|Hanamoenoa, Tahuata. Enough said|
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
|Taahuku Bay, Hiva Oa|
|Photo courtesy of Adam and Edie|
|One of our vocal neighbours|
|Brel's grave at the Cimetiere Calvaire|
While in Atuona, we paid homage to singer songwriter Jacques Brel by visiting his grave in the company of a mutt we'd just met. It took some convincing to get this dog to stop trampling all over Brel's grave. I'm sure if he were alive, Brel would have laughed at the irreverence. Rick and I both have always admired the capacity the singer had for stirring emotions through his witty and stark social commentaries and his songs of terrible heartache. Ever heard the song Dans le port d'Amsterdam? He was one of the quintessential troubadours of the sixties, Belgium's answer to Bob Dylan.
|Clouds like to rest on this moutain top|
Sunday, May 5, 2013
We are submerged in a world made of dreams. Trees everywhere bend under the weight of their fruits, the air is thick with the pungent fragrance of tropical flowers and the sharp smell of drying copra. The incredible vistas are jaw-droppingly beautiful. (Just look up the Bay of Virgins on Fatu Hiva.) If I sound a little melodramatic, it's because I find these islands intoxicating.
We have met some very friendly folks here. The Marquesans are a warm and welcoming people - readily offering us rides, fruit, and gladly sharing their culture and history with us as soon as we start asking questions. The children we met have charmed us the way only children can, with their uninhibited candour and sense of humour.
Indeed there is no denying that we are smitten. Sure, the anchorages are often rolly and the air is heavy with humidity. Chasing leaks and mold have become a pastime on Nyon, but awe-inspiring moments win every time.
Looking back on the end of our passage: the frustrating frequency of squalls, the elation we felt when we glimpsed land for the first time, (tiny Fatu Huku), the fatigue after our arrival, we see it all as a rite of passage, an accomplishment to be proud of.
It is Sunday morning, we're indulging in a second cup of coffee, listening to African singer Youssou N'dour, while outside the incredible cliffs of Hanavave hug the shores in dramatic sweeps skyward. For this moment in time, we are grateful.
A smattering of passage statistics:
Distance Traveled: 2817 nm
Hours Traveled: 624h 29m
Days Traveled: 26
Motoring: 17.4 hours
Fastest Day: 145 nm
Slowest Day: 43 nm
NOTE: We have had no access to the Internet since leaving Atuona, we will share some of our stories and photos of the past two weeks with you once we arrive in Nuku Hiva.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
|Celebrating crossing the Equator! Please call us Mr and Mrs Shellback now.|
|Nature's canvas - never the same twice, always beautiful|
|A sight for sore eyes, heading into the Atuona Harbour on Hiva Oa|
|Lushness overdose - loving. it.|
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
We're not in Kansas anymore!
The Nyon crew
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
A 6 to 10 knot breeze is blowing for now. It's been an interesting couple of days filled with intense squalls followed by no wind, followed by more squalls. We're glad that so far, today has been a pleasant sort of day. I've made a lot fewer sail changes, and there have been quite a few more smiles.
All you puddle jumpers out there... Here's a weird question. Did you smell land before seeing it? I thought I did yesterday evening, but today no amount of sniffing brings back the odd spicy scent of last night. Could it have been wishful thinking? We were sailing upwind, so it's not completely unreasonable, is it? Needless to say, we're feeling a certain degree of trepidation today, taking turns to scan the horizon for evidence of land. I wonder who'll get to call "Land ho!".
*Gypsy Groove is an album from the Putumayo World Music collection. We love the energy of this one.
Position: 08* 56.637' S 138* 14.975' W
Distance: 109 nm
Heading: 209* T
Speed: 4.5 knots
Monday, April 22, 2013
I have to admit, we've asked ourselves what happened to the beautiful, wonderful Southerly Trades of our dreams. Neptune is having the last laugh, that's for sure. Aboard Nyon, there's been more grumbling than laughter, but we're working on that.
It's not all bad, just frustrating, and certainly manageable. We're both tired though, and everything is damp. But, and there is always a but, we have less than 200 nautical miles to go. And that, is exciting.
I got pretty keyed up last night when I looked over our port side, and saw a faint greenish light far off in the distance. That had to be another sailboat. There were no other lights, and motor vessels always have extra white lights. We haven't yet been able to locate another vessel in the daylight, visibility has been poor. I'm still scanning the horizon though. Who knows, we might not be as alone as we thought.
Position: 07* 20.700' S 137* 24.924' W
Distance: 91 nm
Heading: 206* T
Speed: 5.4 knots
Sunday, April 21, 2013
No one likes a grumpy crew, especially not me. So, here's to stepping back, taking things as they come, and adjusting the sails. We'll get there eventually.
Position: 06* 02.064' S 136* 55.782' W
Distance: 103 nm
Heading: 200* T
Speed: 4.4 knots
Saturday, April 20, 2013
This is when "being in the moment" becomes a little more challenging. The closer to our goal we get, the harder it is. I would be lying if I said I wasn't ready to set foot on solid ground.
I love sailing, especially in ideal conditions like these. But I have dreamt of these islands for a long time. Originally, Mexico was a stepping stone - somewhere we could learn the art of being a full-time voyagers... We ended up falling in love with the country as well.
But the lure of the South Pacific remained strong, and it pulled us away. We are nearly there. Can you blame me for feeling slightly impatient?
Position: 04* 40.008' S 135* 55.174' W
Distance: 135 nm
Heading: 215* T
Speed: 5.7 knots
Friday, April 19, 2013
Last night, I was stargazing under an incredibly clear sky. Other than the Southern Cross, I'm still confused by the blanket of stars above me. I can't seem to easily divide the stars into constellations... It's all still so new, a giant celestial puzzle. I find myself almost missing Cassiopeia.
This journey, since we left Canada, is a continuous series of discoveries. We're constantly faced with something new, or seeing things in a different light. The only constant in a voyager's life, is change. Sometimes that throws me off-kilter, I don't always feel comfortable with change. It happens. At times, I crave sameness, predictability.
Then again, had I not put myself in this constantly evolving environment, I wouldn't know that brown boobies fly hundreds of miles from land, or that red cabbage could taste so good when all the fresh produce you have left are a few onions and apples, two avocados and three potatoes. Out here, a shooting star is a wink from the universe. Everything is more immediate, more intense. It's funny, I have come to realize that by welcoming change, I may just find stability.
Position: 02* 47.399' S 134* 45.224' W
Distance: 118 nm
Heading: 207* T
Speed: 5.6 knots