Miles traveled Day 17: 136
Miles traveled Day 18: 134
Miles traveled to date: 2,389
Miles to Hiva Oa: 770
The wind has eased and we’ve slowed down, which is frustrating at this point in the trip. But we gybed the main back over this morning and somehow we’ve eased the rolling again. We’ve also stayed pretty far north overnight and are sailing due west slightly converging with our course. Except we don’t exactly know where we’re going to make landfall yet.
There are three ports of entry in the Marquesas, but unfortunately the island furthest to windward is not one of them. And more unfortunately, it’s reportedly one of the most beautiful stops in the island group. It’s 40 miles upwind from what should be our intended landfall. But after traveling over 3,000 miles I know neither of us want to turn around and bash into the wind and waves for 40 miles after we stop to check in. As it happens, Brit has what she calls her “French Spy” and “German Spy” in the Marquesas. Because the European boats can stay in French Polynesia 3 months longer than we can many of them have arrived already. Two of Brit’s friends have been checking out the stop at Fatu Hiva and report that the customs boat isn’t there yet and likely won’t be for another week or two. They’re saying that boats are stopping for up to 3 weeks before reporting to Hiva Oa and checking in.
So we’re going to take a calculated risk and stop in Fatu Hiva first. Brit & Axel will arrive today and will email us if the situation changes and the customs boat arrives. What I read last night is that May 1st is Labor Day in French Polynesia and absolutely no one works on that day. That’s Friday, and if they’re good at the 3 day weekend concept they won’t be rushing over there on the weekend either.
What happens if we get caught? A big slap on the hands and a $250 fine. Is it worth $250 to not have to bash windward? Don’t know and hopefully we won’t have to find out.