We took a bit of a beating on this last passage, (pun intended). It made our Pacific crossing seem like a breeze. I don't know if it is the combination of unexpected seasickness, fatigue and beating into big seas, but both Rick and I couldn't WAIT for it to be over. Neither of us were the example of patience. To be honest, we both had crappy attitudes. One thing after another went wrong and it was hard to look on the bright side.
We missed the last slack tide during daylight hours yesterday. We decided to heave-to a couple miles off Makemo and wait until morning. (Heaving to is setting the boat and sails in such a way that the boat makes little or no headway, the boat is almost stationary.) While they were still big, fewer waves crashed over our bow, and we even managed to feel something akin to relief. That's even though we didn't know if it would be safe to enter the pass into the atoll the next morning. Winds were in the high twenties last night, and high winds can make a pass more dangerous, as you're already dealing with strong currents. (And forget going through if there's wind against current - that's when standing waves can occur.)
This morning, with winds in the low twenties, Rick drove up to the pass, while I stood near the bow gnashing my teeth as I watched the roiling waters ahead. We decided to go for it. We couldn't drive faster than 2 knots through the pass, it was't quite slack tide yet. At times, steering got a little tricky, but we made it inside the atoll safe and sound.
We anchored near the small village and tried lowering our foresail. (Remember the chafed halyard? The sail had begun to slide down as we were anchoring.) It was and still is too windy to deal with it, so we wrapped it up until we can fix it later.
We started to collect wet towels and to organize the boat in a daze. SV Andromeda, one of the only two other boats in the anchorage, called us on the VHF and welcomed us by offering to bring us a baguette. We had a lovely visit with Michael and Iris. When they left, we jumped in the turquoise water for a sea shower and quick fresh water rinse. By then we felt like new, well, almost. The boat still needs to be re-organized, dried, and tidied - but that can wait.
It's nap time.
Our position: 16* 37.607' S 143* 34.227' W