Nuka Hiva: One Step Closer to Mexico
09 October 2013 | The Deep Blue Sea
Gene and Gloria
Nuka Hiva: One Step Closer to Mexico We departed Apataki Atoll Fri Aug. 30 at noon in sunny weather with light winds from the SE. Until today, day 3, we have been able to go NE, E of the Rhumb line from Apataki to Nuka Hiva and on day 3, we are about 70 miles E of the Rhumb line. With prevailing easterlies we felt it important to get as much easting done as possible early on. We have been able to use our Monitor Wind Vane to steer about one of the days; it likes close hauled in 12+ knot winds. Currently we are using Tillie, our tiller pilot, mounted to the steering wheel as Millie, our Raymarine autopilot, quit working this morning. We passed through a weather front this morning and the winds went from SE 14 to NE 4 and are now motoring NE in confused choppy seas. The morning weather grib files show we will now have light NE winds for the next 2-3 days. This is confirmed by the Nadi fleet code, a weatherfax summary for the Pacific islands. It looks like motoring the rest of the way, about 200 miles. Our choice would be to take the sails down and sit out here the two to three days and see what comes, not appealing to us. We would tack, but Pincoya requires 12 knots+ to sail and less than 5 is what we have right now. We did catch a mahi mahi which made a delicious dinner on Fri, and sashimi lunch yesterday (and today). It is always an adventure to fillet and prepare a fish on the floor of the cockpit in rolly seas. Our first 2 days were primarily fine weather but squally conditions started yesterday and are continuing today. At least some of the salt has been rinsed off Pincoya. We are fortunate to have had such an easy start to this 540 mile trip, which puts us that much closer to Mexico. It is sort of an advance preparation experience as this will be the direction of sailing for the first part of our trip to Mexico. More repairs to do in Nuka Hiva. I had to work on the Dutchman reefing as the shackle to the tailing lift let go and had to be replaced. More fun repairs on a rolly boat at sea at daybreak, 5 am! We're happy to report all is well with us and so far no water leaks coming in the boat!
Ou Pou then Nuka Hiva The winds blew us to Ou Pou where we anchored but were unable to go to shore due to large surf there. It was nice to have a 2 day break, get the Dutchman worked on, etc. We were then able to make the 20 mile trip N to Nuka Hiva with more favorable winds. We went to Daniels Bay first for about 5 days. Hiked up to the cascade, and traded mahi to some villagers there for pamplemouse and bananas. It was time to get over to Tiaohea and start preparing for our big jump back to the northern hemisphere. We motored over the 4 miles and anchored. However it was so rolly that we had to move and put out our stern anchor to hold us into the swells, which worked fairly well. We found Brice tattoo who had done our first tattoes 3 years ago and arranged to have another for each of us. Again, he did wonderful work of Marquesan art. And his mother gave us a sack of citrons to make limeade plus breadfruit and bananas. Plus they have the cutest baby goat Mata. Many trips to the store and lots of cookies, milk later, we were ready and went to the gendarmerie to check out on the last day of our visa. They were very relaxed about the whole thing and didn't hastle us when we didn't leave for another day. We then snuck up to Anaho Bay on the ne corner of the isle, where we stayed for another 10 days, for the most part by ourselves. This is a very beautiful and delightful bay, calm, nice breezes, stunning scenery. We were delaying actual departure to avoid weather and give the northern hemisphere cyclone season more time to wind down. We did a nice hike over to the village in a neighboring valley and had our last ice cream for a long time. And hiked over to another valley with a farmer who sold us more pamplemouse, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and of course, more bananas. Did I mention that ripe bananas with citron make a great daiquiri?! Finally, our weather router Bob McDavitt approved an Oct 8 departure and the last 2 days were spent in a whirlwind of activity which included diving under the boat and removing barnacles and moss from underneath the water and waterline, food preparation, relocating the bed, storing and tying everything down, and being nervous! We got off on Oct 8 at midday, motored the first hour, then set the sails for close hauled in 15 knots E wind and 6 foot seas. Oh Oh, time to get our sea legs back; we are now on the Pincoya weight reduction plan! Hope the Stugeron works.