The Marquesas II
28 April 2011 | Fatu Hiva
The Marquesas II
We left Hiva Oa on the 14th and set sail for Fatu Hiva. An uphill sail of 50 miles. The wind was a steady 15 knots and we were as close hauled as we could be. A bit uncomfortable, but excellent sailing! We were loving it. Then, about an hour into the trip, I was down below and I heard what sounded like a gunshot from above. I ran upstairs and found the headsail flogging away with no sheets attached! We had blown the clew! SHIT!
So we furled that and watched our speed cut in half. Oh well! I turned on the engine and we motor sailed with the main up.
Awhile later I thought I’d try changing the headsail. So I went up onto the heaving foredeck and started to get everything ready for the change. It was rough up there. We came down off a wave and I slid over about a foot and smashed my foot into a cleat, breaking one of my toes.... I looked down and saw one of my toes going off at a 45 degree angle, and decided maybe I didn’t really want to change that sail after all... I started wiggling and flexing my toes and thankfully it snapped back into place.
3 hours later I heard a big rrrrrrrrrrrip! Looked up and found the mainsail had blown a seam just below the second reef! SHIT AGAIN!! I went up and put in a double reef and watched our speed dwindle even further. Oh well!
We limped (especially me!) into Fatu Hiva just as the sun was setting. I was just finishing up setting the anchor when Norm from Sara Jean called out and pointed to the setting sun. I turned around and was struck by the most intense and beautiful sunset! I stopped everything and just stood on deck in rapture.... A bumpy, sail ripping, toe popping, slow passage forgotten.... It was just us, Merkava, and the most intense raw beauty imaginable.... Awesome.....
PS - Beth and Norm just happened to have a sail sewing machine on board Sara Jean and kindly offered to help with the ripped mainsail. So the following day, we hauled it over to Sara Jean and while Norm, Yuka, and I wrestled the sail into the right place, Beth valiantly sewed it back together.