The Final Leg
04 September 2015 | Approaching Victoria
As I write this, we are approximately three miles away from the customs dock in Victoria's Inner Harbour. With a slight current against us and an engine that likes to run a little hot, that means still another hour to go. So rather than stare obsessively at the miles as they tick down, I will write about our final passage home from Hanalei Bay!
This was the first big passage where I didn't post any blogs along the way. I guess the reason for that is that I tend to only blog about all the fun and exciting things we do, and while there was plenty of excitement on this passage, it wasn't the fun kind. After we finally tore ourselves away from beautiful Hanalei Bay, we were immediately met with 25 knots of wind from the northeast. Considering we wanted to go northeast, this wasn't ideal. These northeast winds continued for the first 12 days, forcing us to sail almost due north. All the while, the GRIB files (or FIB files, as we call them) showed promises of a big high pressure system where we could use the calm days as a break from the constant bashing into the wind. This would be a good time to dry out a little, as the ports in the v-berth and the head were leaking quite significantly. Austen and I had a rotation of towels going to mop up all the water on a daily basis. We were looking forward to the high pressure system!
When the system finally came, the several days it was meant to last seemed to be condensed to about 12 hours, and we were once again bashing into the wind, trying to sneak in a bit of easting wherever we could. We joked that we would just head to Alaska, or maybe the north of Vancouver Island and sneak down to Victoria. At one point we were closer to Dutch Harbour, Alaska, then we were to Victoria. A little disheartening to say the least.
Our weather woes continued as we saw that our last week or so at sea would involve sailing through three low pressure systems. High winds and high seas were forecasted and there was no avoiding it. The first one kicked up 40-45 knot winds with gusts of 50 knots and 3-4 meter seas. We spent most of our time hiding down below, occasionally poking our heads up to check the wind speed and survey the horizon. On one of these such checks, I was standing in the cockpit and turned just in time to be met with a wall of water. The force of the wave snapped in half a 2x4 used to lash jerry cans and tore the cockpit covering at the seams. I was completely drenched and standing in shin deep water, as this was the moment when we realized the cockpit drain was clogged. So I grabbed a bucket and started to bail, thinking to myself that it was odd that Austen hadn't come to see if I was okay. Suddenly I heard him shout from down below, "I need a bucket!" Apparently the wave also managed to force the port in the head (window in the bathroom for you landlubbers) open and water was gushing in to the cabin. At the exact same time, totally unrelated, the autopilot decided to stop working. So like I said, plenty of excitement, just not the fun kind. Fortunately, the boat was well balanced enough so we didn't have to hand steer and she mostly kept her course while Tim worked to remedy the problem. The following day, another wave forced one of the ports in the v-berth open and water was once again coming into the cabin, only this time it drenched almost all of Austen's and my clothing along the way. We are both still wearing the same thing we wore that day, as everything else is wet!
There was nothing much we could do but hunker down and wait for these lows to pass. Candine is a heavy, sturdy sea boat and she handled the weather well, surfing the occasional wave, but keeping us safe. We did, however, discover many a leak down below and everything from the galley to the sea bunks to the aft cabin was getting wet. We all thought longingly of the South Pacific, wondering why we ever left! Fortunately, the first low pressure system was the worst that we would encounter, and we had a day to recover before the next one hit. The only casualty of the second low was our genoa, which got torn up a little. By the time the third system passed, we were used to the rough weather and just rode it out.
When the wind and seas finally calmed down, we were only a few days away from Victoria. All that was left was to battle a few gnarly thunder and lightening storms and we were in the Strait! All day today we motored along, with the Olympic Mountains to our right and calm, glassy seas. After rounding Race Rocks, serenaded by barking sea lions, we caught our first glimpse of the city lights. We are once again looking at a midnight landfall, just as we did when we sailed in to the Inner Harbour six years ago. Currently, we have just rounded the breakwall and are sailing past the Coast Guard station on our way to the customs dock. It's been a long, rough passage and we are all so excited to be back home!
Checking out the Garden Isle
13 August 2015 | At Sea
Well Candine and crew are back at sea for one last passage - the long stretch back to Victoria! It's Day 5 out here, who knows how many more. It's slow going and the wind is coming from exactly where we want to go, so for the time being we are heading due north. What an amazing trip it has been, but we are all looking forward to sailing back into our beautiful home port of Victoria. Being away always makes you appreciate where you come from even more.
