Slow news day. Nothing breaks and there is nothing to complain about. Decent wind for half the day. Excellent motoring the other. Spill The Wine has enough fuel on board to motor to Rangiroa. Not the desired outcome but nice to know. At the end of Lynn’s 9-midnight watch another squall catches up with us. Passes quickly and leaves us with not much wind at all. As I start my watch I contemplate stowing the jib and motoring. Hmmm. I’ll just round up something to read and see what happens. The squall has left the sea a bit smoother. And the wind fills in better than before. Soon STW is sailing along quite nicely on jib only. This makes reading much more of a pleasure.
We are making decent progress. 423 miles to go. 164 miles made. Looks like 5/9 arrival. Hopefully Not at night!
Quote of the day:
It can be so fun being what you are. Figure out what you are and enjoy that thoroughly.
Hiva Oa was a beautiful stop. We toured the town. French baguettes available all over. We met up with some fellow Puddle Jumpers. And we met a French couple Patrice and Krystal. Every time we turned around they were helping us with something. Schlepping fuel or water, thirsty. Great neighbors. Their boat was the same Lagoon that Lynn and her husband John ran their charter business with in 2003-2007. Flashback for her.
We were shopping for fresh vegetables. Inconsistently successful. As verdant as this place is, you’d think you could grow everything and anything in quantity. Maybe you could but the fruits and vegetables here come from off island. Every couple weeks there is a supply boat.
We took on 30g water and 188 liters of fuel. This did not fill us up but nearly did on fuel. The watermaker will keep up with us fine for 5 days.
We were walking down the road and two young women approached us looking for crew positions to Tahiti. Could be. But on the day of departure (today) they decided to stay two more weeks and participate in a marathon. Youth! The wind changes and off they go. 🙂 They did come down to the anchorage to let us know. Nice touch.
So it’s just Lynn and I as we head to Rangiroa where Nancy will join Spill The Wine and Lynn will return to her husband John at their home in San Francisco world. Wind and seas are mild just now but a rain squall is brewing about 6 miles out. That might be my second bath of the day. It’s comfortable in the 10 kts following breeze at 88 degrees. But if you move…. it gets hot pretty quick. We are making 5 kts on jib only. 590 miles to go. Should take about 5 days. Goodbye Marquesas. Hello 360 degree horizon. I think I’ll slice up a mango.
5/4/17 0100. (1am)
The first part of this evenings watch was moonlit making identifying the squalls quite easy.. now the moon has set and the stars are my next best tool. To starboard I have a great view of many stars. To port it is dark. Shower time? We’ll see.
Sea state is building a bit. Earlier the boat was sailing pretty flat. Now it is lumpier. Moving about the boat requires more effort to keep your footing. What can i say. Some people like this or that athletic endeavor. I like to stagger about in my boat. Should be an Olympic event!
Cruising is a different way to sail. Don’t know when I’ve spent more time flying just one sail. You want to fly enough sail to make 5 or 6 knots, but no more. More just makes the sail plan more work to manage. Especially at night not worth it with just one sailor on watch. And it’s not a good day when you get caught by a squall with too much sail in the air. With one sail not much adjustment is required. Just now the wind picked up a bit and she just puts her shoulder in and carries on.
The stars have returned to starboard. That bit of rain missed me. It feels good to be back at sea. And the flying fish have not yet found me.
I’m having déjà report here. If this is redundant forgive me.
We radioed to check in as planned. Our agent was expecting us. We did not have our paperwork together however. Bummer. Nobody seemed to worried about it. My biggest fear was that they would tell me welcome and no beer or baguettes for you until late you finish check in! We got back in to the customs office today and things went well. Nice people.
Went to town for baguettes and beer. Interesting touring the grocery stores. Today tried to figure out what was wrong with the chart plotter. It dawned on me that maybe resetting to factory defaults would help. It seems like it did. Sailing in here on my phone mapping app seemed kinda iffy… but it worked! Good to have redundancy in this category.
Rebecca has arranged to depart French Polynesia and find her way back home. She was great crew. Lynn and I encountered two people looking to crew to Tahiti. Now we are trying to find them again to get them on board. We’ll see. It would make for more sleep for everybody if they came along.
In the meantime having fun with the neighbors in the anchorage. No real hurry to leave but we have places to go and People (Nancy) to pick up in Rangoroa!
As we got closer to Hiva Oa we got nervous. There is no moon. There is a big hunk of earth over there somewhere in the dark. We bear away from the island a bit to be sure to clear. Rains come. Hard. And go just as quickly. Hiva Oa is dark. Where da population at? We learn later the island sports a population of 2000. And it is 22 miles long.
Finally we spot some lights on the south Shore. Right where they should be. We get our first whiff of land in a long time. Earthy. Organic and spicy. Welcoming. We pull in and anchor in a small cove with a dozen other sailboats. Some we know. The valley walls rise up to the north, east and west of the bay. Beautiful foliage supported by rain several times daily. This is a good place to be a plant.
We get on the radio and make plans to take care of customs formalities in an hour. Oh there is a problem. Some documents missing. Recoverable. No one seems too worried and we reschedule our check in. Off to town. Baguettes! We feel happy to be here already.
Not sure what runs this town economically. But not tourism. They probably don’t get enough boat people coming through to make any tourist related endeavours worthwhile. But they are very nice to us. French is a fun language and I have some. Many people speak some English. Some quite well. Beautiful place. Anyway by the time we get officially checked in we will be restless and ready to move on. Nuka Hiva will be our next stop. Unless we change our minds…. 🙂 Then on to Rangiroa to pick up more Crew. Nancy Patterson will join Spill The Wine!
NOTE: Photos by Rebecca Schaaf 🙂