At one point, we calculated that at our going rate of roughly 1.5 kts, it would take us 32 days to get to Hiva Oa. While reassured that we would arrive eventually, it's not particularly joyful news. Either because of the angle we selected or simply a roll of the weather dice, we seem to be experiencing light winds throughout most of the journey. Light winds make for any easier trip in many ways. They make for a much longer journey, however. At this point, with extreme lucky we might make landfall by May 9. More likely, it will be the 10th or 11th.
Landfall is another issue. Loose Pointer is headed down to Fatu Oa. The entire Puddle Jump fleet is up in Nuka Hiva. So of course, DrC wants to go to Hiva Oa. The anchorage there is not the greatest in the world. However, it is a valid port of entry, and it has facilities for en plien aire showers and laundry washing, bank, markets, and other amenities. The plan would be to make landfall, check in, buy what provisions are available (including propane we hope) and then a few days later go around the corner to more pleasant and remote anchorages on the northern side of the island. From there, we would island hope up to Nuka Hiva. There we would prepare and provision for the Tuamotos. All in all, I don't know how long we'll stay in the Marquesas. A few weeks? A month? Hard to say. We're very late in the season with a hard target of Tonga in time to make the passage south in Sept/Oct. Hard to say what will make sense.
I am so sticky. Everything is sticky. Absolutely EVERYTHING is sticky. We put the pillows and blankets and cushions out on the foredeck yesterday when the air was super hot and the sun shining and the wind non-existent. It was lovely, dry and pleasant when we brought it back in. Now it's all damp, sticky and sandy again. Twelve hours later. I wonder if this is a product of passage making or some unpleasantness we are going to have to live with until we journey south to New Zealand. I am ready, however, to switch from sand kitty litter to real kitty litter. It surely can not be worse.
Yesterday, we crossed the equator. I took pictures while DrC and the girls dragged their feet through the equator. I assure you that there is a very large, dashed line that splits the horizon from end to end. I took pictures and will post them when I get to the Internet again. Loose Pointer missed the line, but we suspect that the light may have been wrong, and their boats passed between the dashes. You have to look sharp. We celebrated with Fresca Toranja (last bottle) and a pineapple upside cake. We also cast a bottle into the ocean with messages of our crossing. So it wasn't the traditional Neptune shellback pollywog ceremony -- leave it to the Congers to go all pagan and different -- but it was an enjoyable and memorable event celebrated by the entire family.
PPJ Note #10: FOIL WRAPPED CITRUS. It works. This is not a myth. Wrap your citrus in aluminum foil before you leave. We're three weeks out and just had a really tasty breakfast of grapefruit, yogurt and granola. I'm looking forward to making landfall and having a rum cocktail complete with limon juice.
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May 3, 18:00 UTC