Well, we are finally off and for the first time since January we will be seeing the Southern Cross on our stern instead of the bow. It is a bit sad to be leaving Polynesia behind, but we've had a fantastic experience here and at the moment we have no regrets about sailing so far out of our way to get here. Ask me in a week when I am mid way to Hawaii, or better yet, midway to Oregon and we will see if I am singing the same tune.
The sail back to Nuka Hiva, in the Marquesas was brutal, but we are happy we made the slog (especially now that it is behind us). To date it was the worst passage of our trip, and hopefully I don't need to pen those words ever again. We went through about 40-50 gallons of fuel in the first 2 days powering into the northern winds and waves (had we gone straight to Hawaii we would have used up the same fuel) and then we sailed hard on the wind for three full days and nights. In fact we were heeling over so much the last three days and had so much of our hull exposed that our refrigerator didn't work (the compressor is water cooled and the intake, which is usually in the water was high and dry on the high side of the boat). We were all pretty bruised and battered from trying to keep our balance on a home perpetually at a 25 degree angle and getting tossed around like a cork in the big seas. It was a tough sail, but the kids did really well and I think they secretly liked the schedule; no homework and watch as many movies and use electronics as much as you want. We also got to test the boat out in ways that we haven't done in quite some time. We were plowing into big waves, the top side was often awash with water and the ports were continuously under water and yet the boat was dry as a bone. We were certainly uncomfortable with the wind angle, but the boat pointed high and sailed beautifully at about 45 degrees to the wind, and it was nice to know we could do it. We would have liked to have had the forecasted easterlies (and even a little southerly component which was also forecasted), but we mostly had wind from the Northeast and it never really came around to the east. It was an uphill ride and fortunately we haven't had many of those and we expect it to be our last. It should be downhill sailing from here on out. Yipee!
In Nuka Hiva we quickly provisioned and topped off with fuel and it was almost worth battling the heavy seas just for the fresh fruit we loaded up with. We have hammocks of fresh star fruit; passion fruit, limes and burlap bags of pommplemousse. We ate a last steak and frite and gorged ourselves on ice cream. The best news about traveling so far east and out of our way is that it gives us a better angle to Hawaii. We got beat up for three days to ensure our next two weeks are more enjoyable (at least we sure hope so). We were also able to check a few other weather sites with access to the internet while we were on land. I've mentioned we do get grib files, weather forecasts, but we don't have the ability to check multiple sites and more importantly check hurricane forecasting sites. Hurricane season officially starts in the northern hemisphere June 1st. We originally wanted to be arriving in Hawaii just before that, but the pesky winds did not cooperate and we will be at least a week into the season. That said, we were able to look at the hurricane predictions and there are no predictions for an early hurricane forming. Yahoo! The June date is pretty conservative, historically there are very few hurricanes that have formed in June (many insurance companies even use a July 1st date for the start of the season), but we've learned, on this trip, the hurricanes are not paying as much attention to historic trends lately and we are anxious to get north as soon as possible.
The following pages chronicle the journey of the sailing vessel Pelagic and her crew. We are a family of 5; Michael, Amy, Zander, Porter and Anakena, taking our 42' Hallberg Rassy as far as we can comfortably go in three years. We left Oregon in September 2014, participated in the 2014 Baja Haha, continued on through the Panama Canal, into the Caribbean, up the coast of the US to Maritime Canada and from there crossed the Atlantic. After an arrival in Ireland we toured Scotland, then sailed down to France, Portugal and on to Morocco. In January of 2016 we slowed down considerably and enrolled the kids in a local Spanish school in Sanlucar de Guadiana for a few months. In the spring of 2016 we crossed the Atlantic towards the Caribbean. We are now in the Pacific, officially on our way home, albeit via a very circuitous path. We are currently in French Polynesia and looking at weather windows to Hawaii before finally making landfall back in the Pacific Northwest.
Currently our exact location is not available. Our spot coverage will pick us back up in Hawaii towards the end of May, 2017.
Our favorite sailing quote:
"If anythings gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there boss!" Captain Ron