On what promised to be an easy downwind run of 20 miles under sunny skies we departed from our anchorage at the Cousteau Resort in a light westerly breeze. Unfortunately, the SE swell was making the passage less than comfortable with more than the occasional uncooperative wave from the south hitting us broadside and with not enough wind in the sails to counteract the motion it became quite snotty (not actually an exclusively nautical expression, but suffice to make my point). The only way to settle things down was to head south toward Namena far enough that making the ‘turn’ to the west would put the swell farther back on the boats hip to allow for some surfing as opposed to rolling motion. Altho this added a few miles to the journey, it was after all…a beautiful day and a short enough passage that we had plenty of time. A note to all new cruisers…always allow more than enough time for your passage and as soon as possible remove the word schedule from your sailing vocabulary…it will make your cruising life so much more …!
The most exciting part of this passage was coming thru Nasonisoni Passage which is the entrance thru the reef running past Savuna Pt into what is a quite nicely protected anchorage. However, getting thru this pass demands your full attention. With a full 4 knots of current running against the hull and now almost 20 kts of wind from the stern, with the associated swell and wind waves, causing a wind over wave motion of surfing against the tide…the boat wants to fly but the drag pulls the bow down…there are moments when you feel like the boat is about to submerge and a very steady hand is needed on the helm….YOU DO NOT WANT TO GET TURNED BROADSIDE…so with the chances high of either turtling or broaching…one is quite happy to make it safely thru this nasty little stretch of water.
Once thru however, you are greeted with a very quiet anchorage with soft water and a very peaceful view. It was time to put the hook down and despite having not even a nibble on the fishing lines…be grateful for a safe passage.
We awoke the next morning to see a catamaran also in the anchorage…some distance away, but recognizable by the bright yellow canvas…it was Pogeyan…our long time friend Rixzene and her puppy Olivia.
We first met Rixzene in the San Blas islands in 2012. Olivia was just a few months old…having been rescued by Rixzene in Trinidad. Since then, Rixzene and Olivia have sailed across the Pacific and spent the last few years in the Marshall Islands. We enjoyed keeping in touch and were delighted when she told us of the ‘new man’ in her life. James is from Ireland. They met ‘online’ and soon became sailing mates and along with Olivia, a family.
We enjoyed a lovely lunch visit with them and learned that Rixzene had just sold Pogeyan and she and James and Olivia are about to embark and the next leg of life's journey…wherever that may lead. We wish them well and look forward to hearing of their adventures.