It’s 5:00 am local time and we are 5 miles south of Ua Huka. The seas are 8-10 ft, the wind currently at 18 knots on the beam. We dropped the main and are slowly making way towards the island under yankee alone. Motion is pretty violent with seas on the beam and such little canvas flying. Every once in a while a huge breaking wave overtakes us and tosses Ellie down the wave face and on to her side. There is a strong current and we are steering a course 30 degrees east of our true heading. Too rough to drop the centerboard, it just bangs around so had to raise it. SOG is 3 knots. Waiting for sun to rise to illuminate island before proceeding to the anchorage at Hane.
We pulled anchor yesterday just before sunset and set a course 64 miles north to Ua Huka. The channel between Tahuata and Hiva Oa was predictably howling and good sailing just as the sun set. The lee of Hiva Oa sucked. It was my shift and I spent hours fighting light inconsistent winds and ultimately had to drop the main and turn on the engine to get out of the wind shadow. Once 7 miles past Hiva Oa the trades filled back in and we flew along under double-reefed main and yankee doing 7 knots in 20 knots of wind on the beam. We made it close to the island with time to spare before sunrise so we are painfully creeping towards the island.
I wanted to sail to Ua Huka for a few reasons but one main reason was to get away from other cruising boats. Unfortunately there is a tri-color masthead light on the horizon on the same course. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait until we can find an atoll in the Tuamotus that no one has heard of.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
April 27, 2014
Off the coast of Ua Huka, Marquesas, French Polynesia
09 00.3 S
139 30.7 W