Lat: 5 34.729′ S
Lon: 114 41.751′ W

1469 miles to go..

Today we reached the halfway point of our passage to the Marquesas. It’s a little anti-climactic; we’ve settled into a routine, the sailing is great, the weather is nice, and the miles keep going by. We’re running on just the spinnaker now and are making our best time ever. The current is definitely helping us, as we’re averaging well over 6 kts. In fact, our average over the last 24 hours is more like 7+. Last night the trades picked up and we were really flying, surfing down the following seas and averaging 8 knots or more. Even with bigger seas, it’s more peaceful today but we’re still in the 7 knot range. Over the last couple of days the wind has moved more to the ESE and freshened a bit — pretty consistent with the June pilot chart for the South Pacific.

Today we may try an experiment with making a podcast. We made up some questions for each other and we’re going to try to record the “interviews/podcast” and post it on the website when we get to the Marquesas. It will give those of you who haven’t met us a chance to hear what we sound like and maybe give some additional perspective that doesn’t make it into the blog.

After several skirmishes, this morning marked the beginning of all-out hostilities between the Pura Vida crew and the fruit flies. We seemed to have picked them up in the Galapagos and they had started attempts to colonize the galley, which of course we are engaged in resisting. There were many rounds of hand-to-wing combat this morning, and although the flies win the majority of battles, we have noticed their numbers dwindling, while we still have our full compliment of 8 hands at the ready.

This afternoon we had an interesting bird sighting. Birds had become less frequent over the last few days, but I saw a couple small ones mid-morning, and a few minutes later, I saw a flock of over 100 birds flying together, gradually moving northeast while apparently diving for fish.

Just before sunset, the wind had really piped up again, probably around 20 knots consistent, with gusts to 25 or more and the seas had built as well. With the spinnaker up, we were typically doing more than 9 knots, with periods above 10 knots. As cool at that is, it’s a pretty lively ride and puts a lot of strain on the boat. The last couple of nights the wind has picked up at night, so to make sure everyone gets some good sleep, we doused the spinnaker and went with just the jib, which still had us moving along at over 6 knots. Dropping the spinnaker went reasonably smoothly, and last time we dropped it Tiff and I did it by ourselves with no problems. We’re finally getting better at it! Lauren gets the credit for dropping the spinnaker at a great time.