We left Hiva Oa in the rain and went to the lee side of an island called Tahuata, about 6 miles south of Atuona, Hiva Oa. We originally planned to head all the way south to the island of Fatu Hiva but with 2 meter swells (6 feet) we were making so slow of progress that we would of arrived at night which is something Trevor and I refuse to do unless we have been at the anchorage before, and even then we generally don’t do that either. So we rounded the south point of Tahuata to get to our new destination.
Everything was going great…sailing downwind and then…. a gust of wind came rushing down the side of the mountain at about 50 knots and we basically were “knocked down”. Without getting to technical, this just means the wind was so strong (and in this instance, sudden) it hit our reefed main sail which pushed our boat to the side (45 degrees which means our rails were in the water) and turned us 180 degrees (up wind). Things on deck flew into the water and Trevor was on the floor holding the wheel to try hand steer. Everything was ok…little time to freak out…we dropped the main in 30 knot winds and then turned back into the direction we needed to arrive at our anchorage. Let’s just say I had 2 beers..at least when we anchored.