,but at midday it fully leaves me and that's back this small breeze ,1 in the gusts .This wind will not avoid me to drift north .
How may I catch the southeasters winds if the currents bring me to the northeaster 's one ? I clean part of the hull from young anatifs , using a rope back and forth from each side of the boat . But anyway without wind ,clean hull or not we don't progress . The sky is empty at night ,It will be calm .
March 23 I succeed going under 2° north , I celebrate this with a tin of fruits in sirup . I wish this will be for sure and that the ecuador is not in a long time . I come back to my tapestry this morning and also crosswords . I make tapestry ,needing thoroughness in colors ,tension on the thread , keep the fingers in action ,and help the brain to relax ,when time for it .
March 26 I got some calms the before yesterday night ,very cloudy sky ,but it's better now . I crossed the ecuador yesterday during the afternoon . This midday I celebrate it with tins the english cargo ship offered me .I try boiling popcorn seeds ,too long and no good ,I didn't finish it ,I am not all knowing in cooking ,I verify ! The crosswords level 2 are easy ,also tapestry is on progress, being a landscape greater than a sea chart great size . Wind seems to be there during the night and at day time blowing 2-3 beaufort ,may be trade wind .This morning I do some cleaning of dishes ,body cleaning also ,but with salt water the usual soap is like jam on the skin that I have to withdraw with my Opinel ,my pocket knife . I clean also a winch ,working now ,even if not top working . My daily averages are longer ,I was crawling at 30-35 milles a day ,now that is 60-70 ,even more . I am starting my third water tank .The second isn't completely empty . As they are hard to reach ,far back or front ,I use a flexible plastic pipe for the transfer , easy !
March 28 ,on the 26 I missed my meridian observation ,sleepy by my digestion . And my lops are not accurate ,without knowing if I was north or south from the ecuador ,important for the corrections . Yesterday I had the feeling to be going south low speed because of the light wind ,but going south . And today ,poor of me ,I have done a jump north ,despite a direction 220° true cap . Currents don't respect the pilot chart . Nice sea ,quit flat,as usual by wind 0+ ,but this morning some waves were signs for more wind . I find animals this morning in the noodles ,happily that's only their start of the assault . Better not to leave them too long before using . I change again my pen , maybe I do too many lops ,because in this site and year time ,that's twisted ,zenith length is short of declination ,ecuador is 15 milles north ,and current is there to make me wandering “am I south or north hemisphere “?
Just in case it would be possible to celebrate the Passage two other times ! The tapestry is going on ,crosswords also . However no fun in longitude ,not before two months may be ? Little astro navigation question : Hv 86°57(+20') Dz=2°43N Dec=2°58N where am I? It looks like I am still in north hemisphere . The only time I stay on the deck at nightfall I hear a strange sound behind the yacht : a cargoship going East at about one mille .Passing without asking anything ,like me anyway .All the night without wind ,and because of the current against me I may have done the 15 milles and pass the ecuador .
March 30 I have done it ,between the 28th and the 29th and my average speed is something like 2 knots .I am sailing south to go away from calms and opposing currents . If 45 milles a day I need 56 days to arrive !
March 31 today high speed may be 60-70 milles ! this morning I found a small squid ,I put it on the hook from the fishing line , but nothing for the moment , although I see flying fishes . I notice from 2 days a difference of 10 milles between my lops and my midday position , it bothers me . At 17h30 I take out my fishing line ,surprise :a fish ,tetrodon or diodon ,15-20 cm long , inflating and deflating sometimes . I cut its tail for the hook and a bigger fish . Again the wind fall . I keep the rest of the fish for fishing bait .I know that it's eatable if I put away the lever and the inside skin of the belly ,but so small!
April 2 The wind is quit constant night and day . If yesterday was a bit disappointing ,today I may be better .No fish with the line . Yesterday night from 23 h to midnight I have received radio Tahiti on short waves ,20 meters . Tahitian songs ,messages for the islands ,weather forecoast ,but difficult to hear .
