Land Ho!

Miss Molly 4
Bob & Peggy Wilkerson/Geoff & Merel Pettifer
Sun 13 Jul 2008 20:52
09:54.44S 139:06.37W

After 15 days and 6.5 hours at sea, where all we saw was:
1 ship, 1 tuna boat, 1 Japanese fish float, 2 schools of jumping dolphins,
dozens of squid, thousands of flying fish, 4 dorado's which ended up in the
freezer and 1 tuna that got back to sea, dozens of birds, 2 mild rain
showers, NO nasty squalls, 8 moonless nights, many starry nights, only 1 casualty (fatal - the Pyrex dish), one island today getting
closer and closer - Hiva Oa, each other and one heck of a well performing

we have reached land! Originally we were aiming for Hanamanu Bay on Hiva Oa, but that bay looked so exposed that we went another 10 miles to a bay where we have been last year: Hanamoenoa on Tahuata. We got welcomed to the Marquesas by 2 separate schools of dolphins, as if we were not excited enough about making landfall already. The first and only sailboat we saw in the anchorage seemed to set sail as soon as he saw us (probably for an overnight trip to Nuku Hiva), so we had the whole calm, flat bay with sandy palm beach and lush, steep mountain backdrop to ourselves. First thing we did after dropping the hook was poor ourselves a nice rum & coke just after sunset. Aaaah! Life feels good!!

We will wait with the proper celebrations until tomorrow, after we've sailed to Nuku
Hiva, about 75 miles from here. There are some old (2000) and new (2008)
sailing friends waiting there for us to have the Famous 3,000 Mile Party!! We heard they have already booked us in on a dinner ashore!

Miss Molly can do with a good clean up soon; we have not really studied the topsides and the waterline yet, but while we were having a shower with the porthole open, we could smell weed as if it was very low tide. We can assure you that this smell does not come from the lovely bay we're in, so it must be the hull.

We just had a little pizza dinner and are almost ready to hit the sack. We have to wake up early tomorrow to sail the odd 75 miles to make it in time for a celebration happy hour followed by that dinner ashore.

Cheers from a very happy crew,
Geoff & Merel