(Also see Lukas post on the crossing)
2016-06-15 – 2016-07-06
This was the big leg of our journey across the Pacific Ocean. We completed the 3000M from the Galapagos islands in the east Pacific to the Marquesas islands of French Polynesia in the south Pacific in 20 days and 8 hours. That is three weeks of noting but ocean surrounding us. In the Live update post all details about the crossing is on a daily basis, this text aims at giving a more subjective insight to the experience.
All in all, this was a really good crossing with good speed in the boat, nice weather, good fishing, great food and a lot of fun all the way. Before you leave for a passage like this you have a lot of different expectations. By this time, we were well prepared for the sailing and we knew the boat inside out, so we felt confident in that respect. But if it is your first ocean crossing you don’t know how you will feel and react to being on the ocean for such a long time, three weeks at home in your regular life or on holidays seems like forever sometimes. I remember when Lukas told me about his Atlantic crossing a couple of years ago, I thought it was crazy and I really wondered what it would be like to do something like that. and here I am today! I thought a lot about how you would react to spending such a long time on the same “small” boat (claustrophobia?), having land at least 10 days away in every direction (help?), and how happy you will be to see land again on the other side. The fact is that all of these things were not really such a big deal, you just do it! It is pretty hard to grasp the greatness of those situations while you are experiencing them. Maybe it is your minds way of keeping it all together and make sure you don’t get carried away. Yes, you are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean but you still have to perform your daily routines like getting out of bed in the morning, have your regular meals, sort out your different duties, wright a blog post etc. My experience from this crossing is that you always have something to do so you basically don’t have time to think that much about it, that might not be the case if you have lesser wind and more time to just sit around. I had to keep reminding myself to enjoy all the little moments and appreciating what we were actually doing, crossing an ocean.
Captain Lukas’ strategy for keeping the crew spirit up was to make sure we celebrated a few milestones of the leg. Especially important was the “half way” party which we got to a little bit earlier than expected on day 10. Luckily it was a great day with sunshine, calm seas and good fishing fortune so we could really enjoy the foie gras, the “straight out of the water” Wahoo sashimi and the superb Ramen soup together with a nice bottle of red wine. Catamaran style! We also got to celebrate the important Swedish tradition of Midsummers eve on day 9 of the crossing. From our supplies we managed to put together an almost traditional menu with the most important ingredients like pickled fish, potatoes and snaps. The 1st quarter and 3rd quarter mark was also celebrated but in a more modest way.
It was a good feeling to hear Simon yell “Land in sight” from the helm at day 21, the 6th of July at 09.45. Now we only had 30M to go and we were confident to make landfall before sunset. The last 24h we were constantly hit by squalls, small storm areas with increased winds and a lot of rain. They helped us reach port in time and made the landfall more appreciated, last day was pretty rough and wet! All of us were smiling the whole 30M long amazing approach to this dramatic volcanic island. Entering the anchorage in Autuona Bay at Hiva Oa we were welcomed by some of the boats we met earlier on this trip, John and Julia from Mary Ann II and the Aussies from Lady Amity. It was nice to see they also made the crossing in one piece. We anchored up behind the breakwater close to the beach. Securely anchored we could finally celebrate this great accomplishment with a cold bottle of champagne!
At the dock we could also se Simons friend Erik jumping out of a car, he had seen us approaching the bay from his hotel and went straight down to the dock to meet us up. He will spend 3 weeks on Kenobi cruising the Marquesas islands. After we had settled on the boat we went to pick him up in the dinghy, of course we all of us went ashore to feel solid ground under our feet for the first time in three weeks. The first couple of days we just relaxed and hung out on land, it was nice to just chill and eat good fresh food. Even though we ate a lot of good food during the crossing, the last week we ran out of the last fresh products, vegetables and fruits. First meal ashore was a cheeseburger and a beer, pretty sweet!
It was nice being able to communicate with the outside world through satellite e-mailing and really fun to share our experience through our daily “live update” blog posts. Thanks a lot “webmaster” Olek for helping us sort this out.