My apologies for the delay…had to pick up the pace over the last month in order to make it back towards ‘home base’ in order to catch a plane to Cali so I can be there when my nephew will be born in June! Seven passages over one month with a broken autopilot and a light winds on the stern, making my windvane rather finicky. So it was on and off the helm for 3-6 hour shifts with Raiarii…which meant no extra time for writing! But alternately, there was lots of time to bond with Swell and the sea. I steered the boat by hand this year more than ever before and learned so much! Plus, I spent huge amounts of quality time with the sea and sky. Watching the heavens turn from gray to orange to blue each morning, studying the swell directions all day, and steering by the stars or the moon reflection on the water at night…all in all, it was another epic voyage, completing a 2,600 mile loop of French Polynesia over the last year.
Ironically, anchored in the tranquil bay, the day after our arrival from treacherous atolls and high seas, a large charter catamaran came barreling into the side starboard side of Swell! Apparently the captain went down below and drifted across the bay, t-boning poor Swell at anchor!
Luckily, she’s still floating–there is minor damage to the hull and the standing rigging, and lifelines, but all in all we were lucky that no one was hurt and everything can be repaired…but I’ve been dealing with insurance headaches, etc…On top of seeing old friends and celebrating Swell’s return, I’ve been hard pressed to find a minute for the many stories I can’t wait to share of the past month or so!!
So cheers to Swell for enduring many more sea miles!! Now its off to the boatyard to get her fixed up again ☹…