Saturday, April 14, 2012

Land Ho - Day 25/26

Day 25 was the fastest yet. We covered 144 nautical miles, broad reaching in 15 to 20 knot easterlies during the day and lighter easterlies at night. There were squall lines still, but more spread out and with less punch than those of the previous day. Two reefs in the main, then one as the winds died. We kept the jib partially furled to reduce backing and slatting in the rolly swells. Despite this much reduced sail, we still regularly reached 8 knots on the GPS with some 9 and 10 knot surfing - great fun.

At 14:30 Zulu on Saturday April 14, our position was 09 36 S 138 29 W. We ran 144 NMs with 137 made good in the previous 24 hours.

Just before sunrise, this morning, 25 days after leaving Los Frailes, we sighted Hiva Oa lying under a bank of cloud in the pre-dawn haze. We danced on the deck hugging each other and cheering - what a sight after nearly 4 weeks at sea! We dropped the hook at 14:50 Marquesas time (UMT - 9.5 hours) and our friends Mike and Karen on 'Chapter 2' dinghied over to help us set a stern anchor (the anchorage is small and very crowded so the two anchors are needed to avoid swinging into your neighbor).

We are now anchored at 09 48 S 139 02 W in Taahuku a.k.a. 'Traitor's Bay' near the village of Atuona. There is an outrigger canoe race in progress and music is playing from the boat ramp. There is a horse grazing in the woods by a surf pounded beach off our stern and a huge cloud-shrouded green sided mountain rising to starboard. The sights and smells of this paradise are overwhelming. We will sleep well tonight.

The total distance we sailed/motored from Los Frailes, Mexico was 2932 nautical miles by our GPS 'odometer' at an average speed of 4.8 knots. We motored for 36 hours in total, using approximately 15 gallons of diesel. About 8 hours of this motoring was done mainly to recharge batteries due to problems with refrigeration. This did not contribute substantially to boat progress because we were sailing at the time. We stopped for only a couple of hours at Clarion Island and for another hour or two to scrub the boat's bottom.

This will be our last passage report for now but we will try to update the blog regularly while sailing amongst the Marquesas. Our tentative plans are to visit 5 of the islands, spending 4 or 5 days at each, before departing for the Tuomotus.

4 comments:

S/V Zephyr said...

Congrats to the two of you. It took us 27 days last year with a genoa we couldn't roll out and a spinnaker we couldn't use.
Glad you made it safely.
Bill & Tracy Hudson
SV Zephyr
Met you well over a year ago in the Sea of Cortez.

Unknown said...

Fantastic news! Congrats from Claire, Mike, Wallapak, Andrew and Mary.

Stephen said...

Outstanding!
Well played. Congratulations.

Doug and Lyneita said...

Yeah!!!!!!! We're so happy for you! Congratulations and enjoy your R&R. Awesome! Aren't Coast 34s the greatest?
Lyneita and Doug