Land-ho! 8:45.85S 139:40.83W

Alex Belmont
Thu 7 Jun 2012 23:13
Sunrise this morning revealed our first glimpse of land since clearing Cabo
San Lucas. Ua Huka, twenty miles to the SW and little more than jagged grey
peaks at first light, has resolved into steep green valleys and red, brown,
grey, and black stratified rock walls plunging into the surf. Nuku Hiva,
still 25 miles off our bow, is just a grey smudge under the more easily
spotted stationary clouds marking its position.

It looks like we will not make it into Taiohae bay before sunset tonight,
but after carefully reviewing the charts, I feel confident making our way
into the anchorage in the dark. I remember the bay pretty well and it is an
open, easy approach. Arriving during the night means that we will probably
elect to start up the engine instead of sail to anchor, but sometimes one
must compromise on this sort of thing. This is not a tricky or dangerous
approach, though I would not have the confidence to try it if this were my
first time making this entrance. Sailing in at night means we'll miss out on
Cape Tikapo's
daunting grey cliffs looming over us as the sky goes from
black to grey. This was our first up-close view last year, and it was a
pretty unforgettable introduction to Nuku-Hiva. We may get a good sunset
over the island this evening though, which should make for another
remarkably scenic approach.

Seeing as we are so close to making landfall, and will soon need to visit
with officials to clear into the country, I thought it was time to figure
out what time-zone we are not in. It turns out that the Marquesas are one of
those few places that is a half hour different from everyone else. Local
time is now UTC -9h30m. Weird right?

Tomorrow should be a busy day of clearing customs, cleaning the boat, and
meeting the cruisers in Taiohae. Should be fun.

Wahooo! TERRE EN VUE! C'est evidemment avec grande excitation que je vous annonce la premiere vue qui sort de l'habituel; eau, vie marine, goelands, et tout ce qui engouffre le bateau lui meme! Je n'ai pas encore percu l'odeur des iles puisqu'elles sont toujours devant nous et le vent vient de derriere, mais je suis persuade que ca va changer tres bientot avec le deroulement de notre cours en evolution rapide. L'ile Ua Huka est d'une sublime magnitude montagneuse composer de rochers recouvert de verdure, sauf evidemment sur les falaises. Les rochers donnent raison au rose et s'ageance que parfaitement avec les jolies teintes de verts que cachent parfois les nuages gigantesques qui se forment au dessus des pignons... Comme dirait Mag: "j'adhere!" Ces cumulonimbus (grands nuages qui prennent forme plutot en hauteur, style barbe-a-papa) vont nous offrir une vue sans pareil au coucher de soleil... Hier soir on a pu percevoir un beau petit rouge subtil presque fushia pour la premiere fois en quelques semaines! Parlant de temps, nous sommes dans une zone qui n'entoure que la region des iles Marquise, qui a, cas rare, -9hr30 de decalage avec UTC. Entre autre, nous allons arriver environ vers 22h30, heure des montagnes (Mexique) ce qui donne probablement 19hr sur l'ile Nuku Hiva... Plus que 6 heures avant de mettre pied sur terre si tout va bien, youpiiiiiiii! Sur ce, on vous tient au courant et des qu'on trouve une source d'internet, on vous donne du visuel aux lexique. Adios!

Land in sight!!! Right on... I can almost smell it, let us only sail a little past Ua Huka Island and we will have a nosefull to back up the pretty sight of these majestic islands. The steep cliffs give reason to the color pink, which is greatly enhanced by the variety of greens that gives the forestation of the mountains! The cumulonimbus clouds make so much more sense now that they are perched above the peaks of these steep mountains. I've never wanted to go hiking so much in my life before this soon to be 40 day sea crossing! (I think 38 would be more precise) I can't wait to see what colors the sunset will offer us tonight... I'm hoping for a deeper tint of red than the one I saw last night for the first time in a while! Nothing more... stay tuned for photos as we find a reliable source of Internet! (Again, no promises) Toodle-loo!