A couple weeks ago we were swinging on the hook in Maupiti debating heading NW to the Marshalls, SW to New Zealand or back uphill to Hawaii. They were all about the same distance away. If we followed the herd of 300+ Puddle Jumpers and rushed through Tonga, Fiji and on to NZ we were almost guaranteed crowded anchorages and a rough passage to NZ, not to mention the difficulty in getting back to Tonga the following season. Heading to the Marshalls would have been off the beaten path but coming home for Christmas would have been too expensive and Alyssa was longing for civilization, family and real grocery stores and I could really go for a Cheeseburger in Paradise. That left the third option on the table: Hawaii, which we chose. The most difficult part was going to be bashing uphill 600 nm back the way we came, against the prevailing winds and currents. But once we made it to the eastern Tuamotus we only had to sail a beam reach due north to about 10N and then fall off for the big Island of Hawaii. Well after a few very rough passages and a couple very nice ones we did it and our easting is complete!
Our two day sail from Toau was about the best we could have asked for. We covered about 230 nm in two days, not bad when considering we were sailing close hauled most of the time and against the west-setting current. We had lovely conditions with NNE winds averaging 12-14 knots allowing us to sail close on the wind due east and make 4.0 knots SOG on average. The seas were behaved as well and were about 1.0 – 1.5 meters on average, which is really nice! We made way under full sail and enjoyed every moment of it, holding our breath in fear of a heavy blow or big squalls that never materialized. We glided over the smooth swells under a half moon that lit up the sky but still allowed for viewing shooting stars and admiring the southern cross. We are both rested and sure hope we have some of those conditions on the way to Hawaii!
After a great two-day sail, a nerve-racking pass, and two hours of carefully threading our way through uncharted coral heads, we dropped the hook in the most amazing setting imaginable. There is an uninhabited picturesque palm-clad island off the bow. Turquoise water under the keel with colors tapering lighter as the depth shallows up to the white sand that lines the pristine motus. Ellie is not rocking and feels like she is tied to a dock. There is not a single other cruising boat in this entire 15+ mile lagoon. The only sounds we hear are the roar of the waves crashing on the reef, the lapping of small wind waves on the hull and the sea birds dancing about putting on a ballet for us. We are once again anchored in a postcard and we have it all to ourselves.
The ability for us to dream is a wonderful part of being alive. The ability to realize those dreams through intelligence, hard work and perseverance is an incredibly rewarding talent we are fortunate enough to enjoy. Two weeks ago we imagined being anchored behind a private island all to ourselves with no other boats or people around and today we’re here. Life is great.
We plan to stay here a month or so before making our way north to Hawaii. There is no internet or phone on this atoll so we won’t be able to upload any pictures for a while. Drop us a line via our at-sea email address. We always love hearing from our friends and family.
Manuia from a motu we have yet to name,
Lewis & Alyssa
unnamed motu, Eastern Tuamotus, FP