Preparing for the 2000 mile passage home was not that different than any other except loved ones were going to be there waiting for me. I only stocked up on food for a 2 week trip with the exception of hoarding all the confit de canard on Nuku Hiva. After 7.5 years of going to sea alone this trip just seemed like another leg on my worldwide relay. Like clockwork I said my goodbyes to new friends, tied everything down, cleaned the bottom, pulled anchor, and let the trade winds fill Tiama’s sails.
Emotion struck me as I was leaving Nuku Hiva. I was finally going home. The trade winds were steady, I caught a fish, and for the next 4 days it was my usual routine at sea. I’d make coffee, eat poke, read, watch movies, listen to Lizzo and have a solo dance party, listen to audio books, and even do a little sailing. The ICTZ area was well north of the equator making the beginning of the trip really pleasant.
A low pressure system forming North of Hawaii decided to make a majority of my trip a tricky one. The low dragged the ICTZ from 7 degrees North all the way to Hawaii where I got smashed by the Low. The resulting weather and blizzard warning made world wide news worrying my parents in Oregon and Thailand. Thankfully it was nothing I have not dealt with before. Still it was incredibly frustrating to be so close and need to tack straight into 25-35 knots of wind and an adverse current. The last 61 miles took 24 long, cold, and wet hours.
It was not until I was passing Keauhou 10 miles from the harbour when the fog cleared and I finally saw Kona. Brad was on the 1st charter boat to swing by and welcome me home.Shortly after a sailboat Moana swung by and I saw some friends on board. A mixture of relief, elation, and exhaustion came over me. It finally hit me. I’m home.
Seeing my friends on the dock and being covered in leis and champagne was something I’ve been dreaming about for 10 years. We hugged, drank champagne and scotch, talked story, and were together. It had been 2 years since I’d been somewhere where there was not a curfew and bars were open. It was a bit of a culture shock to have a party and be so close with loved ones. This was the 1st Christmas home in 8 years and could not have asked for anything more.