.. , running against the wind – reminds me of an old Bob Seger song . For the first time ever since we are sailing Qi, we have engaged in a 350 mile upwind passage across open ocean. Looked like a peace of cake on the grib files (weather forecast). Mainly 10 to 15 knots of wind from 110 to 120 degrees, sailing a course of 30 degrees from Vava’u / Tonga to the eastern corner of Opolu.
Turned out it was rather twenty-something knots of true wind most of the time with the accompanying steep 2-3m waves. The wind direction was OK though, we could have made it to American Samoa in one tack if we had wanted to. Qi battled the waves bravely for over 55 hours, the front deck being constantly swamped before we got around the corner of Opolu and turned downwind again.
For the first time ever Gaylyn was feeling seriously seasick and I was affected too feeling queezy and lethargic. Sailing Qi felt like wrestling a rodeo horse, running into one big wave after the other: Stop and go, up and down with nasty crashes every now and then when the bow would fall into the void or crash into another wave. The first time Gaylyn agrees to my general opinion that passage making has nothing to do with fun.
Meanwhile, after one day in Apia we are forgetting the discomfort of the journey, enchanted by a warm welcome to the Island. Lovely people living on a lovely Island – well worth the effort. Apart from all the lovely locals (marina officials, taxi drivers, health, customs, quarantine and immigration), we are already loving the good value you get for your money and the beautiful shops – something you totally miss out on in Tonga. Had a nice chat to Germaine, a Jamaican stranded in the South Pacific – Jamaican vibes in Samoa – it doesn’t get any better.