Miles day 8: 129
Miles day 9: 116
Miles total: 1,125
Miles to Yap: 118
The wind has settled in to a nice 18 knots from our starboard aft quarter and the waves have finally settled down, making a very nice ride for our last day. There are about 2′ wind waves on top of some 6′ long period swell, but relative to the washing machine-like conditions we’ve been riding in for the past week, this is nearly blissful. We are making about 5 knots with a double reefed main and our full staysail, which times us exactly for a mid morning landfall. This reduced sail combination is not warranted by the wind speed or sea conditions, but works well to control the speed of the boat and give us a nice steady ride. Likely tomorrow we’ll just stick around the boat and clean up after our passage. The amazing thing to me is that every once in a while when we do get hit by a big wave I hear things flying around inside the boat, and just can’t figure out what’s left to fly around – everything that can have moved should have by now!
For anyone keeping track, here are some updates on friends and boats we’ve mentioned in the blog that we’ve met along the way. First of all, after somewhere just shy of 50 days at sea, Masquerade made landfall at the dock on Kwajalein Monday evening. Cindy sounded pretty darn happy on the radio when she reported in to the Ham net that they were entering the pass at the atoll. They bit off 5,000+ miles for their first major ocean passage and had enhanced tradewinds the entire way, so we’re excited for them to be done with it and settle in for a couple years’ work there at Kwaj.
Our friends Brit & Axel have an appointment to load Hello World on a ship near Auckland in mid-April. They will unload her in the Netherlands in mid-May, leaving them a short trip up into the Baltic Sea where Hello World will go back to her berth for now. We’re hoping to make a land trip to Europe and visit sometime while all four of us are back at work, and then see them again on the water next time we all head out. Conditions with piracy in the Red Sea remain too dangerous for a transit through that area, and a passage all the way around South Africa makes for too long of a trip back home for them now.
The boat Secret O’ Life, whose owner Terry died while inland traveling in Bolivia while we were in Ecuador, was sold to some folks from South Korea. On their passage across the Pacific to take the boat home, she went up on a reef on Wake Island. Amazingly, there was a crane there that could actually pluck the boat off the reef before it was destroyed, and we hear they’re on their way again. Guess if you’re going to crash onto a reef on a remote island, you should always pick probably the only one in the entire ocean with a crane available.
The boat Marcy left Seattle the same year as us, and Peter & Ginger told us in Zihuatanejo that they were intent on a complete circumnavigation. They believed that too many people leaving the west coast spend too much time in Mexico and get into the South Pacific, get tired, and go home. They wanted to avoid that situation and left Mexico the first year, crossing the South Pacific, Indian Ocean, around the south tips of South Africa and South America. We received email from them in Chile recently asking about this area, as they plan their return to the northwest. They’ll close the loop on their circumnavigation as they cross the South Pacific this second time. Way to go Peter & Ginger!
The last news is the saddest. Michelle wrote recently to tell us that her husband and our our friend Robin from the yacht Warrior did not survive his battle with very aggressive colon cancer. She sailed the boat home from French Polynesia after he had flown home from Papeete to Brisbane to begin treatment. We wish Michelle happiness after what was an incomprehensibly difficult year for her.
Our thoughts today are with the people in Fiji, who took a direct hit from a category 4 cyclone yesterday. Fiji is one of two good cyclone holes in the South Pacific, the other being the northern island group of Vava’u in Tonga where we were earlier. Tonga got hit by a less powerful cyclone earlier this season, and our friends Leslie & Phillip on Carina survived just fine – they were in a hotel on land and Carina weathered the storm on a buoy. The early news out of Fiji sounds pretty bad, with reports of lost vessels. Joe and Dubis sailed their boat Jubilee there from Ecuador, where we met them last year in Bahia de Caraquez. They chose Fiji to summer over in this year, and we hope to hear good news soon about their situation after Cyclone Thomas.
Today on Yohelah we’re all very ready to hear the sound of the anchor coming off the bow roller as we make landfall in Yap……