Thursday 22nd April
Our aim was to leave at first light but
things don't always go to plan. We were all up at 5.30 but we still found odd
jobs to do which delayed us so we eventually left around 07.15. We were headed
for Ua Pou, the island opposite Nuka Hiva, where Mark and Chrissy were waiting
Arriving Ua Pou
Amy spent the whole 3 hour crossing asleep
as she'd had a late night so had only had a few hours sleep - typical! Once
there we had some brunch and packed up the boat ready for the 450 mile sail to
Manihi in the Tuamotus Islands, the next stage of our Pacific crossing.
We eventually left the Marquesas Archipelago
at around 12.30 for a 2-3 day sail. The watches were started at 3 with Amy
taking the first one and we were soon back into the usual routine. Including the
routine of seeing Amy's first meal twice!
The seas and winds picked up as soon as
the sun went down and we were in for a rough night, Paul spent most of the
night sleeping on and off up on deck. In fact it was a pretty horrible first 24
hours. We had dozens of waves over the cockpit and probably just as many
squalls. But by mid afternoon on the first proper day, Friday, the winds and
seas had calmed down and we were sailing along nicely with the music blaring.
As darkness fell the sky suddenly seemed to
be full of menacing big black clouds that you just knew would pick their moment
and suddenly open up. We had a few "little" squalls but the meanest of all came
around 04.00 on Amy's watch. She'd been tracking it on the radar and it only
appeared to be a "medium" sized one and it should have passed just behind us so
she wasn't too worried as we should have just caught the edge of it. Anyway, the
wind speed was gradually getting higher and higher and higher so she checked the
radar again only to see that another 3 of similar size had opened up above us
creating the mother of all squalls. Paul appeared at the companionway much to
Amy's relief to help shut down the boat in the 40+ knot winds and thankfully
they got everything under control!
Saturday started off quite bright and
cheerful and as the the winds and seas were calm we planned to have a game
of scrabble. Mother nature made sure that our plans were ruined by throwing some
really rolly seas at us and more squalls. We didn't expect it to be like this,
it's worse than the Atlantic. After last nights experience Amy thinks the clouds
just go looking for yachts and when they find one they just open up onto them as
the squalls just appear from nowhere.
We're having to slow ourselves down quite
considerably as we need to reach Manihi at around 14.30 on Sunday when it is
high tide so that the depth is 2.4m. Our draught is 2.2m so that means we have
20cm of room between us and the bottom, super!