Thursday, October 20, 2011

Passage to Alofi

Last night, after the kids were asleep, we finally had Galactic ready to go. Half of the main anchor chain had been pulled by hand, the stern anchor had been pulled and put away, the sail cover was off, the awning was down, Smooches the inflatable was deflated and lashed into place, Little Dipper the hard dinghy was secured forward of the mast, water had been hauled from shore, the coconuts and bananas and diaper buckets and water jugs and solar shower were lashed on deck, the jib had been patched, rust spots on the hull given a little attention, the prop cleaned of barnacles, the zincs scrubbed off, ditto the rudder and waterline, the batteries checked, the rudder had been connected to the grounding system, the cracked bulkhead where the windvane lines attach had been strengthened, and a new lee cloth / sleeping cage had been installed for Eric.

Once the kids were asleep, and all this was ready, we agreed that we had no energy whatsoever left for sailing, and settled instead for a glass of white wine in the cockpit and an early night. I checked the weather before turning in and was interested to see a big zone of disturbance appearing in the 72 hour forecast, right in our path.

In the morning I checked the weather again. The front that has been propagating across the South Pacific was about 24 hours away from us. It would bring good sailing winds, but the updated forecast now showed disturbances behind the front both 48 and 72 hours out. So, in spite of the excitement that has been building over the idea of actually setting off on our last leg to Australia, we decided to just make the six-mile passage to Alofi, the other Island in the Iles de Horne group, where we could drop the pick in a more secure anchorage and give the weather a day or two to develop.

So that's what we did.

Alisa and I had each taken a quarter of a sturgeron, that wonder seasickness drug much favored by the in-the-know yachtie, before we checked the weather and decided to delay the start of our long trip. And that ended up providing me with a very informative unplanned experiment. The sturgeron made me feel awful. My eyeballs ached, my heart fluttered, and after we had moved to the new anchorage I spent most of the day napping. If we had been at sea I would have thought I was seasick, but in fact it was the seasickness medication that was causing it all. So no more of that stuff for me.

Aside from napping, we passed the day by swimming off the jupe with Elias, who executes a mean cannonball from the top of the swim ladder, and by filling the kiddie pool in the cockpit for Eric. (Futuna and Alofi have been desperately hot - I all too literally leave little pools of sweat everywhere that I go down below.) And we've watched the clouds building in the west as the front approaches. And now I'm going to check the weather again to see when we might get going.

If we're here another day the dinghy will have to go into the water - there is a sandy beach by the anchorage and a little village just inshore of the reef where nobody lives anymore, but that is visited daily by people from Futuna who keep gardens here. It all looks wonderful.


  1. Just about here guys. Keep it up & thinking of fair winds & sunny skies for you. Pete & Ness

  2. Hello Guys,

    You keep a great update of events. Have a good, next leg, when it happens. Your Friend,
    Mark Fisher

  3. Interesujące. Powodzenia.