March 11, 2014
Latitude 10d 8′S
Longitude 141d 20′W
Day 23 at sea
Distance to Tahiti 821nm.
Noon to noon = 97nm
Even though Ua Pou is a beautiful island, their anchorage sucks. I was anchored behind a seawall but the swell just catapulted around and made it very rough. So I thought, the hell with this, and upped anchors and headed to Tahiti. I find I like being by myself during the passages.
Upped anchors involved trying to untangle the stern and bow anchors, because, just as I was leaving I got hit with a major rain squall. The wind came thundering down off the mountain and completely turned the boat around, wrapping the two anchor chains around each other. Without the windless I tried, unsuccessfully, to haul in the stern anchor but found it was hung on the chain of the bow anchor. My only option was to grab my mask, dive down twenty feet and manually untangle them. Surprisingly, it was easier than I had anticipated; one can actually walk along the bottom if one is carrying a 75 pound anchor.
As I’ve always said, the danger is not in the open ocean, the danger is hard stuff, like land…and ships.
But the trades are not the strength they were when I arrived. I tried all afternoon to get a combination of sails that would stay inflated in the light winds, but because of the heavy swell created by the early squalls, every sail I tried would just slat and bang as the boat tossed about. Exhaustion and impatience eventually set in so I put up a tiny head sail, checked for ships, lashed myself into the bunk and slept the night. Thus the short 97nm day.
This morning found me under the same conditions, which brought on a funky depression that I just couldn’t shake. I am also seriously missing family and friends. So, thinking music might help, I put on a Bach CD. One which I had not yet played. To my amusement the producers of the CD had over-recorded the sounds of birds and the ocean! I was in hysterics. What I needed – more sounds of the ocean. But it brought me out of the funk. Sometimes I think that laughing hysterically while alone is a form of hysterics.
S/V Running Free