A pinch and a punch for the first of the month! That’s for you Xavier!
The first of June brought the forecast southwest change at 3AM. The wind came around onto the beam blowing out of the north west just as Predict Wind said it would. Dear Perkins was able to go to bed after faithfully pushing us along for 52 hours. The sea was flat and the boat very comfortable. At 8AM the wind continued to swing all the way onto our stern and build also as predicted.
Now we are running wing and wing almost dead downwind rolling along with a 2 metre swell pushing up astern, the jib poled out and full main doing an easy 7 knots.
Rob and I tackled the prop brake problem eventually nutting out the the easy solution of wedging a large screw driver into the brake calipers to enable then to clamp on the disk and stop the prop. The screw driver is tied to a piece of line fastened to the bottom step to remind us it is there and prevent tn from disappearing into the depths of the bilge. The secondary job was to make a large sign next to the engine start key – REMOVE PROP BRAKE SCREW DRIVER!!!! Now we can sail along without the whine of the prop spinning and rest a little easier knowing all the works are at peace.
Yesterday as we were motoring along with no wind and a very flat sea and commenting that we had seen no wildlife except for a few sea birds when suddenly a whale spouted a few hundred metres ahead. It was a large humpback, probably as long or longer than Chimere. He seemed to be having a lazy time not going anywhere in particular. But he was not interested in us and as we approached he raised his tail and disappeared beneath the surface.
As I write we are 390NM to our waypoint on the south east corner of New Caledonia. In 10NM we will be half way to Port Vila!!
Time to send this report and get the latest weather.