We spent a week on Oahu, mostly sitting stern tied at Ala Wai Yacht Harbour. Tim grumbled on a daily basis about the ten minute walk down the dock and through the parking lot that was necessary to get anywhere, while Austen stared happily at the surf just opposite the breakwall. You win some, you lose some. We thought being stern tied, which required a little bit of tightrope walking along the lines to get off the boat, would deter our little boat cat from escaping, but there I was, at midnight, in my pajamas, trying to coax her off the neighbour's boat with treats and toys. She sure has gotten a whole lot braver over the last year!
While we had big plans to explore Oahu, the shock of not only being on land again, but being in a big, American city took its toll (it's a far cry from Pitcairn, with its population of 50) and we just relaxed and took it all in during our week there. We did all the necessary things - laundry, get groceries, do an oil change, sample mai tais - and started planning that last, big passage home. Tim was getting anxious to get underway and get home as early as possible, which meant we would skip any other islands. Well, unfortunately for him, and fortunately for Austen and me, Tropical Storm Guillermo had other plans. As the storm was making its way towards the Hawaiian Islands, we realized we had two choices - try to outrun it, or hunker down and let it pass. Outrunning it wasn't the most popular choice, so we resigned ourselves to waiting for it to pass. And what better place to wait than Hanalei Bay, Kauai! We had exhausted our seven day transient permit at Ala Wai, and Kauai was far enough out of the way of the path of the storm, and somewhere we all really wanted to check out, so off we went!
After a short overnight sail, we dropped the anchor one last time in Hanalei Bay, on the north shore of Kauai. Coming from Honolulu, it felt like we were in a whole different world! Hanalei Bay could not be more unlike Honolulu, and I think they intend to keep it that way. Instead of huge resorts dotting the shoreline there were just ordinary houses; small, independent restaurants and cafes were in place of national chains; and the apparel in all the shops declared Hanalei Bay specifically, not Hawai'i. Most telling were the bumper stickers that declared "If you love Kauai, tell your friends to go to Maui!" We arrived in the early evening and were looking forward to finding somewhere to eat but couldn't quite figure out where to land the dinghy. We asked the advice of a local on a trimaran who told us to head up the river about half a mile or so and find the Dolphin Restaurant. So we did, carefully crossing the mouth of the river where people were standing in water up to their knees, and carried on down the river. It was a beautiful dinghy ride, with Kauai's lush, green mountains extending into the clouds to our left, but we seemed to going on and on with no civilization in sight! Had we been had by the locals? We kept saying, "just around this bend, if there's nothing there we'll turn back!" A few bends later we were finally ready to give up for real when we spotted it - the Dolphin Restaurant. Unfortunately, we weren't the only ones looking for the restaurant - there was an hour wait. So we carried on down the road to the pub, had a fantastic (veggie) burger and were happy and satisfied for the dinghy ride home. Thankfully we remembered a flashlight because it was a dark dinghy ride home!
We spent four days enjoying Hanalei Bay, allowing the frequent rainfall to rinse off the rigging. Morning proved to be the most magical time - hardly any wind, flat calm seas, nobody on the water, clear views of the mountains and numerous waterfalls, and a perfect break for Austen where the turtles outnumbered the surfers. We soon realized that Hanalei Bay is indeed a gem in the Hawaiian Islands, a gem that is very difficult to leave! Our original plan was to stay here just long enough for Guillermo to pass, and then set sail. Well Guillermo passed on a Thursday, and we don't leave on Fridays (we don't follow any other maritime superstitions, but we follow this one religiously!), so we planned to leave at 12:01 am Saturday morning. But one last good night's sleep at anchor seemed like a better idea..so Saturday morning it was. Well, Saturday noon, that sounds a little more reasonable. We were clearly in no rush to leave on Saturday, and all it took was one paddleboarder informing us of a sandcastle competition on the beach. That is definitely worth staying for! We would have taken almost anything as an excuse. So Sunday it is!
After one last day on Kauai we knew it was inevitable, we had to leave. So, begrudgingly, we readied the boat for sea and set sail just before noon on Sunday, August 9, with our sights set on Victoria. Thank you, Tropical Storm Guillermo, for enabling us to experience the beauty of Hanalei Bay, and to you, my friends, go to Maui.
Aloha from the Hawaiian Islands!
