I’ve had difficulty writing and sharing our journey for the last few weeks. The reason primarily being that every time I go to write, I feel a bit guilty. Things have opened up quickly here. It feels like a lot of time has passed since I was enjoying a cold beer with a crowd of strangers in a social gathering larger than 10 people. Once our freedoms to move and navigate began to open up, life here has quickly been returning to normal. In the past few weeks, I have been free to discover that I am in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The terrain and ocean are stunning. The Marquesas are a mountainous archipelago with a strong cultural heritage. The people are beautiful, proud and their kindness has absolutely stunned me.
In the past few weeks, we have circumnavigated the island of Hiva-Oa, finally seeing the Northern Harbors. We spent time with local families. I finally had the chance to surf. I could wake up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, catch a few waves and paddle back to J. Henry for breakfast! Shortly after sailing around Hiva-Oa, we were free to sail to all of the Marquesas. We quickly set sail for the neighboring island of Tahuata. We skipped through harbors with crystal clear water, white sand beaches, beautiful snorkeling and great fishing. A day our so after arriving in Tahuata, we caught word that all of French Polynesia was open to navigation of private vessels.
Last weekend we sailed back to Hiva-Oa to get some grocery shopping and provisioning completed. Sailing back into the harbor where I spent my quarantine, I was struck again with an overwhelming feeling of fortune. How did it happen that I wound up here at this time? Of all of the places to be, the furthest island from land in the world is an idyllic place to myself.
Now, J. Henry is fully provisioned to sail for a month. We sailed yesterday from Hiva-Oa to Fatu-Hiva. We averaged 6.5 knots on a beam reach and didn’t have to tack once. We were told it was a 12-hour sail. It took us 8hours! We don’t expect to see Hiva-Oa again. I’m guessing the island will always have a feeling of a home away from home for me; a safe haven in the middle of the ocean. Fatu-Hiva is said to be the most beautiful island of all the Marquesas. It is also the Southern-most island in the archipelago. We plan to spend a few days here, before sailing off for the Tuamotu Archipelago. We will arrive in Tahiti in early July, where Zach plans to re-join J. Henry.
As you can imagine, there are a lot of unknowns in our future. It is possible we will not be permitted into many countries on our western route. There will come a time where weather windows will close and we will need to re-evaluate our itinerary. Only time will tell what the future will bring and how quickly the world will open back up. Until then, I am soaking up the region of the world known as Oceana, a world apart from the rest. My thoughts are with all of those around the world, facing difficult times, and especially with those back home in the United States. I will do my best to share stories from here. I do not take the opportunity for granted and I hope what I share will bring a bit of fresh air to whomever may be reading.
Thanks for keeping up.