Lat: 9 28.973′ S
Lon: 137 26.799′ W

94 miles to go…

We are almost there. It’s almost hard to imagine being on land at this point, but we spend a lot of time trying. We will undoubtedly be thrilled to glimpse the volcanic island of Hiva Oa emerging from the sea, and we are curious as to who will be on watch at the time to make the announcement. After clearing in with the local gendarme, the fun will begin! Needless to say, we can’t wait to take in some sights, sounds, smells, and tastes other than those that we have grown accustomed to over the last three weeks. We are especially excited to try to communicate with the Marquesans, sample the local cuisine (especially the fresh produce), and have a COLD drink.

It has been slightly more challenging over the last few days to come up with unique activities, foods, and topics of conversation, but we are getting it done. We had a really good time the other night playing Taboo, and I think I will break out the playing cards tonight. Also, Tiff and I have been using her power-conserving computer to watch movies at night on our respective watches, which we then discuss the next morning. In terms of foods, I dug out a box of chocolates that we’d been carrying around since the states, making for a surprise treat. Also, Tiff popped some popcorn yesterday which I have a feeling will become a common boat snack.

Today’s highlight (thus far) has been documenting the gradual removal of Dallas’ facial hair. Those of you who know him will be surprised to learn that he has managed to grow a fairly full (minus the patchy spots) beard over the last few weeks, and we have the pictures to prove it! In fact, we have pictures at various stages of the removal process including the goatee and, my personal favorite, the mustache. With any luck we’ll be able to post the pics online from the Marquesas.

The sailing has been consistent since our last blog except that we put the spinnaker back up early this morning when the wind died. Today the wind clocked around to the north. This is very uncommon in this area according to the pilot charts, but I would guess that the odds are pretty good that one will experience more statistically uncommon events during three weeks at sea.

I just did the weekly check of the water tanks. The method is simple. It’s a long shoe string with a clevis pin on the end that is dropped down into the tank until it hits bottom. It is not so scientific in that we have yet to mark the levels on the string that correspond to specific measurements, but it allows us to estimate water consumption and determine if we should be concerned. I was surprised at the result of today’s check. It looks as though we only consumed about 10 gallons over the last week and have over 30 left in the tanks, not to mention the 12 or so gallons left in the jerry jugs. We were joking that we should just skip the Marquesas and head on to Tahiti…you should have seen the look on Tiffany’s face! Just for her, I guess we will go ahead and stop. At our current speed, we should be there sometime tomorrow afternoon!