I think you would get very little argument from anyone who has visited
here that this island boasts probably the most unique and friendly yacht
club in the world. James and John are the two who make it happen.
Tonight we had a dinner where we all brought something and it turned
into a feast. What was also unusual was that amongst the eight sailors
there, four were solo sailors. The other four were two couples on two
boats. There have been no other solo sailors I have met on this trip and
to meet four in the most remote place in the Pacific was quite bizarre
and led to very animated discussions about our various styles. I had met
one of them in Bora (he was the one that left a few hours before me) but
the other two were new faces.
Before dinner we all went to the pass through the reef on the seaward
side of the island to view the sharks feeding time. It is quite
incredible to watch 10 to 20 sharks swimming in very shallow water
within a couple of feet of you. Naturally I chose a large rock to stand
on to ensure the good health of my toes. They are very quick and can
swim in much shallower water than I thought possible.
I prepared the boat today for departure in the morning. I will go into
shore briefly tomorrow to say goodbye then hope to be under way by 8am.
for the final leg to Apia. It is around 500 miles and with the trades
behind me I should make it in less than 5 days. If I push it I could
probably do it under four but there is not that much rush and I need to
preserve the good health of the boat so I'll probably cruise. We shall
see what mother nature provides.
Funny thing this sailing. I can honestly say that even though I have
been predominately solo I have met more people and more interesting
characters than ever. I have made many friends and its a certainty that
we will stay in touch. The internet has made tracking your friends and
the adventures they have very easy and enjoyable. The people who
undertake these voyages are from very diverse backgrounds but their love
of sailing is obvious and is the common thread. Although the styles are
very different, some sailing heavy cruisers, some in fast boats and some
in small and not that well equipped boats, everybody is very respectful
of each others choices and there is no competition regarding what is
best. That sort of thing only seems to happen amongst those who don't go
way out. The other thing that stands out is the generosity of long
distance sailors. If one can help another they do without hesitation. If
only the whole world could develop the attitude that I have seen amongst