April 4 I have an average of 60-70 milles a day ,not so much but not so bad !one degree west any days . I am by 101° W ,Hiva-oa by 139° W so that will need 38 days ,in theory . I can see the moon by the afternoon ,so I use it for LOPs doing ,but not so accurate .I always hear after the end of the US emissions ,by 2h30 GMT , Radio Tahiti but I didn't get yet the news . The weather fore-coast give me nice weather for Tahiti and N-E wind ,as on Marquises islands I think . For a level 2 crossword I need 2 reading of the definition to resolve ,most of the time .
April 6 day average of 65 milles . As soon as I will have live my 4% calms square from the pilot chart ,I will go down the wind ,a little . This morning my fishing line was without the lure . I put a new one with stronger line ,too visible ,may be ,let we see . I have done the list of the food left ,no problem of variety for 40 days ,if one day meat next one fruits . I would like to eat some fish but fish doesn't .This night I received Radio France International ,I think . No way for Radio Tahiti .Soon ,in 2 days I wish ,I will delay my local time of one hour ,because I will be passing by the 105 meridian west . And so I may have only 2000 milles to sail to Hiva-oa
During the plotting at midday I see my fishing line slightly under tension . I find ,happy surprise ,a dolphin fish portion . A tenderloin on the pan and the rest of it for a soup ,finally fresh meat !
April 7,yesterday afternoon I get some rain and wind .I may be now in the real trade wind 4 beaufort .I think that my cap is quit straight to arrival point .Last night I got 3 different radio stations in french language RFI ,Radio Tahiti ,Washington (I assume ).This morning I get Radio south Corea in french !
April 8 ,if right I have done 90 milles . By night I have got squalls and strong swell,annoying when the wind was down blowing . This afternoon looks like to be better . I am just passing TU-7 ,that is the meridian 105W . But in latitude I get one minute , 5°16'south ,so I change the cap . I have a look on the clouds before to put away the reef in the main sail .
April 9 this morning ,by 1AM ,a rope from the automatic wind pilot has failed of wear . Easy to repair . The sky looks a lot better ! I let working a fishing line ,that's meat day today ! The radio is no more talkative ,may be if I change the batteries ,or is it the distance ? But also Japanese is harder to receive ,I feel .
April 10 trade wind is powerful and the main sail 's edge is vibrating . This morning I fish a balaou about 80 cm long ,I keep the head because of the teeth ;the rest of it is in the pressure cooker with rice and an onion .Less than 2000 milles to do I think . Thirty days at actual speed . I get Malaysian radio but not radio Tahiti !
April 13 day average is about 75 milles ,22 days for Hiva-oa ,28 if 60 milles . And yesterday and before yesterday a lot of wind ,disappearing today ,sky is becoming cloudy . By the News I find by chance on RFI ,iI am knowing the collapse of the poor Idi Amin dada.This morning the lure , a plastic octopus was without anymore tentacles , I have had to replace it . Now that's the last one . Yesterday I shaved ,since one or two weeks it has grown ! I have also fixed a towel to stop the spray arriving on the bunk under the wind .It is possible to move it because of the velcros I sew on . I have 100 liters of fresh water less ,more or less . That may do it . I am thinking to stop in Tuamotous islands . I have to have a look on the charts and on the books from other navigators , and some persons I shall meet in Marquesas islands that may have an experience of them . By the pilot chart it would be NE wind when arriving Marquesas Islands,better not to sail too south and stay on the 9th parallel ,Hiva-Oa being on the 10th .
April 16 ,this morning at 8h15 , I hear moving the fishing line ,rolled on a piece of polystyrene expanded .I take care :tube of lead , machete , winch handle ,boat hook , to haul close a shark ,white ends ,less than one meter long . It is going other side from the ruder , endangering it . I wern't to take chance ,I cut the line ,one hook less . From yesterday the wind is down to 2 Beaufort
These days I was plotting with LOPs , first one at 8 am ,too early in these cases , but not so far in fact . Last night I received Radio Tahiti from 19h15 to 20h15 local hour , a religious reconstitution first ,then tahitian language ,music , news .
April 18 very good day , 24 milles since midday of yesterday ! For compensation I get Radi Tahiti quit clear at midday . I try to do cookies without eggs ,real lead stodgy . For oven I use the pressure cooker without the joint , the stainless steel basket on the bottom with aluminum paper on it and the cookies . Nothing at the fishing line . I clean slightly the hull with the usual rope .
