PPJ Day 19 LANDFALL!!!
22 April 2016 | The Pacific Ocean
Day 19 was our very best sailing day on this trip, and one of our best ever!
After motoring through a full night of light wind, we were thrilled when the rising sun illuminated whitecaps on the water, which eventually made their way to us along with a fair amount of east wind. While it wasn't the fabled SE trades, it was plenty to move us along quite nicely and give Yanmar the Magnificent a rest. We scooted southwest under sunny skies with all our canvas up (NOT including the bedouin tent sunshade) for the entire day at 7.5-8 knots. The swells were mostly from behind us or slightly off our stern quarter, so the ride was quite comfortable.
Thank you to all our well-wishers who sent us Fair Winds and Following Seas...we finally received them today, and what a good day for it as we were racing the sun to Nuku Hiva.
Along the way, we saw an abundance of seabirds...whole flocks of brown noddies - handsome, chocolate brown terns with light gray caps; many varieties of frustratingly difficult to identify petrels and shearwaters; some frigatebirds - these would be the "great" or "lesser" frigatebirds as my former nemesis the "magnificent" frigatebird doesn't live here and I currently have no beef with these Polynesian varieties; and little white fairy terns. At one point, the sea was frothy with some underwater fish massacre, attracting thousands of seabirds to the area. Death from below, death from above. I am SO glad I'm not a fish.
We arrived at Nuku Hiva just as the sun was setting. The majestic spires of the island rose up black against the orange sky in front of us and the full moon rose up behind us, turning the surface of the sea to silver and offering to light our way into Taiohae Bay.
Anchoring in the dark went smoothly and after a 19 day voyage SCOOTS and her crew had arrived in French Polynesia. With the anchor down, we sat in the princess chairs and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the bay for a little while before turning in for our first full night's sleep in quite awhile.
This will be the last daily update for our PPJ crossing. From now on, I'll go back to the usual week-or-so postings of our adventures. Thanks to everyone who followed along and sent comments to us along the way. It was great to hear from all of you. I hope you'll check in from time to time to see what we're doing in the South Pacific.