Leaving Kiribati

Saturday July 24, 2004

Enroute to Hawaii!!

N 02o 22’

W 157o 14’

At noon today, we weighted anchor and left behind the atoll of Kiritimati (Christmas Island) in the nation of Kiribati. Setting out on a long passage has become nearly routine, except that this time our next destination is the United States, more specifically, Hilo Hawaii, a thousand miles to the north. Right now Peter is at the helm in the pouring rain. To quote a comment that one of my co-workers used to have on the bulletin board behind his desk, “It’s good that you’re moving so slowly, because you’re going in the wrong direction.”  I’m not sure to what he was referring, but it is more than appropriate tonight for us out in the Central Pacific. With no wind and heavy rain, the rudder is ineffective and Lillian has currently decided to head back south, despite Peter’s best efforts. Perhaps she misses Tahiti. The sails flap and the rigging clangs as the waves rock the boat in unexpected directions. The good new is that Lillian’s barely moving and we will not lose significant ground as we wait for the return of the winds. In the meantime, it is time to settle into a routine of watches, sleep and eating. The frustration of the moment is mitigated by the realization that the winds will eventually average out and in twelve to fourteen days we should to be back on American soil for the first time in five months.

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