Anchor Down! Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands
14 April 2010
After four weeks and 3200 miles of sailing, Eric anchored in Atouna harbor early this morning. After a fast trip from the equator the wind gods turned off the wind 15 miles from the goal and a long twelve hour crawl into the bay in the middle of the night was the outcome. Eric will be picking up the blog again as soon as he's ready, Thanks for your readership. Here are the latest e-mails ...
4/13 "confirm landfall"
I made it early this morning. I motored the last two miles and had the dinghy in the water on standby in case I ran out of fuel. I am anchored outside the breakwater with three other boats, none of whom had any lights on last night. I also spent the night several boatlengths away from gnarly rocks with surf crashing on them, which was a sharp contrast to being at sea. I got the hook set well in 30 feet and turned on the depth alarm and slept. Also, immediatly after I set the hook and was idling I ran out of fuel, so I am going to go get some today and see if there is any room in the bay. It smells like flowers, and foliage. A lot like landfall in hawaii. Cheers, Eric
Well, it turns out that I am within striking distance. Four 150 mile days in a row put me there, and It still is marginal if I am going to make it by dark tomorrow or not. A lot depends on how fast I go tonight. I am about 150 miles out and there is still an hour and change of daylight today. I am smashing, but could use just a little bit more breeze. I thought about going with the chute tonight, but the breeze is on the beam and has been variable so I think Id rather sleep tonight. Tomorrow however the order of business will be: coffee, cliff bar, set up anchor, pop chute, make landfall. That will, of course, take all day. Sadly there is no moon. There is nothing to hit going into Atuona and my friends say its easy but if it becomes apparent Im not going to make it Ill have to park it off shore which will make for a long night tomorrow night. Nothing much else new. My bloody guitar strings (#s 1 and 2) rusted after three days. Kevin's brother is bringing us some, as Kevin's guitar is wasted too, and I might have him get some nylon ones for me. Je pense que j'ai besoin un peut plus vent. Peace
At the risk of jinxing myself I am crushing it right now. It is not particularly windy but I have about a knot of current with me. I did 155 miles in the last 24 hours. I lost a lure to a fish today and will try to get revenge tomorrow. I got locked into a robert ludlum book (that "Gemini contenders") and it is pretty good. That sounds like a mission to purge the berm... It is hot mom, I take salt water showers almost daily and once I caught some rainwater and did the final rinse in fresh water, such a treat. But that was a while ago. To answer some of your questions dad, I talk to everyone out here. For example tomorrow I will control the Pacific puddle jump net in the morning and evening and take position reports and traffic from about 20 boats. I have been talking to him (Kevin Stafford) three times a day and he is just busting out of the ITCZ but not before I put 250 miles on him... Eric