Day broke, and Adriana’s and my eyes were wide and baggy. It’d seen like an afterparty awakening. Only that we were not waking up – we’d not been asleep at all. For long. And while there were a lot of drumming and moving all through the night … a party it wasn’t.
Raratonga’s only harbour, Avatiu, is exposed to the wide-open sea. That we knew.
The exposure is oriented to the North. So, as long as the winds would not blow from that direction, we should be fine. So we reasoned.
Since our arrival here, the winds have been blowing ONLY from the North …
The wind per se is not a problem. To the contrary, a relief from the warmth of the tropical autumn. But this wind, blowing along miles of vast ocean surface, creates waves. These waves enter Avatiu harbour. Unobstructed.
And that’s only the beginning.
Once inside, the waves hit the concrete walls that surround half the perimeter of the small harbour, creating a backwash. The reflected waves sometimes reflect AGAIN on the opposing wall and … well, there you go, a large-scale washing machine is formed.
Since our arrival, Pesto has been bouncing a lot, her bow raising to the waves that just entered the harbour, and her stern being slapped loudly by the waves that just backwashed from the wall.
Our bed is positioned at Pesto’s stern. Right were it is slapped. It’s been nosy.
Then, yesterday the rain arrived. It had been announced by the forecast long ago.
The rain made the air, which was already very humid, now absolutely damp.
The rain forces us to keep all our hatches closed.
The air inside the cabin quickly got saturated, condensing on the inside of the hatches.
We now had our own private condensation-induced rain inside our cabin.
And then night came.
As it did, the rain accelerated the winds, which then aroused the seas some more.
And our Washing Machine switched to the “max-spin” mode.
All night long, our bedroom bounced up and down, left and right. We rolled on our bed without having intended to. The incessant slapping from the backwash waves creating a cyclical thump. It felt as if we were inside a drum. And every time I did manage to fall asleep in those conditions, a drop of condensation water would fall over some part of my body – never on the bed, of course.
And then there was boat-keeping. I must have gotten up at least 20 times last night. To wipe condensation from the hatches, just to watch it forming instantly afterwards. To open the hatches for fresh air, then to close them a few minutes later because the rain had resumed. To check that our mooring lines were in place. To check that our anchor was holding. To check that our neighbors mooring lines were in place. To check that their anchor was holding. And to check that Pesto was not going to smack their boat, and vice versa.
In the middle of the night, Adriana at some point decided to overcome it all with dignity, and came to the main salon to read. But it was too bouncy, seasickness threatening, and she came back to bed resigned to withstand what was left of that shit show for the night.
Through the hatch, we watched the sky turn from pitch black to grey, and then to blue. The sun is out, the winds slower, the waves smaller. All hatches are open, no more condensation inside. We are sleepless, but the crazy night is over, and hopefully a calm day is in order. Adriana is producing a wonderful spinach omelet to get it started the right way.
We are all in hopes that the forecast upholds its promise, that the rain move away, that the North winds keep slow, that the waves remain low.
We are hoping it does.
Because all we want for tonight, folks, is to get some sleep.
Have a GREAT weekend !