29 April 2010 | Fatu Hiva
Just after noon, Diego climbed the mast and the next thing I heard was “Land Ho!”
Some of the greatest words I’ve ever heard. 19 days and 3 hours after leaving isabela in the Galapagos we could see Fatu Hiva, just barely. We were still quite a distance away and about 5 hours later, the sun started to set and we were still not close enough for great photos, but it was still a sight to see. We were lucky enough to have a full moon, so we could still see the valleys and crevasses in the mountains that rise to around 3000 ft straight out of the water. As we passed around the island to get to the anchorage, we got hit with the smell of land and it couldn’t have been more amazing. After nearly 3 weeks only smelling the ocean, it was super pungent and seriously smelled like a perfume (remember this is coming from three guys that all probably smelled exactly the same and that probably wasn’t a good smell).
We pulled into the Bay of Virgins anchorage and it was surprisingly full. We found a spot right in the front and dropped anchor around 1 in the morning which put us at just under 20 days from anchorage to anchorage. It’s crazy to have finally made it. It’s the big crossing that we have been both excited for and, in some small ways, dreading for the past half year or more. It’s great to have that under our belt and slept well because of it.
We woke up to views that are almost indescribable. 3000 ft green cliffs that drop straight into the ocean enormous black bluffs covered in palm trees the sun peaking out between jagged peaks disappearing into the morning clouds. Absolutely picturesque. We headed into the only town that is on the island.
As soon as we hit land, I went over and laid in the grass then realizing I hadn’t ran in 3 weeks took off up the road into town and admittedly I probably looked a little crazy. I now understand the feeling that those big dogs must have that are chained up for way too long. They just get off the chain and take off with absolutely no reason for running just to run and jump and use their legs. So we were like a bunch of big dogs. We ended up hiking right to the top of one of the mountains kind of threw our leg muscles right into the fire, but we made it. On the way, I met an old lady and tested out my French. She brought me over to her house and gave me a few of these huge fruits. When Alex and Diego caught up, she had cut it up and we bit into what she said were pumplemoose or something like that. It was like a big grapefruit, but not as bitter. Super juicy and I couldn’t have picked out something that I’d rather have been biting into.
After the hike, we decided to try to spear some fish for dinner. We couldn’t find a good place to hook our anchor because the cliffs drop straight down into the water. We eventually found a place and we speared a few little grouper. I got a little too confident with my diving gloves and while I was holding onto a rock like 15 ft down waiting to take another shot. The back of my hand bumped into a sea urchin (they are everywhere) and I got 4 spines in my fingers. Luckily, nothing serious, but it’ll be a little uncomfortable for a few days. We also had a big sting ray swim right up next to us.
We are having problems with our computer setup, but we’re going to try to use our friends radios to send out all of our messages. Hopefully, we can get it resolved so we can keep updating the blog regularly.