Day 18 - 10 27.84S 138 40.11W Arrived in Fatu Hiva

Mike and Liz Downing
Tue 18 May 2010 06:10
Anchor dropped at 14.15 today in the Bay of Virgins, on the island of Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas Islands. We sailed a distance of 2,966 miles in 17 days 22 hours and 45 minutes - a very fast time. We had hoped for around 20 days, but were prepared for 25, so we are really pleased that it was under 18 days. (The Atlantic, a little shorter distance, took us 23 days.) The last 24 hours were frustrating as the wind dropped right down. With 80 miles still to go it almost dropped out completely, but with all the sail up we've got the boat ghosted along at about 4kts for several hours. The winds then went round to the north east (that's not supposed to happen) with enough force to bring our speed up to 5 or 6 kts. So we managed to sail all night. At 09.40 this morning and with 18 miles still to go, the wind did drop out completely and the engine went on. With our fuel leak we hoped we would have enough fuel left to make it and luckily we did. Prior to the engine time today, we had only used the engine for 16 hours during the whole passage. Apart from last night the winds were always strong enough to sail, and we sail faster than we can motor.

This bay is quite spectacular and is supposed to be one of the prettiest in French Polynesia. It's surrounded by lush green mountains with huge rock pillars sticking up into the sky. One drawback is that the bay shelves very quickly and we are anchored in 73ft of water! We'll definitely put the anchor watch alarm on this evening.

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