It started off really nicely, but the passage to Suwarrow turned out to be as uncomfortable as any of our more difficult days on the voyage between Mexico and the Marquesas. Most of the time the wind was straight behind us. This sounds great, doesn't it? Should go along with the whole "fair winds and following seas" adage? Not when you have an uncomfortable side to side roll, and the occasional cross swell to throw you off again. It's fine for a while, but when you spend days in a row trying to live like this, it's more than a little wearing! Not having anything to drink with a meal, only after- because with only two hands, you can't hold your bowl, your glass, *and* eat. Not being able to put games or puzzles or much of anything on the table, because it will slide or get bounced right off. Struggling to cook meals that involve more than heating a can of something. It's only 25 knots most of the time- why is this so difficult?
I had thought we lost our passage-making mojo, and it was a little depressing. My weariness must have showed on my face when we joined other cruisers on shore for a potluck the evening after our arrival. With some relief, we heard similar stories of discomfort and realized we weren't alone. My first conversation was with cruisers from two different boats, each nearing the end of 8+ year circumnavigations, who said it was the among the worst passage they had undertaken in all that time! But bad passages are a little like childbirth: the hard parts can be easy to forget once they're over. Still, their perspective was comforting.
Even if it hadn't been for empathetic cruisers, we would have shrugged off the passage within a day- there were no breakdowns needing repair, just a little sleep to catch up on. Not every boat has been so fortunate. Jamie has been helping El Regalo, who sheared their stem chainplate. There's a temporary fix in place, but they clearly need to re-rig. Two other boats have damaged mainsails that will need to be babied along to the next port.
The environment around us here is simply too stunning to resist, but more on that and the incredible caretakers next time… just to say it vastly exceeds our expectations!