Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Day 23 and 24 The final push.
We're close enough now to estimate an arrival time. We've calculated if we push we'll make it before dark on Thursday. We hand steered to keep the speed up all day both days watching the miles and counting the hours. We're getting tired, constantly hanging on is wearing us down. We can't wait to prepare a meal of more than one course, set it on the table with a drink without trying to hold on to everything at once.
Day 25 Landfall Hiva Oa
As the sun rose puff ball clouds ringed the horizon. To the west, straight ahead, as the sun illuminated particularly dark cloud, the pencil drawing silhouette of a mountain appeared. Hiva Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia. We spent the rest of the day approaching the anchorage on the south. We entered the outer bay, the open arms of an enormous crater, one side having eroded into the sea. A few houses dotted the hillside that stretched up and into the clouds, disappearing high above in swirling clouds. We motored into the anchorage and found it chocked full of sailboats, all anchored with bow and stern anchors to keep from swinging into each other. We eased ourselves into a recently vacated spot, and as we were eyeing where to place our anchors, our good friend Robin from Katydid rowed over and offered to help with the stern anchor. We loaded it and 200 feet of line into his dingy, then motored forward and dropped our primary anchor between two boats. Cristina backed up as Robin dropped the stern anchor. We pulled both tight and snug as a bug in a rug, 3000 miles and 25 days from the Galapagos, we have arrived! "Welcome to Paradise," said Robin. Then our friends Phil and Jen on Sea Monkey paddled over and gave us a fresh baguette from town. Friends, food, a secure anchorage; what else could you want?
The anchorage is calm, we relaxed and prepared a big meal with the last of our fresh food and nothing slid across the table, nothing spilled on the stove. We opened a fresh bottle of rum and savored a still boat nestled beneath towering, jungle clad cliffs. Then we slept, no watched, no night reefing, in the bed (vberth) with sheets (it's even cool at night).
Friday, May 4, 2012
Day 17 Perfect Sailing Day
If there are times while cruising when you cant find the sense of it, and you keep asking yourself why you are doing it, that wasn't the case today. Just the contrary, we had a perfect sailing day. The wind was blowing 15-18 knots from the SE, pushing us almost straight west towards our next waypoint. The waves from the stern were powerful lifting Bamboleiro up giving us a really good push surfing with them.
If that wasn't enough, we also had a current of about 0.5-1 knots in our favor. The sun was shining but the breeze kept the day fresh and we hand-steered Bamboleiro during the day to give "princesa", our autopilot a break.
Averaging 6 knots, we covered a good piece on our chart: 137 miles
Day 18 Muffin Pancake
The wind tapered off throughout the afternoon and by sunset we were gliding along slowly. We celebrated the easy sailing with a dinner of tortilla de patata, asparagus soup and a glass of red wine. How sweet it was! After dark the wind fell off some more, below 10 knots so the waves tossed us around slamming the sails. We started up the motor and put putted slowly W until at 3am the seas calmed down enough that we could keep the sails full of wind and sailing.
After the long night of wine and motoring, we slept in late until after 10 o'clock. You see we haven't changed our clocks since the Galapagos so now the sun rises after 8am. It sets at 8pm too, which is convenient for us who like to eat dinner late watching the sunset. Here we are truly the masters of our own time.
In the morning we thought muffins for breakfast would be a nice change, but didn't want to turn on the oven in the heat of the late morning. We cooked the muffin instead in a fry pan and it turned out like one enormous muffin pancake. We devoured it for brunch.
Miles today 103
Day 19 Same'o Same'o
We're ¾ of the way there. We've jibed to the south west and our course is 240, direct to Niku Hiva.
Miles today 130
Miles to go 740
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Day 14 Three Cups of Rain
Not much wind in the morning, decreasing in the afternoon to nothing. Squalls all over us and there was no escape this time, so we ate quite a few. This day we had all kinds of rain: thick rain, thin rain, misty rain, horizontal rain, vertical rain, rain that came without wind, rain that came with a little bit of wind and rain that came with howling wind! Most of the time it was chasing rain.
The seas were mostly flat so we spent a lot of time belowdecks watching Boston Legal with the speakers stuck to our ears, since the noise of the motor was too loud! After TV and popcorn time everyone got a fresh rainwater show in the cockpit. We motored all through the night. Lots of rain!
Miles today: 92
Day 15 FOB (fish on boat)
More rain in the morning, this time there are very dark squalls moving around bringing LOTS of wind so we tried to steer around as many as we could. Even so some chased us down and pounded us with rain and wind, so we reefed and unreefed fast and often.
In the afternoon the wind changed to NE, so we set a nice course due West.
Next morning we woke up with a clear, blue, sunny sky. We put everything out in the cockpit to dry and threw out our fishing lines. Both lines caught dorados at the same time. We lost the first one, but we brought the second on board for lunch. Awesome lunch: Fish and chips with tartar sauce (without chips)
Miles today: 120
Miles to Fatu Hiva 1180
Day 16 Watching TV
We made 121 miles west, and watched a lot of Boston Legal. It's a lot of fun to watch people who get up every morning, put on clothes and shoes, and live in a city making silly jokes about society. It seems very, very far away and exotic from here in the middle of the South Pacific.