Another island passes by

About 4 hrs ago we first caught sight of the island of Pitcairn. From the wind and the waves our hopes were not too high to be able to anchor and go to land. The radio communication with the tremendously friendly guy at Pitcairn radio confirmed that landing at the moment and probably at least for the next 3 days will be impossible. Sailing on we heard the local radio information, a woman talking to the islanders on channel 16, that tomorrow the French marine will arrive and that Pitcairn will hold a fest in their honor on the square. BBQ, Beef and ice cream as desert will be provided from the government. The people were asked to bring side dishes. Also, the voice of the lady continued, "we hope they bring their instruments. In case that does not happen we have already set up karaoke in the hall." That sounds great, we would love to participate. Well, it's not going to happen for us and we don't think for the marine either. Wind and wave go directly into Bounty bay, in front of Adamstown, where the landing is. No chance for landing.

The people we heard all spoke a perfect English with a beautiful British accent. Why do I wonder? The island "belongs" to England, so no surprise. Maybe because I have not heard such English on Radio at all since we left the Canaries. In fact, by coming here to Pitcairn, it is the first time on this trip (in 9 months) that we are not in a Portuguese or Spanish speeking country or island. So now I have to reset my mind. I felt great in these countries being able to understand and speak with the people. Portuguese took me a while to be able to really talk and not just throw some more spanish than portuguese expressions to the local people, but it worked quite well in the end. Now, after this short change to English I have to shift my mind to Frenchb (polynesian french?), as we're heading into French Polynesia. Maybe I pick up even some Polynesian words? So, for my brainworks, I have lots of chances to practice French now, that's good. Actually it already started on Easter Island, where there were only French boats, 5 of them, besides us at anchor after our british/Canadian friends on the catamaran had left. And the French loved communicating with each other over radio, discussing their current problems with the boats, the weather conditions and whether /when to move to a different anchorage. I listened to this communication in order to dig out my French a bit. What did I find out? It's going to be hard in the beginning, need to listen a lot. I am looking forward to it.

Back to Pitcairn. The guys from the Bounty for sure found a nice island, but hard to live on. It's a huge rock out of the blue ocean, probably up to 900m high, no flat land, about 7km long. We counted about 21 houses in Adamstown, spread over the east side of the mountain, none lower to the water than about 100m. The island is green with grass and trees, even a colony of palm trees spread over the island, on some parts leaving some space for the red soil to shimmer through. It is similar to Robinson Crusoe Island, only smaller and the dry parts and the lower flat land are missing. The about 50 people there seem to be very friendly and open hearted to visitors - at least this is our perception from hearing the radio communication. About 10 cruise ships coming from French Polynesia and 45 sailing ships pass by there every year in average. I don't know how many of these sailors are actually able to make landfall…

We would have very much loved to set foot on the island, but the only possible anchorage would have been very rough, we would have needed to wait at least three days with the uncertainty of being able to land and, to make things worse, the wind is going to change its direction more and more to the north, making the anchorage almost impossible and the continuing journey to Mangareva uneasy. Wind against us would have made us having to tack in front of the wind extending the trip from the 2 days that we expect now to at least 4 days. As sad as we are, the decision is clear: instead of hanging out at an unruly anchorage for a couple of days we already picture ourselves on the beach with a cocktail in our hand in two days…At least I have some pictures of the island, which I will upload in Mangareva.

We have about 2 weeks in Mangareva to relax. Oh, how much I am looking forwad to that!!! Mangareva is the end of the long distance sailing route across the Pacific for now. Once we arrive in Mangareva it will have been 3500nm (almost 700km) since we left Valparaíso one month ago. Until the end of this year there is only one long passage left: from Tonga to New Zealand it's another 1000nm.

So: 2 days to go to the world famous south sea! I am already preparing bikini, skirt and top - and the snorkeling and diving gear (Schnorchel- und Tauchausrüstung).

Current position: west of Pitcairn, 25deg 01min S, 130deg 14,1min W
Wind: 5-6Bft, course: 295
Log: 13838nm

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