Passage to Marquesas, Landfall, Day 19
Land Ho!  Arrival in Hiva Oa:

Thank you all for your wonderful words of encouragement and love.  We feel it and only wish we
could have you all with us.   Now… for that we would need a big boat!

As Emily described, we saw land just as the moon was setting and the sun was rising.  Cloud—no
Land, Land ho!!!!  

As we motored into the anchorage, a friend helped us set the stern anchor.   Lou wanted to
celebrate with others that had the same experiences.  I wanted… you guessed it… BAGUETTES
AND BRIE!   So, we did a little bit of both.

How can you describe this island where Gaugin breathed his last (with his 14 year old mistress!  Not
exactly in that order!)?  Beautiful!!!    The people are wonderful.  Although, I have to suppress my
lapses into speaking Spanish.  I start out with Bonjour and end with Adios.    

The passage got smoother which meant—you guessed it—little wind.  Our 170 plus mile days
turned into 120 mile days.  Some times, the feeling of “Will we ever see land again?” permeated the
crew.  Other times, we talked about just continuing to sail beyond the Marquesas.  Just not stop.  

We had the spinnaker up for the last 6 days of the passage.  I don’t know what we would have done
without a spinnaker—gone very slowly, methinks!   This spinnaker is very old and has served us
well.   The spinnaker flying in the full moonlight is just breathtaking.  

On Day 14, we met up with another boat.  It was nice to have another boat around and have VHF
contact with them.  We hove to (basically parked the boat) along side them and went for a swim.  
We had harnesses and lines attached to us and Ace as we swam.   Then in the  evening the kids
played battleship via VHF radio.  Emily especially was craving “outside” contact.  This was the only
boat we saw during our passage.

Emily and Martin organized a protest against a book that I am reading to them, with picket signs for
them and for their marionettes.  Yes, it’s the introduction to philosophy book, “Sophie’s World”.    
Nevertheless, I will persevere.  We only have 100 pages more to go.  I know some day they will
thank me that at an early age they were introduced to Socrates, Descartes, St. Augustine etc.   

Our last nights of the voyage were bathed in luscious moonlight.  I love looking at the constellations
and we have a wonderful computer program where you put in your lat/long and it shows where the
constellations are and the planets.  So, you miss out on being able to see the constellations as
clearly when the moon is full.  But, it just feels less lonely out here when the moon is in her full
“middle of the Oreo cookie” mode.  No, I’m not fantasizing about food!

Our experience was that during the first week we had some squabbles—especially between Martin
and his parental units.  The tension remained a bit past the first week.  Then, Martin said he
defeated his evil twin, Marvin and we had Martin back.  Don’t worry—he still gives us some
challenges –that’s his niche in life!  Basically, we decided that we had this wonderful opportunity to
be together (REALLY TOGETHER-AS IN NO ESCAPE)  and we could make each other miserable or
we could just enjoy.  We all chose to enjoy!  And isn’t that what life is all about?  

Cooking got easier when I decided to just put together a menu for 4 days (especially for the dinner
meal).  This seemed  to satisfy my picky eater on board.   Pizza was the favorite.  I ran out of eggs.  
I just didn’t want to manage a lot of eggs on board.  You have to turn them every other day or cover
them in Vaseline or you get rotten eggs. I had never had an encounter with rotten eggs until we
went out cruising and let me tell you—it is not pleasant.  Eggs are fifty cents a piece in the
Marquesas.  

We all read voraciously on this trip.  
Martin read Starseekers, Seal Cry, The Runaway and Taggerung (another Redwall book)
Emily read Starseeker, Gregor the Overlander, Seal Cry, Warriors:Into the Wild, Haroun and the
Sea of Stories, The Runaway, Where the Red Fern Grows, Hope was Here, Trickster’s Queen (by
Tamora Pierce) and Legend of Luke
Lou read a couple of books by Paul Theroux, Saint Jack and Melroy the Magician
Mary read Angela’s Ashes and ‘Tis.  

We should have set out some goals when we started the journey.  

Lou probably had an unspoken goal of not having too many more things added to his to do list
once we completed the journey.   Accomplished!

Mary’s goal was to get to the Marquesas and still have food on board.  And for everyone to still be
talking to each other when we arrived.  Accomplished!

Emily’s goal was to learn how to play John Denver’s Annie’s Song on guitar.  Accomplished!

Martin’s goal was to wear the same boxer shorts for the duration of the journey.  Not
Accomplished!  Maybe when he has his own sailboat and does this!  Martin learned some new
songs on the guitar also—mostly at my request so we could have some songs to sing in the
evenings.

And now for a Cheeseburger in Paradise (or maybe a baguette with brie!)