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Wondertime Sails to the South Pacific – Day 23

We are getting so so close now. If our speed can keep at 4.5 knots or above, as it has been today, then we are looking at a Wednesday evening landfall. If it drops below that for any length of time then we’ll likely arrive Thursday morning. Either way, that’s just a few days away, two or three more sleeps, and we are just delirious with excitement at stepping foot on this distant and exotic land.

There has been some serious convective action in the sky around us the past few days. The thunderheads form mostly at night; the days have been relatively clear and sunny. Perhaps it’s because the atmosphere cools at night. I’ll have to google that when we next have internet. We are starting to miss the internet, a little.

Anyway, as night falls the thunderheads grow up into the stars around us, lightening flashes in the distance, lighting up the towering clouds. Much of the time they seem to route themselves around us, which is good. When the moon disappears though, it’s time to keep a close watch.

Last night, just as Michael was set to get off watch, one of these monsters swooped in and grabbed us. It was like a scene from White Squall: the wind whipped up from 5 knots to 30 in mere seconds, rain was pelting down on him as he fought to furl in the wildly flogging genoa. And as if that wasn’t enough there was a blindingly white flash of light illuminating everything, then a few seconds later – much too soon – a rumble of thunder like I’ve never heard before. It rumbled and growled and shook the whole boat for a good 15 seconds. I was shaking too. We all were.

Matt had scrambled out of his bunk and was up in the cockpit to help Michael get the headsail tamed. More blinding flashes, illuminating my own bunk through the tiny portlight. I began to count. Thunder rumbled through the sky all around. Thankfully it was farther away this time. The sail secured, the fellows came below to safety and to dry off.

There was more lightening and thunder over the next hour, but the wind and rain eased and we were able to get sailing again. Eventually the racket ceased, and the storm rolled to the west of us, away.

Total miles at noon: 2386
Miles since yesterday: 96
Miles to Hiva Oa: 305
Barracudas with huge teeth caught and thrown back in: 1
Oranges remaining: 3


  1. Melinda Scharf says:

    I have so been enjoying your daily posts! I look forward to reading them every night. So exciting! I certainly hope you are planning on making a book of your writings with pictures for your family to treasure.

  2. Wow, exciting. I am eager for you guys to reach land, but at the same time, I don’t want your updates to end, like wanting the suspense of a good novel to drag on, I guess. We look forward to setting up a Skype call when we all have good internet again, maybe when we arrive in San Diego next month. Take care and fair winds. Michael and crew.

  3. Sujata says:

    Hilarious – I think we caught and threw a barracuda back in at almost exactly the same stage!