April 19 if yesterday was distressing for the distance , that has been better later : at night I found I realize my alarm clock was only 2 seconds in advance ,and I won 10 milles . At sunrise my lure was gone , At 2 pm with a new one I catch a small dolphin fish ,and 75 milles were done .
April 21 I am by 118W . No fishing result . Last night I saw a great dolphin alone , I hear a whistle , I get out ,and a little bit later it emerged ,a grey one . I am shorter on the way now : I hear Radio Tahiti a little longer now . I did some net to catch the flying fishes falling on the deck ,but the result isn't so good . I was wandering why my LOP at 9h30am was in wrong place ,I just realize because of my way west it was 8h30am .
April 22 to morrow ,if some luck ,and some wind , I should change my local time ,passing the 120th meridian W . Am I really 3 weeks to finishing line ? I get more and more easily Radio Tahiti short wave ,on 25 meters by now . Nice change . Before I received ,in french , by chance ,R adio Chili ,Israël ,Washington ,and some others . The tapestry is needing 4-5 meeting to be finished . May be I would have a look on the tape recorder running problem . I believe the new dry batteries were empty to be too old . For my landing on Marquesas islands I may have the moon light with me . Today it's only a thin crescent less .
April 23 I am only 15 milles far from the 120th meridian W , so I move my local time ,one hour less , two hours more to move for being Tahiti time ! . Last night and also this morning very small wind ,just the 2% of this area ,by the pilot chart ,and all for me ,so great ! The moving of the sails spoiled my night . This afternoon a dolphin fish catches my lure but the ring fails ,I don't like …..With this calm I shall again lose a day ,sure . Anyway tomorrow is the fruit day ,and a tin 4/4 of cocktail of fruits is planed to celebrate the 120th meridian .
April 24th night without wind ,or feeble and from the wrong side . Morning flat sea ,like oil , and the dolphin fishes are taunting my line : a lure has lost a part of its triple hook . By midday the wind is back ,feeble but in the good way . I f the clouds (cumulus) come by my boat ,anything ok , ,other case the wind will fall down tonight ,I feel.
April 25th the wind fell down but always existing ,and it seems that I progress! This morning a squid hunted by the dolphin fishes has landed on the deck after its knock out on the mast .I put it back to sea after being hooked ,but the dolphin fishes look like feed up . I shall limit my food a little ,,I were planning on 19 days more ,but better to say one month ,I should arrive in this way by the end of may . I listen Radio Tahiti by 8h30am ,super ! Yesterday I finished the tapestry ,that I may complete a little more ,having some more of the main color of thread . I succeed to do 30 milles in 2 days ! At 5 pm ,surprise ! I fish a dolphin fish 0,80 cm long , I get some meat for two days :part of it by frying pan for night meal and breakfast ,the rest of it in court bouillon . I keep the tail as a trophy . In the night I get some drops of rain but the sail I put in the cockpit doesn't keep them or may be not sufficiently of them . I were keeping the head of the fish ,but I throw it away ,and a little later a shark 1,2 m long was coming to have a look , giving fin strokes in the rudder . My boat -hook teaches it my opposition ,it goes away . I am not so sure but the trade wind may be back .
April 28th the wind has unfortunately fall this night , I wish not to be too far from the 123th meridian . I just put the fishing line to work . I think I shall at midday I should jibe , I am going too north . I prefer to jibe after the midday position shoot ,to have a better look of the sun !
April 29th I have passed the 123th meridian ,wind always feeble , fishing without speed isn't successful . The radio may have a poor contact ,giving occupation .
30 milles since yesterday ,960 less . Earlier I would have said 16 days ,but I don't venture any more .
April 30th I have done 50 milles since yesterday ! At midday may be a fish comes two times shocking the rudder ,I don't like . A couple of goeland came this morning ,for a fishing party .
May 1st I am 10 milles to the 125th , I go on ,may that be for long time ! The radio is out of work just at the moment of the jokes ,I am anger . If I have enough food for 6 months ,rice and paste ,fresh water is only for 40 days , I would be arrived !
May 3rd I am just finding a better way of cleaning the hull ,only the keel stays dirty Radio Tahiti is always better (126°W 9°S)
May 4th one degree more done . I am just knowing by the radio that the polynesian yachts have to have aboard the security equipment of their class ,too late to go back ,I were hardly in 4th ,(20milles from a harbor) ),with the hands fire out of date I am beach toy ! By these days I do lop of sun and moon for my position ,because local midday is time of “quand un vicomte” at the radio .
