Landfall in Fatu Hiva!

We arrived safely if a little weary on 30th April, and after several attempts that lasted a whole hour, finally dropped the anchor at about 0800 this morning at the Bay of Virgins, Fatu Hiva, a stunning anchorage at the base of a mountain ravine, but we have gusts of wind coming down from the mountains that exceed any wind strength experienced on passage! It is wonderful to see lush vegetation on the mountainsides that tumble to sea level, other people and yachts that we know again from Germany, Canada, France and the UK.

Yesterday, our last at sea was highlighted by catching a sizeable and what we believe to be yellow fin tuna late in the afternoon (a mere 17 steaks this time!) followed by dropping the main before the sun set and experiencing most uncomfortable night of the whole passage! We ended up sailing under much reefed staysail alone and still managing 6kn in a heavy roll – enough to turn stomachs of the hardiest! It was as though Pipistrelle couldn’t wait to get to her destination and the Pacific was demonstrating as yet hidden characteristics.

For us it is the longest passage we have attempted since crossing the Atlantic with the ARC in 2009 when we were five up. For Janet it has been the experience of a lifetime, clocking up the passage miles and achieving over 20 solo night watches! A challenging and memorable trip for all three of us.

Cause again for celebrations that will follow this evening after we’ve all had a good sleep or two to catch up.

For the record, we have sailed 3043nm in 19 days, using the engine for a total of only 26 hours.

The photo was taken as the sun was rising behind the mountains, and we were approaching the anchorage from about 3 miles off.

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