2,965 Solo Miles in 20 Days for Moonduster

The six boats in the anchorage at Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas are dwarfed by the tall peaks. (Note to Jim Corenman of SailMail: we know that photos aren’t supposed to be sent on SailMail, so sorry about the 20 minutes even the reduced resolution version took on the system.)

© 2008 Wayne Meretsky

Wayne Meretsky of the Alameda-based S&S 47 Moonduster reports that on April 10 he finished his singlehanded passage from Punta Mita, Mexico, to Fatu Hiva, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia. When he got there, he shared the anchorage with five other boats: Blue Plains Drifter, Jim and Tiffany Tindle’s Tayana 48 from Santa Cruz; Elusive, which is either Stephen and Wendy Bott’s J/44 from Seattle or Josh Clark’s Cal 32 from Panama City; Scarlett O’Hara, John and Renee Prentice’s Serendipity 43 from San Diego; Pacific Star, Horst Wolff and John Shryock’s IP 35 from San Francisco; and Just Do It, a German boat which arrived via the Beagle Channel.

Meretsky passed along some interesting information about his trip:

"Rhumbline, or shortest distance, from Punta Mita to his landfall — 2,725 miles.
Planned passage — 2,867 miles.
Actual miles sailed — 2,965 or 240 miles more than the rhumbline.
Duration — 20 days, give or take an hour or two.
Best day — 186.9 miles or an average of 7.8 knots.
Worst day — 100.1 miles or  4.2 knots.
Average miles per day — 148 or an average of 6.2 knots. It was my slowest passage ever. Where was the wind?
Boats seen since leaving the coast — 2.
Lightning seen — None.
Rain other than squalls — None.
Engine hours — 24.6, most of them enroute to Isla Clarion off the coast of Mexico.
Engine hours since leaving Clarion — just 7.2.
Estimated gallons of diesel used — 15.
Eggs eaten — 30. And to think Cool Hand Luke did 50 in a single seating!
Pounds of bacon — 2.
Pounds of brie — 1/2.
Grapefruit — One a day, and I still have five left.
Fish caught — Just one, a jack, right after leaving Punta Mita. I threw it back."

As for French Polynesia, Meretsky reports that the Gendarmerie closes at 11 a.m. and isn’t open on weekends at all. "It makes the Mexicans seem industrious," he says.

He used Polynesia Yacht Service for clearing in, which cost $504, but had a number of benefits. Fuel is reported to be over $8 per gallon, and was being rationed in Hiva Oa to 40 liters per boat — until two days ago when the supply ship showed up.

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At 16, Zac Sunderland hopes to become the youngest solo circumnavigator. © Marianne Sunderland Laurence and Marianne Sunderland of Marina del Rey report that their 16-year-old son Zac, who has 15,000 ocean miles to his credit, will set off next month from Southern California in an attempt to become the youngest person to circumnavigate singlehanded.
Further to the above report, annoucing that Zac Sunderland, 16, hopes to set a record as the youngest solo circumnavigator, we should point out that another 16-year-old, Josh Clark of Panama City, Panama, may attempt the same feat.
If you miss Lin and Larry Pardey’s talks at Strictly Sail next weekend (click here for details), you’ll have a chance to catch their "Sixteen Ways to Keep Your Lover" seminar at the Spaulding Wooden Boat Center in Sausalito on April 24 at 7 p.m.