Global Voyage

A Story About Sailing Around the World

Ray & Jenny aboard the ketch Suka

3 years, 35,000 miles, Nov 1982 - Jan 1986

Ray & Jenny Jardine

Chapter 1: Voyage to Fatu Hiva page 25 of 109

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Scanning the empty horizon.

The horizon ahead was empty, as always, but throughout the morning we anxiously scanned it, looking for a faint hint of the island crouching low on the water.

Although my sextant exercises on the California beach had proven successful, since our embarkation I had no means at my disposal to verify that my HO-249 celestial calculations were correct. Day by day, my x-marks penciled on my chart had marched in the appropriate direction across the ocean void. And although these marks seemed accurate, the possibility of wretched Murphy glaring over my shoulder now cast a shadow of increasing inscrutability into the mood.

So when in the late morning an indistinct smudge seemed to be adumbrating in the clouds far, far ahead, we did not know whether to shout for unbridled joy or to ignore it as an apparition.

Gazing so long and intently at a shape the mind says should be there, yet that the eyes cannot quite discern, eventually imparts an uneasy sensation to the stomach. Having seen nothing solid rising from the ocean for twenty-nine days, we worried that our sea-crazed interpretative abilities may have gone by the board. Were we seeing the shadow of a figment borne in minds bloated with anticipation? I stood at the tip of the bowsprit clutching the headstay and leaning forward, as if to scrutinize the view all the closer. Meanwhile, Suka sailed ahead, rather too slowly for us now.

Land Ho!

“Day 29
LAND HO!
FATU HIVA!”

In a few hours the amorphous smudge began indeed materializing, until we were certain we were seeing genuine real estate.

LAND HO! FATU HIVA dead ahead!

Having sighted the island at a distance of nearly thirty miles, we sailed throughout the afternoon exultant. The land seemed to draw us magnetically, almost spiritually. Then at eventide we closed with a staggeringly imposing, upthrust and verdure-carpeted escarpment.

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The night was not dark, for as the sun fell away to the west, a glorious full moon rose to the east and began washing the magnificent island in mercurial luminescence. We rounded the southern flanks and found the island's protected lee, and in so doing we shook free of the ocean swell and its motion to which we had grown so accustomed. Likewise blocked by land, the trade winds diminished to a whisper. Suka lay strangely calm.

The island's ethereal glory was far more than we could have imagined. Towering and incredibly steep-to, the monolithic hulk seemed to lunge skyward from the sparkling, moon bespeckeled waters. The coastline rose with singular abruptness, composed mainly of sheer rock slabs. These withstood the incessant onslaught of a reverberating surf, bred from the restive swell rolling in from the never-never, the high austral latitudes.

“We were stunned by the tropical beauties that fell upon our sea-glazed eyes.”

Having experienced nearly a month upon a comparatively barren ocean, we were stunned by the tropical beauties that fell upon our sea-glazed eyes. Unbridled joy flooded every nook and cranny of our souls. This upthrust escarpment is but a fragment of planet Earth taken as a whole, yet our consciousness embraced it as though it was our very link to the cosmos. Every shard of toil during the previous months was here and now brought to fruition. Our satisfaction at having reached this, our first landfall, was supreme. We had reached Fatu Hiva--the island of our dreams, and the first milestone in our global voyage.

Standing away a mile or so to the southwest, we drifted, eagerly awaiting daylight.


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The Globe

The story has 109 pages. This is page 25.
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Page Links
GV 001: Title Page
GV 002: TOC
GV 003: Dedication
GV 004: Preface
GV 005: Prologue
GV 006: Beginnings
GV 007: Work Done
GV 008: Making Ready
GV 009: Departure
GV 010: Sailing Credentials
GV 011: First Lesson
GV 012: Sextant Navigation
GV 013: Safety Harness
GV 014: Murphy's law
GV 015: Spirit of Adventure
GV 016: Holding On
GV 017: First Big Storm
GV 018: Storm Intensified
GV 019: Rolling Violently
GV 020: Mizzen Sleeping Bag'sl
GV 021: Freeing the Propeller
GV 022: Visits by Birds
GV 023: Crossing the Doldrums
GV 024: Nearing First Landfall
> GV 025: Land Ho
GV 026: Fatu Hiva
GV 027: Trek Inland
GV 028: Anchor Watch
GV 029: Passage
GV 030: Hiva Oa
GV 031: Skin Diving Circus
GV 032: Almost Like a Jungle
GV 033: Polaris Missile
GV 034: Taiohaie Bay
GV 035: Cascade Hakaui
GV 036: Taipi Bay
GV 037: Cyclone Lisa
GV 038: Cyclone Nano
GV 039: Passage of Patience
GV 040: Tuamotu Archipelago
GV 041: Tahiti
GV 042: Cyclone Reva
GV 043: Secret Sharer
GV 044: Moorea
GV 045: Cyclone Veena
GV 046: Aftermath
GV 047: Good Weather in Papeete
GV 048: Huahine
GV 049: Raiatea
GV 050: BoraBora
GV 051: Rarotonga
GV 052: Tonga
GV 053: Fresh Air
GV 054: Tongan Feast
GV 055: Excursion to Maninita
GV 056: Mariner's Cave
GV 057: Fiji
GV 058: Ndravuni Island
GV 059: Mara Island
GV 060: Aneityum
GV 061: Noumea
GV 062: St Elmo's fire
GV 063: Breakwater Reef
GV 064: Bundaberg
GV 065: Life on the Burnett River
GV 066: Engine Sabotage
GV 067: Flying
GV 068: Aground in Round Hill Creek
GV 069: Gladstone Confinement
GV 070: Tropical Queensland
GV 071: Trip into Townsville
GV 072: Cairns Sojourn
GV 073: Cramped Cooktown
GV 074: Lizard Island
GV 075: The San Michelle
GV 076: Lost Mummy Cave
GV 077: Land's End
GV 078: Darwin
GV 079: Christmas Is
GV 080: Passage
GV 081: Cocos Keeling
GV 082: Crossing the Indian Ocean
GV 083: Rodriguez
GV 084: Mauritius
GV 085: Reunion Cirque de Mafate
GV 086: Reunion Cirque de Salazie
GV 087: Passage to Africa
GV 088: Kruger National Park
GV 089: Richards Bay
GV 090: Durban
GV 091: Port Elizabeth
GV 092: Cape Town
GV 093: Storm Passage
GV 094: St Helena
GV 095: Passage to Brazil
GV 096: Fortaleza
GV 097: Passage to Caribbean
GV 098: Bonaire
GV 099: Passage to Panama
GV 100: Panama
GV 101: Panama Canal
GV 102: Medidor
GV 103: Costa Rica
GV 104: Passage to Acapulco
GV 105: Acapulco to Cabo
GV 106: Baja
GV 107: Home Port
GV 108: In Retrospect
GV 109: Next Time
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