28 July 2015 | Honolulu, HI
After 19 days at sea, we have made it to Hawaii! And other than one hairy night of 40+ knots of wind and reefing fiascoes, it was an incredibly pleasant passage. The seas were calm, the skies sunny, and the dolphins playful. We couldn't have asked for a better passage.
As we approached the Hawaiian islands, we still didn't have a solid plan of where exactly we wanted to make landfall. Maybe the Kona coast of the big island, maybe Honolulu on Oahu, maybe straight up to Kauai. Finally we decided on Honokohau Bay along the Kona coast, mainly because it was closer than any of the other spots and we'd been out of beer for weeks! We had our first glimpse of the island of Hawaii during the wee hours of our 18th day at sea. Tim woke me up for my morning watch at 4 am and we both stared in awe at the bright red glow of the lava flowing into the ocean from the constantly erupting Kilauea volcano. We had watched the lava flow six years earlier when Candine last sailed into the Hawaiian islands so we were really excited to see it again. Thinking Austen would enjoy the sight, I woke him up and told him to come up on deck. And then he had to go and ruin everything and inform us that the red glow we were seeing was actually the red lights of the airport, not the volcano. Oops.
As the sun came up, the excitement of spotting land disappeared along with the island. Hawaii was soon engulfed in a weird, foggy haze to the point where we couldn't even see the island ten miles away, and it's a high island! This, coupled with the wind now on the nose and a current working against us, forced us to rethink our plan. We had slowed down to the point that there was no way we'd be able to make a landfall before dark and approaching an unknown bay, at night, in the fog, didn't sound too appealing. So we resigned ourselves to one more day at sea and carried on to Oahu. I guess this was the right decision because we were soon rewarded with a large pod of dolphins playing on our bow. This was the most dolphins we had ever seen at one time, and they seemed to be surfacing in slow motion, allowing us to finally get some good dolphin pictures!
Once we were out of the lee of Hawaii, the wind picked up and the current was going with us, so we were barreling along at 7.5 - 8 knots. The TransPac (a race from LA to Honolulu) racers we've encountered here in Honolulu would no doubt laugh at our excitement over this speed, but we're a big, heavy boat and we don't reach that speed very often! Despite this extra boost, we were still looking at a late night landfall at Ala Wai Yacht Harbour. We had called ahead, so they were expecting us and Customs was aware of our arrival so all looked good. There was a very bright moon and Honolulu is a large, well lit city so we weren't too concerned about coming in in the dark. As we approached, we discovered that boaters in Honolulu don't feel that it's necessary to use their running lights in the dark, seemingly unaware of what an obvious hazard to navigation that is! A few times, we all of a sudden noticed a dark object moving across our bow and looked through the binoculars to spot a power boat humming along with no red or green.
Eventually we spotted the channel markers and began to make our entrance. Immediately beside the channel is one of the best surf spots along the south coast, and with an unusually large swell rolling in, it wasn't the dinghy we had to worry about coming in through breaking waves but Candine herself! Okay, maybe the waves weren't breaking in the channel, but close enough on either side so that our hearts were in our throats as we rode the swell on our way in. We later spotted a sailboat that didn't do so well in the waves, just two days before us, and had smashed up on the beach. A very sad sight, indeed. Fortunately, that was not our fate and we made it in to the harbour without incident. All the slips had been taken by the TransPac racers, so we had to pick up a mooring ball and stern tie to the dock. Despite the late hour of our arrival, our Aussie neighbour kindly caught our lines and just happened to have three cold beer in his fridge, which he felt we needed more than him. Our new best friend.
So here we are in Honolulu, not just adjusting to being on land again, but adjusting to a large, American city where everything we could possibly need is at our fingertips. It's all quite overwhelming! We will hang out here for a few days, and decide our next course of action, maybe Maui, maybe Kauai, maybe just stay here. But come the first week of August we will be heading back out to sea for the final passage, back to Victoria!
First Week Down..Two to Go!
15 July 2015 | At Sea
Well, we have made it through the first week of our passage to Hawaii. While we still dream of the beautiful bays of the Marquesas and the ice cold Hinanos, I think we have all come to terms with the fact that it's time to move on. At least we're just moving on to another beautiful, Polynesian archipelago!
