Sunday, 6 October 2013

Departing Tahuata

Joelle drove me down to the wharf with stop over to say goodbye to Solange, mairie of island at her govt offices, and then onto the wharf. Waves washing into concrete steps so I wondered whether I would slip off and have an unscheduled swim. By now we all knew that the outboard motor was a dead deal (Kiki said to me it was too old and will never work. Philip says to me he only needs to get it back to Nuku Hiva and he can clean it out and get it working again. I like optomistic people. Reminded me a little of Uncle Ted in that regard.) and two paddles had been gifted to us for rowing the dinghy. With all the gear and gifts we had to load onto the dinghy, I was quietly resigned to the coming circus as I would try and do my bit for rowing across the rising swell of the bay to the yacht. I couldnt imagine success. As we had driven along the esplanade, we had passed a meander of young French tourists. As it happened as we were about to get the dinghy loaded, their tourist run-about boat was motoring in to collect them. Before long Philip and I and all our gear was loaded onto this vessel with the tourists, and the dinghy was set up for a tow. Before long we were on board Wendy Windblows without any loss or slippage. I waved back to shore to all the people who had been such good hosts and guides, feeling both sorry to leave and excited for the first sailing leg. The sun was shining, the rapidly rising gullies gleaming with green health before us, the swell crashing onto the stony beach, the 4WDs going off to resume the business of the day. These were my final sights before disappearing below. 'Cup of tea before we start?' and Philip brewed real Green Tea. Seemed like a perfect way to start, Without rushing. Soon the gravelly sound of the anchor being pulled up, marked the beginning of the trip to Ua Poa. Once we motored out of the bay and as Philip was setting the first sail, I felt the first confusion in my stomach. Ros had fervently urged me to take tablets just in case of seasickness, even though in all my life on every conceivable sort of boat large and small I had never been sick. So I went down to my sleeping quarters to get my medicinal help. From then on until we reached Oa Poa, I only stuck my head out on a few occasions to see Tahuata disappearing, and then 24 hrs later to see Oa Poa appearing. Mostly I was horizontal on my bed or wedged on the galley floor. This was the trip that apparently should take about 14 hrs. It was also a trip where missing Oa Poa completely, and having extra sailing to 'find' the island was  not expected. But I believe in Philip's thorough understanding of his boat and the sea and the winds.

No comments: