We made it!

April 29, 2003, 7:45 p.m. (Marquesas time)

Atuona Harbor, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands, Tahiti

Well, we actually made it!  The last few days at sea have had a sameness, and an anticipation about them.  We were all very definitely focused on the goal.  We knew we'd be seeing land at about sunrise this morning, and sure enough, there it was.  Very craggy, lots of tropical vegetation, lots of waves crashing against the cliffs.  We saw several other islands, and plenty of rainclouds surrounding them all.

Atuona harbor is pretty small.  There are 29 sailboats in here (including us).  Anchoring involved cruising around the harbor and receiving helpful or not so helpful advice from nearly every boat about good or bad places to anchor.  Once an anchor is dropped, there is constant jockeying of the various boats.  The boat behind us is "most unhappy" about any boat that anchors near him.  He's had a giant catamaran drag into him twice.  There was a fierce rain squall just as we were putting out our anchors, which made things interesting.  Craig and Brian went out into the rain, just to enjoy all that fresh water, with no salt spray.  We're tired of having salt crystals everywhere, and it will be great to get rid of it (at least temporarily). 

Land Ho!

More photos of landfall

So after 23 days of solitude on the ocean, not having seen another boat nor another person for so long, it's like we are in an RV park.  You can hear conversations on the next boat, and children careen around the harbor in their dinghies.  We're anxious to get into town (tomorrow morning) and check out the internet cafe, and find the person who does laundry.  Everything is very lush and green, and we're looking forward to some fresh fruits and vegetables! 

But for now, it's been a long day, so having announced our safe arrival, I will sign off.  More later! 

Best regards to all 

Craig & Barbara Johnston

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