The first week of our passage has been fantastic - very comfortable, beautiful sunny days, and just enough wind to keep us moving at a good pace. We've all adjusted well into our passage schedules, getting up for watches and finding sleep where we can. When Tim woke me up for my first watch (4 am), I was not thrilled about being awake, but once I stepped into the cockpit and saw the clear, starry night with just a sliver of a moon illuminating the dolphins playing at the bow, I was decidedly less grumpy. The nights have been amazingly clear, displaying the stars shining in the sky. It is quite something to see the stars at sea when there is no light from shore to dull them.
Myst is having a harder time adjusting to life at sea, mostly to having to be attached to a leash every time she comes into the cockpit. She has a habit of running around like a madwoman at night and jumping on the booms (sometimes even when the sail is up) so we keep her leashed to avoid any "cat overboard" drills. Yesterday morning, she tried to make a jump from one side of the companionway, across the hatch, to the other side but her leash was just not long enough and I looked up just in time to see her swinging back in forth, suspended in midair (don't worry, the harness has a chest strap as well so she wasn't hanging by the neck!). She didn't panic or even meow, just looked at me with the most dejected look on her face. As Austen said, she was just bungy jumping. I don't think offshore passages are really Myst's cup of tea.
Yesterday was our equator crossing day, and we crossed the line back into the northern hemisphere. Equator crossings are always cause for excitement (and extra rum rations) and we gave a toast to King Neptune as we passed. Conditions have been excellent on this passage so far and we want to keep King Neptune happy so they stay that way!
So now we are sailing along, about 1350 nautical miles from Oahu. We were planning to sail in to Ala Wai Yacht Harbor in Honolulu to quickly get cleaned up and ready for the next big hop before heading over to Hanalei Bay in Kauai for a few days, but now we have to reassess our plan. We happen to be arriving right around the TransPac race, which is a race from California to Honolulu, and Ala Wai Yacht Harbor has said they may not have room for us due to all the racing boats coming in. They also don't have a fuel dock or laundry facilities at the moment, two things we will definitely need! So as of right now we are discussing other options in Oahu, or perhaps skipping it altogether and heading straight for Kauai. I guess we still have a few weeks to decide!
Saying Au Revoir to the Marquesas
11 July 2015 | At Sea
Well, we have sadly, and very reluctantly said "goodbye" to the Marquesas, or rather "see you next time" as we all have plans to return to this beautiful archipelago. After our more-eventful-than- usual departure from Hiva Oa, we did a quick, overnight sail to the northern islands in the group and anchored in Hakahetau, Ua Pou. Ua Pou is a lush, volcanic island just like the rest of the Marquesas, but the skyline is punctuated with several tall, sharp spires. While these are usually covered by clouds, it makes for a rather striking landscape when they are clearly visible. When we first anchored, there were five other boats sharing the bay with us, but by morning they had all weighed anchored and left us all alone. I didn't think we smelled that bad...
Unfortunately, Captain Tim picked himself up a nasty little cold in Hiva Oa so he stayed on the boat to rest while Austen and I went ashore to explore. It was a Sunday when we arrived so all the kids were down at the wharf, jumping in the ocean and playing. Not a bad place to grow up, I imagine. We walked further up the road, with the intention of checking out a waterfall on the island, but made a stop first to say hi to a Marquesan man Austen met when Candine sailed to this bay in 2008. Atai still lived in the same house and was thrilled to see Austen. He gave us a melon from his garden for our hike and told us to stop by on the way back.
We continued on up the road, occasionally asking locals for directions to the waterfall, but as we have discovered, Marquesans are not very good at giving directions. Everything is "just over there," or you get odd directions like "by the pile of rocks" or "turn left at the palm tree" (there are a lot of palm trees here...). So we carried on up the path anyways, working up a very good sweat in the midday heat. We had been walking for what felt like too long of a time, with no waterfall in sight, when we came across a woman picking bananas. We inquired as to the whereabouts of this elusive waterfall and she responded, "just over there," pointing in the direction from which we had come. Sensing the disappointment on our faces, she invited us to her house for coffee. "Do many people live out here?" asked Austen. "Just me and my husband!" she laughed. Just her and her husband. And five horses, two dogs, eight cats, and countless chickens and ducks.
