Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Big Blue

It's a long effing way, I said.

I'm glad it's behind us, Alisa said.


I'm not going to try to write about the passage to the Marquesas - I think I nailed it pretty well last time, thank you very much, and it isn't an easy thing to write about.  So this is just a quick rundown...

The first thing to understand about the passage is the planetary scale of it... check out the relative positions of San Diego and the Marquesas here:

That's a trip that's long enough, and remote enough, for the people undertaking it to get to the other side of something in themselves.  My favorite indication of what a momentous trip it really is, and how close to some sort of Mystery the vastness of the sea can still bring people, even in our over-tech age, was the looks on the faces of other sailors who were finishing their passages while we were anchored at Fatu Hiva.  A bigger collection of stupid, rapturous grins you never saw.

Anyway, here are a few tidbits from our 20 days at sea:

Alisa and Elias washing nappies early on - note the warm clothes for 30-something degrees North.  Washing nappies was an every-other-day chore for Alisa.

We got a big surprise with how different four-year-old (nearly five!) Elias was on passage from his three-year-old self.  Keeping him busy was a major part of our routine.  Here he's making damper (Australians will understand) while Alisa makes bread.  This was her other every-other-day chore.

Eric suffered mightily from the heat of the tropics.  He was bathed in sweat every day and every night, and he broke out in an alarming heat rash - this picture fails to convey how uncomfortable it looked.

Our solution to the heat rash was to keep him in the breeze of the cockpit as much as possible - here he's soaking in some precious fresh water in his kiddie pool.

Alisa and the boys.

Sewing the jib in the doldrums.  God, was I sick when this picture was taken - the swell was very confused and my stomach didn't like it at all.  Eric, Alisa and I were all also sick to varying degrees the first couple of days out of San Diego.  Looks like Elias is the only one of us to be impervious.

King Neptune at the equator, bearing gifts of rum and chocolate for the second-time crossers among us.  Eric got nothing but a little saltwater wiped on his brow.  The boat is heeled over because we're already into the southeast trades, and in the midst of our 900+ miles of windward sailing to make Fatu Hiva.

We got into some reassuring routines - I read to Elias every evening, Alisa called into the Pacific Seafarers' net every night, that sort of thing.  But a lot of the time we were also just trying to make it through to the end of the day - it can be tough to sail long distances with two little ones.

We caught all the fish we wanted - but no mahi mahi!

Calling in to the net.

Our landfall at Fatu Hiva - looking lush and inviting and just a bit mysterious, as a tropical island should!

The end, for now - we still have more than 4,000 miles to go to reach Oz!

1 comment:

  1. Surreal stuff, Diana sitting in a posh pub in Turkey playing blogs and three minutes later, Captain Kidd and the pirates are ON and in real time! Sort of like the stuff in the HG Wells comics I used to read.
    So glad you have made a safe passage in your new boat.........serious stuff considering the treasures you had along for the unbidden ride.
    Much love and hugs to you all.