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 2: Marquesas Magnifique page 29 of 109

Departing Fatu Hiva

By daybreak the anchorage had become a seething lee shore. There was no more debating the subject of staying. However, the heavy swell greatly hampered our hand-hauling the anchor chain. We had no windlass, as I had felt that hand-over-handing the ground tackle would be easier and faster, and this was one instance where a windlass might have incurred structural damage to the ship, because of the chain snubbing ever more viciously against it. Hauling by hand was a give and take proposition; as Jenny motored slowly toward the anchor, and as the bow lifted sharply to the next crest, I gave. Each time the prow fell into a trough, I hauled. When directly above the anchor I threw a couple of wraps around the foredeck bitts, and the next wave heaved the bow and broke the well-seated anchor free of the sand. Once I had hauled in the remaining chain and necked the anchor in its bow roller, Jenny powered Suka seaward.

I worked strenuously at the foredeck, lashing the anchor in place. With each oncoming wave, the bow launched into the air, forcing me to hold on with both hands or be hurled bodily off the ship. Then the bow would plunge, and I would find myself waist-deep in green water.

As the brig lurched and wallowed away from land, she soon left behind the zone of wildly rebounding waves, and met with seas far less boisterous. Setting sail and heading south, we soon rounded the island into its lee, and there we found altogether less hostile seas. In scattered bursts of rain we motored close to shore, then paralleled the eastern coast of Fatu Hiva, taking advantage of this unique and marvelous opportunity to explore what is ordinarily the windward side, but now flat calm. At one place we entered a deep bay, in all likelihood the site of Thor Heyerdahl's eastern camp during his year-long stay here. He described the location in his fascinating book Fatu Hiva. The scenery was spectacular, and tempted though we were to set the anchor, this was the genuine lee shore, and we knew that as soon as the wind reverted to its usual south-westerly direction, this placid bay would become a caldron of doom for any hapless vessel caught here.

So after an inspiriting tour we moved off-shore and set a course for one of Fatu Hiva's sister islands. Forty four miles north, Hiva Oa was barely visible, little more than a mere shadow - darker than those of the clouds lying solemnly on the northern horizon.

As the afternoon wore on, the wind decreased. Then into the night we moved ahead under full press of canvas at a scant two knots. At 2:00 a.m, I was sleeping in the aft cabin when Jenny called with a sense of urgency:

"I'm sorry," she sobbed, "I just can't keep us on course."

“Of course you can't steer," I consoled, "we're not moving.”

Steering only by the compass, she had become mesmerized by its red, glowing lamp. Looking overhead, I saw that the sails hung limp as drapery. I felt for the wind on my face. There was none.

"Of course you can't steer," I consoled her, "we're not moving."

I started the engine, sent Jenny below for a much needed nap, and sat in the cockpit steering toward Hiva Oa, now clearly visible in the darkness ahead.

Some three hours later I heard Jenny stirring in the galley. I sat up, and was pleased to see that we were chugging away nicely - but unfortunately in the wrong direction. Our previous sleepless night at anchor watch was catching up with us. I must have dozed. I swung the helm hard over and managed to point Suka back toward Hiva Oa before Jenny climbed out of the companionway.

The story has 109 pages. This is page 29.
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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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