Their property was amazing, about an hours walk from the main village, and with an amazing view of the spires. We walked around with her husband while she prepared the coffee. An ex-pat from Germany, he was baking their bread in a solar oven because they were out of gas. They didn't seem too bothered by the lack of gas, they appeared very self-sufficient out here, with solar panels on the roofs providing their energy. He told us his frustrations with the price of tobacco, so he started growing his own to smoke, and his current project was turning an old, broken microwave into another solar oven.
When the coffee was ready, we sat with them and the cats in the kitchen, snacking on the macademia nuts from their own trees, and handmade chocolates prepared using the cacao beans they grew. The baby chicks snacked on coconuts just outside, sharing their meal with Kiki and Hatchi, the resident pooches. Life seemed pretty idyllic up in this little slice of paradise! We thanked them for the coffee and headed back down the path, with bags full of pamplemousse, papaya, fresh basil, macademia nuts, chocolate and marzipan. We never did find the waterfall, but we were not disappointed!
Back in town, we went over to Atai's house and he took us up the road to his mother's house, where his garden was situated. The road up provided some amazing views of Candine sitting all by herself in the big, empty bay. Atai's mother was a weaver, and made hats, baskets, and mats using traditional weaving methods. She was very happy to show us her wares and even sent us off with a hand-woven basket full of citrus fruit, more basil, and a bottle of fermented noni juice - supposedly a health tonic, if you can get past the horrifying smell long enough to drink it. We made our way back to Candine, overloaded with goodies from the island and great memories thanks to the generosity of the locals.
After a few days in Baie d'Hakahau, the largest village in the island and third largest in the Marquesas, we headed across to the big smoke, Nuku Hiva. Nuku Hiva is the largest and most populated of the Marquesan islands, with a staggering 2500 people. We sailed into Taiohae in the early afternoon and were greeted with a flip of the wing from a passing manta ray. Taiohae is a large bay, so we didn't feel crowded anchoring there amongst 30 other boats, including some rather large mega yachts. ("I'll bet they have an ice maker," we always say, "maybe we'll get invited over for cocktails!" Such is life on a boat with no freezer, iceless cocktails!) We dropped anchor and ventured ashore to discover we were just in time for the Mister and Miss Nuku Hiva contest! While the actual contest itself seemed to be nothing more than a fashion show, there was some wonderful traditional dancing in between.
We spent five days in Nuku Hiva, trying to wrap our heads around the fact that we would be leaving French Polynesia very shortly. Anxious to enjoy our last few days, Austen and I set off to paddle around the bay and were quickly joined by three very curious manta rays! These are amazing creatures to watch, so graceful in the water as they swam circles around our boards. That was definitely a highlight for us. Tim on the other hand, felt the need for a really good souvenir to mark his second trip to the Marquesas. T-shirts and sarongs are great, but they don't last forever. So we found a nice young Marquesan man with a tattoo gun and got the captain all inked up. Tim now has a very permanent souvenir gracing his upper arm - a turtle with traditional Marquesan designs.
Finally, we had delayed the inevitable as long as possible, and it was time for us to leave. We weighed anchor and left Taiohae bay, drowning our sorrows in a fruity rum cocktail - without ice. On our way north, we made one quick pitstop at Eiao, an uninhabited island and former leper colony which is now home to wild sheep, pigs and phantoms. We made a short little shore excursion, but no ghosts were sighted. Back on the boat, we enjoyed one last lunch at anchor before getting underway. Now we are en route to Oahu in the Hawaiian islands. The sail has been extremely pleasant so far, 200 nautical miles down, 1800 to go.
The Southern Marquesas
30 June 2015 | Ua Pou
I've been waiting six years to come to the Marquesas. I had often been told the Marquesas were the gem of the south Pacific, everyone who crossed the Pacific favoured the Marquesas and since I was picked up on the last trip as the wayward hitchhiker in Tonga, I missed them. But on our way home from New Zealand, back in 2009, we were going to make the Marquesas a priority. That was our destination when we had our unfortunate run in with Anuanuraro and had to divert to Tahiti for a new rudder. I've been waiting ever since then. Well, I'm happy to say I've finally made it to the Marquesas, and they do not disappoint.
Our passage here from Mangareva was a short, seven day passage, but it was a little rougher than most passages we've done. We approached Fatu Hiva just as the sun rose, and sailing into Baie Hanavave was a sight for sore eyes. It's a narrow bay, but it perfectly highlights the lush, volcanic island. Rumour has it that early European explorers christened it Baie de Verges which more or less translates to Bay of Phalli, due to the phallic nature of the rock formations surrounding the bay. Then came those no-fun missionaries who conveniently slipped an "i" into the name, changing it to Baie de Vierges, or Bay of Virgins.
