We left American Samoa.
After 6 weeks shy of one year, we waved goodbye.
We have one very happy captain, one sad co-captain and one very sad teenage swab.
It is tough saying goodbye to friends (and tougher saying goodbye to a boyfriend).
That, I think, is the hardest part of cruising.
The longer you stay somewhere- the more roots you grow- the harder it is to pull them up.
Our melancholy was temporarily interrupted when we suddenly hooked a blue marlin one hour into our trip. Thankfully, he broke our line (because none of us wanted to tangle with that dagger-faced monster!)... but the cost of our yellow-bellied reluctance was our beloved lucky lure. A school of skip jack followed us for miles and miles, and although we don't like to eat them (their meat is too dark), they are absolutely gorgeous under the water with their shimmering purples and blues and pinks and reds. Carolyne sat at the bow watching them and they did flips and summer-salts to try and cheer her up. They were beautiful.
We were expecting light wind from behind us... our least favorite point of sail other then straight upwind. But mother nature fooled us - the winds were awesome at an average of 15 knots and we sailed 200 miles on a beam reach straight through to Niuetoputapu, Tonga! We arrived too early in the morning and hove to, waiting for first light before entering the skinny and reef laden channel.
This remote island has no electricity, no refrigeration, no internet... but its English speaking inhabitants seem content and fairly self reliant (although they are eagerly awaiting a supply ship that comes once a month and is currently 2 weeks overdue). Because we sailed across the Date Line, we are a day ahead now. In our time, we arrived Tuesday, July 7th. In reality time, we lost Tuesday, July 7th and entered into Wednesday, July 8th.
We feel a welcome relief to have a sunny climate. And Hotspur is happy to be drying out for a change. The solar panels are buzzing with energy and all the hatches are wide open. The water in the lagoon is so clear we can see the bottom at 80+ foot depths. The bottom is nice and sandy, so our Manson anchor hooked right up in 34' of water. The first night was calm and cool with a slight breeze. No bugs. Bright stars. Simply tranquil.
(Photos will have to wait until we get to Fiji with internet.)