Day 17

Decisions, Decisions

Over the last day we’ve gone back and forth on whether to make Hiva Oa or Nuku Hiva our landfall destination. Hiva Oa’s advantage is that it’s allegedly prettier, gives the boys a chance to see two islands, and right now is 20 miles closer to us than Nuku Hiva. The downside to Hiva Oa is that we would have to do a 100 mile night sail on Monday to get to Nuku Hiva well in advance of the boys’ departure flight on Wednesday.

Well, it’s dawning on the grownups on Sophie right now that none of us have had a complete night’s sleep in almost 3 weeks. We are doing a double watch system at nights, and it is beginning to catch up to us. I think we might be a little tired. We also realized that if we hit Nuku Hiva first, we can always sail 35 miles over to the island of Ua Huka if we want to provide some island variety for the boys before they fly home. After Rich and Dan leave, Jenna and I are planning to take Sophie down to the southernmost island of Fatu Hiva and then do a leisurely east-to-west (meaning with the tradewinds) tour of the entire island group, so our landfall decision will not affect Sophie’s longer-term tourism plans here.

So we have decided to go to Nuku Hiva first.

The other big decision involves tattoos. The Marquesas have one of the richest tattoo cultures in the world, and it is quite common for cruisers to get some memorial ink to commemorate their arrival here after the long passage. Some go a little over the top … I’ve seen photos on cruiser blogs of men and women who planned to get no tattoos here and left the Marquesas with ink from their bicep to their neck.

I definitely plan to get a Marquesas tattoo. I already have some small tattoos on my legs that were used to calibrate my radiation therapy when I was undergoing treatment for cancer, and I always told myself that I would get at least one more tattoo to mark a more happy occasion. This is definitely it. I think Jenna is in and is leaning towards a tattoo of a sea turtle about a quarter of an inch across. She hasn’t told me where, yet. Dan is thinking about getting one. Rich has clearly said “no”.

Let’s see if anyone revisits their decision after we’ve had the ice machine plugged in for a couple of days. (Sigi, if you haven’t yet seen the film “The Hangover, Part 2”, then please do so.) (FYI everyone else, Sigi is Richy’s wife).

Because we most definitely plan to plug in the ice machine tomorrow night. Sophie is rocking right now. We’ve been sailing on a beam now broad reach in 14 knot tradewinds under jib and full main for over a day now and have covered 183 miles in the last 24 hours. Nuku Hiva is only 325 miles away, and it is looking increasingly likely that we will drop the anchor in Nuku Hiva’s Baie do Taiohae Saturday morning. We’ll then break out the barbecue and have a surf’n’turf birthday celebration for Rich. Then likely go to sleep.

For those of you keeping score at home, San Diego is now 2563 miles away and Seattle is only 3313 miles to our northeast.

It’s been a low key 24 hours on the boat. I lasted about 10 minutes on “the Iliad” and switched to watching the films “Captain America” and “Moneyball” on my Surface during watches last night. These were my first video watches on the trip, and they definitely helped the time go by a little more quickly than reading 150 year old translations of Homeric verse.

Last night Jenna made a warm chinois and rice salad with diced organic chicken breast, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes and olives. It seems we’ve been on a Mediterranean food kick lately. It was delicious.

2 thoughts on “Day 17

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