May 6th some good rain but no feeling to use it . 5 pm I sew again my main sail spoiled by the jib ,one hour of work . 3 white birds came this morning chattering around the yacht . I may have 600 milles more .
May 8th strong wind and waves vicious sometimes . I am by 131°15' W and 8°32'S so less than 500 milles ,and 2 stays in the main sail .I continue on this side to tomorrow midday ,and so moving on the other side to keep it to the arrival .
May 9th this morning big deception ,I were so north ,but I find the mistake and anything is fine . In this way the wind turns between 5am and 9am NE 5-6 to E 3 passing by south ! Islands are coming shorter!
May 10th I am just repairing the jib ,having broken 3 needles on the strengthening pieces . I notice I have to remove the lines of the automatic wind pilot . They may resist until the Marquesas but who is knowing ? Just the time to write it and I did it ,but the new line is elastic ! That will reduce with time
May 12th , I am by 135°W and 9°S I shall change my local time this afternoon . The wind is moving in strongness ,and during the night it finds the good one : 3-4 ,one stay ,average speed 60-80 milles a day ,240 milles less ! I pass by a fishing buoy round and white .
May 13th why are the small winds and the squalls always by night these 2-3 days ? And since the 129th meridian there is sometimes wind in the squalls . I pass by a tetrodon floating ,round . I see myself arriving by night without any light ashore , the only one existing was deleted from the lighthouse book I copied in Fort de France .
May 14th this morning I change my gas bottle ,it was from Fort de France ,4 months ago ! Wind goes down with my speed , or something like that . I clean some of the hull . I wash myself with salt water . I finish a fresh water tank ,I may have 60 liters more . Hiva -Oa is 120 milles in front (137°W 9°15 S) I am dreaming to a sail cargo ship for trading between these islands . The birds are more and more . I should arrive at sunset if no much more wind .
May 16th ,in front ,slightly on starboard I have the feeling to see a land in the clouds (138° 8 E and 9° 36 S) wind is always so tiny and turn from east to south east . Yesterday I have done a lop with venus . But I have no confidence in my moon lops . Hiva-Oa would be at 60 milles (the anchorage of Atuona ) . In two days ,may be . I spend the night in survey ,being at 30 milles .
May 17th 1979 at morning time after the help of the moon light during the night , I really see these islands . With squalls and rough sea .Anchorage isn't so easy to find ,I look for it in any small bays ,and the wind is getting down . Happily for the last “meters” the dinghy from a belgium yacht comes to tow me ,and by 1pm I drop the anchor . I go after that on their yacht for lunch and chatter after 72 days of sea . I soon met this yacht at Panama . I meet the local policeman that asks me to go to see him next morning .
LES ILES MARQUISES
May 18th this morning I shall try to go ashore ,landing doesn't seem too easy ,straight on the beach ,with some nice stones .I have to pass by custom and post office ,but because of a strike ,I don't know if I may have full success . I got the same problem in Fort de France ! By the way I get some other one :polynesian french post office doesn't have “caisse d'epargne “,and the phone line of my parents is out for the moment ,and I get some hurt on my feet during the half hour walking from the landing beach area to the village ! At night meeting on the beach where we discuss between yacht men around a local meal . I meet local workers and understand that I may find a job .
I am teacher secondary school for one month ,June . In October that will be teaching in primary school ,for some months ,hard work that I leave for local life on Fatu-Hiva island ,learning to make coprah from the almond of the coconuts ,after having meted them ,open them with an ax ,taking away the almond with a knife ,dry the almond at the sun ,protecting the almond from the rain . This year it has been raining one time a day from middle july 190 to middle March 1981 .And a cyclone passes by ,last one was 72 years ago .,my yacht thunk at the anchorage . Not so good for the mental I leave this island for the main one ,where ten places planes are coming and cargo ships are more often passing . It was 3 weeks to wait before the next cargo ,because of the bad weather . I find an agriculture land for rent ,trees and steep ,in 15 years I do a vegetable farm ,delivering vegetables by feet to the village 3 km away . In 2001 I leave the place .