Land in sight

Gudrun V
Axel Busch
Tue 8 May 2012 17:46
Day 24, Tuesday, 2012-05-08, 11:45 boat (17:45 UTC), 9:49S, 138:40W, COG 275, SOG 4.5kn, Wind 12kn NE, overcast

Only 20nm to go, in about 5 hours we'll arrive in the Baie des Traitres in Hiva Oa. After 23 days and 9 hours at sea, the longest for me so far (2 days more than across the Atlantic). From here to New Zealand the trips between the islands are not longer than a week, a fact Liz is very happy about. Yesterday I proposed to sail on to Tahiti straight away, but her comment was only: "Another few days at sea and I'll jump overboard". So Hiva Oa it is. Also we're running out of veggies and fruit. And I'm still getting my hopes up for a doener kebap, although Liz keeps telling me I shouldn't. It's French, not Turkish Polynesia.

Yesterday went very well, we had plenty of wind and made good speed until the squalls came at night. Then a mix of too much and too little wind from all directions, and rain. Almost the same thing every night for the whole trip. I have to admit I won't miss it. Sleeping through a night without having to stand in the rain and tend the sails every few hours is definitely something that 'landlubbers' don't value high enough in their lifes. On the other hand, the mosquitos will be back. For three weeks we were safe from flies and mosquitos, but I've read that it's supposed to be quite bad in French Polynesia. Zzzzzzzzzzzz, that horrible sound. So there you go, good and bad, as usual. My advice: deal with the bad, but focus on the good. The mosquito nets are ready near the hatch and companionway.

To my surprise there are still no boats on the horizon yet. In my mind I imagined that there must be a steady stream of sailboats arriving. But of course there are only a few dozen boats crossing at any time, spread out over 3000nm. And no shipping lanes near either. No surprise we haven't seen another vessel in two weeks. Only some birds, and the occasional flying or jumping fish. I wonder what makes those big tunas jump. Maybe the same that makes us sail across the ocean: curiosity, and because we can.

Thanks to everybody who followed us across the Pacific on the blog, and who sent the occasional email. I hope it was a little entertaining, though I can imagine everyday the same reports about wind and sea must be getting a little boring. Just like it got a little boring for us on the boat. So hey, it's almost as if you've been on board :-)