Farewell Palau – Japan Here We Come

We’re very sad to be pulling our anchor this morning and heading out the northwest pass of Palau’s barrier reef. We’re in an anchorage on the island of Babeldaub that’s either called Ngeremeduu Bay or Karamadoo Bay, depending on which side of the map of Palau you’re looking at. It’s one of the quietest and most remote anchorages we’ve been at since we left Alaska.

When we left the anchorage at The Royal Belau Yacht Club (Belau being the original spelling of Palau) yesterday we left behind four boats that either came in with us or right after us, who are all staying for the year. Two are single men, one is a couple from Madison Bay on Bainbridge Island near home, and the third is a Swiss/Kiwi couple who are going to have their first child in another six weeks. We really didn’t want to leave, that’s for sure.

But since our last posting and speedy return to town to call family, the news at home has improved. What was thought to be a cancerous biopsy turned out not to be. However, we didn’t know that it was only an infection until I was done provisioning the boat for a 5,800 mile passage home. We were looking forward to landfall at home, and also dreading the long nonstop trip, so we breathed a sigh of relief when we found out we didn’t need to hurry home. Then I had to figure out how to stow all the food I had bought, since we didn’t want it in bins in the aft cabin getting in the way while we were traveling through Japan. Needless to say, the lockers are packed to the brim.

This morning we set sail for Kagoshima Japan. It’s about 1,450 miles from here to there, and the weather forecast looks good. We’ll have winds in the 15 knot range near the beam (hopefully on or just aft) for the first several hundred miles, then they go real light. But they should still be on the beam or just forward, and around 8-10 knots, which is sailable for us. As we approach Japan, all bets are off, since it’s still early enough for stinky weather in the high latitudes we’re heading to.

Having spent 44 years of my life north of 48 degrees, it sounds funny to be calling 30 degrees north a high latitude. But it’s going to be cold for us after four years in the tropics. We’re certain Maya will be relieved, after watching her laying on the floor panting yesterday in the heat. We’ve pulled out our cold weather gear and have it ready for the night watches, which we think will cool very quickly. I’ll post the cabin temp and water temp in our updates as we sail nearly due north.

Today on Yohelah we’re sad to be saying goodbye to Palau, definitely our favorite stop in the the Pacific….