Landfall Fatu Hiva, Isles Marquesas, French Polynesia
Wednesday 22nd May 2013
Distance run so far: 2863
Distance run Day 21: 80
Total distance run: 2943 nmiles and our longest passage yet!!
What a night! The squalls promised us by the grib files arrived big time, with wind and torrential rain. We passed around the north-west tip of the island just before dawn and under a huge black cloud that wiped out any light at all. I came up on deck to be told "It's blacker than Newgate's knocker out here!" And although I am not familiar with Newgate's knocker, I could immediately see that it must indeed have been VERY black! The radar picture shows the size of this squall - over twelve miles across - and underneath, completely covered, is the island of Fatu Hiva. Not a brilliant photo, but it was pitch dark at the time!
We arrived at Hanavave Bay, on the west coast of Fatu Hiva around 0800, still in pouring rain, which is a bit of a shame because it is reputed to be one of the most beautiful anchorages in the world.
Approaching the anchorage in Hanavave Bay, in the rain.
A river drains into the sea at the head of the bay, and the colour of the water changed dramatically as we entered. The smell of wet earth was overwhelming, and believe it or not, wonderful!
The water turned from blue to brown with the outfall of the overnight rain.
As the cloud has parted on and off during the morning, we have caught glimpses of the impressive cliffs and rock formations around the bay, and it definitely looks promising. Photos will follow once the sun comes out!
Meanwhile, we are tucked up warm and dry down below while we wait. There's lots to dry out, and to both clean up and clear up, but we are very thankful that we have sailed across a broad expanse of the Pacific Ocean with no more damage than a chipped tea mug. Now to explore the South Pacific, beginning with the Isles Marquesas of French Polynesia.
We take nothing for granted, we know how unbelievably lucky we are to have such an opportunity.