Friday, July 13, 2007

Thursday 12th July

Nuku Hiva
Marquesas


8 54.888 S
140 06.115 W

The day dawned to brilliant sun shine, we were now so close that we could almost smell the land, with luck we would arrive at the Marquesas either very late tonight or in the early hours of the 13th either way we would be arriving in the pitch black as the moon is in its first faze and doesn’t grace the sky until around 04.00hrs. By the time 10.00hrs came around, and the 3 week at sea mark was up, we had just 75 miles left to go, the excitement was building and we couldn’t wait to hit dry land. We ran the engine for an hour to keep the fridge cold, not that it did as good a job as the generator. As the day wore on there was a subtle shift in the wind direction, it was finally coming from the east and we had high hopes that it would shift even further and come around to the south east. With the change we were now running at 6.5 – 8 knots, roaring along in fact. Eventually the wind came around to east south east and the swell followed. We threw the jib across to the same side as the main and pole it out; now on a port tack we roared along reaching the nose bleed (and record) speed of 10.9 knots at one point. At 10.30 hrs we even had to put a reef in the main as the wind reached 19 knots and we didn’t want to damage anything before we got there. At 12.35hrs I was down below when the cry went out – LAND HO!
Sure enough in the distance we could just make out the outline of the first of the Marquesas Islands, Ua Huka; it was still 24 miles away but we were now so close! The wind and swell stayed with us and we were soon passing the island, around the same time that the radio schedule was due. We tried not to rub it in that we could see land but we had to let everyone know. The passage from Ua Huka to Nuku Hiva is about 30 miles – it was probably the longest 30 miles of the entire 3 weeks. We furled away the jib and dropped the main just outside the harbour entrance and motored in to the anchorage in the pitch black. There were lights everywhere to confuse us but we picked our way into a spot where we could see no other boats anchored and at 22.00hrs we dropped our anchor. We had arrived safely and were ready for a decent night sleep before checking in and dealing with the problems that we had to sort out.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Ray Lopez said...

Wow, Congratulations.
How exciting for you guys. . .
Have a great time there.
YCF
Ray

9:06 AM  

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