Friday, July 06, 2007

June 21, 2007 - Pacific Crossing, Day 19

We have had incredible sailing today - at one point we surfed up to 12.9 knots, which is a new record for us. From 20 miles out we can see Fatu Hiva, shrouded in clouds. But neither of us feels any sense of anticipation. We just crossed the biggest ocean, completing the longest passage that either of us is likely to make, and somehow landfall seems anticlimactic. At this point the passage making seems more important than the destination, which is a complete 180 from the way we felt after our run to the Caribbean last Fall - then the passages were to be endured for the sake of reaching a destination. For a brief moment this afternoon I wanted to keep going, to continue this self-contained bubble that we've been living in for the past few weeks. But thoughts of ice cream and fresh baguettes quickly chased any such sentimental nonsense away.

Later . . . We arrived at the harbor after dark. We were a bit skittish about entering after our scary experience at Isabella. But this bay is wide open, no reefs on which to worry about running aground. As we came into the bay, another cruiser came out in his dinghy to tell us about the holding and point out at good spot. Even with his guidance, the sound of waves crashing against the rocky shore around the bay made the shore seem very close after three weeks of not having anything near the boat (other than that buoy we tried to run down in the middle of the ocean). In the background, mingling with the sound of the shore pound, we could also hear the rhythmic beat of drums coming from the village at the head of the bay - had we stepped back 200 years into the pages of Melville?

We dropped anchor in 100 feet of water, with 250 of our 275 feet of chain out. After getting settled, we shared a bottle of wine and looked forward to sleeping (on fresh sheets!) in the same bed, at the same time for the first time in weeks. It feels a bit like Christmas Eve. We can see the outline of the rugged coast around us, but have to wait until morning to see what awaits us here. It is a bit like knowing the presents are under the tree, just waiting for us to unwrap them at dawn.

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