Once we got our anchor down, we all dove into the water, which at about 27 degrees, felt like a bathtub, but it was refreshing nonetheless. Back on deck, we realized Myst had found her own way to celebrate the landfall - she'd found herself a fresh flying fish on the deck which she proudly brought into the cockpit for all to see. This from the cat who previously turned her nose up at fresh fish in favour of cucumber or cabbage. But being the sheltered little princess she is, she had no idea what to do with the fish and was attempting to eat the wings when Tim took pity and showed her the meatier part of the fish that she might enjoy better. She did, and she ate like, well, a sailor who's been at sea for awhile.
On shore, we marvelled at the beauty of the island - the tropical flowers and fruit trees, the volcanic peaks and deep valleys. Eager to stretch our legs after a week at sea we hiked to an amazing waterfall where all three of us, hot and sweaty from the hike, dove into the fresh water pool at the base. All hikes should have a cool, freshwater pool at the end! As usual in French Polynesia, we were greeted by everyone we passed, as Polynesians are known for their friendly, welcoming attitudes. There is no airstrip on the island so visitors are few and far between. We were invited to the house of one of the locals, fed delicious crepes, and after trading a few things, walked out with some beautiful hand-carved tikis. I'm beginning to see why everyone loves the Marquesas...
Unfortunately, we are on a bit of a timeline, so after a few days in Fatu Hiva we carried on to Tahuata. We did not stay long in Tahuata, as the first bay we anchored in we were met with extremely high, fluky winds. As we were anchoring, trying to find a safe spot, we heard a whistle blowing from the breakwall, and saw a number of people frantically pointing us in the opposite direction. Thinking that they were warning us of imminent danger, we heeded their advice and turned around. Upon closer inspection with the binoculars, they were just a bunch of kids playing around. The whistle continued to blow at regular intervals for the next two hours. We considered scheming ways to steal the whistle... Despite the high winds, the boys still made it out for a good snorkel around the bay, and Austen and I got our paddleboards out to explore. At the following bay, which contains the largest village on Tahuata, we were met with heavy rainfall. Austen attempted a surf while Tim and I went to check out the store, which was rather barren. Apparently everyone had already been there to buy up everything the supply ship had to offer!
We left Tahuata for a short little day sail to Hiva Oa, and were joined by a pod of dolphins in the channel. We had not seen dolphins since the passage to Easter Island so this was very exciting to see! The bay in Atuona, the big town of Hiva Oa (and biggest town in the southern Marquesas), is very narrow, and very popular. Because of this, we utilized our stern anchor for the first time this trip. While in Hiva Oa, we managed to stock up on groceries and get our fill of internet time. Through our internet travels, we learnt it was "International Day of the Seafarer." And since Facebook never lies, we felt it necessary to celebrate! And what better way to celebrate than drinking rum out of coconuts around a bonfire on a black sand beach with seafarers from Australia, the UK, Germany, Denmark, USA, and Poland.
We had a fantastic time in Hiva Oa, but as usual, time was ticking so we decided to weigh anchor for an overnight sail to Ua Pou. But picking up the stern anchor presented a problem. It seemed horribly stuck. So, taking advantage of the fact that the boats closest to us had left, we pulled the bow anchor up, and turned ourselves around to pull up the stern anchor with the electric windlass. Through this system, we managed to get the anchor off the bottom and within four feet of the surface, but that was it. It was snagged on something, but the poor visibility prevented us from seeing exactly what it was snagged on. Seeing our plight, a young British fellow came over in his dinghy to help. With a mask, he was able to see that our stern anchor was stuck on an underwater cable that we had picked up when picking up the anchor. Getting himself completely soaked, and with the help of our boat hook, Ed managed to free us of the cable, picked up our anchor in his dinghy, and delivered it back to the stern for us. I figure after all the "Austen Assist" adventures (which continued in Hiva Oa with Austen helping a fellow cruiser drop their stern anchor), this was karma coming back to help us! So after one of our more eventful anchor retrievals, thanks to "Ed Assist," we sailed off into the sunset en route to Ua Pou and the northern Marquesas islands.