Ghost Island

We dropped anchor at the stroke of midnight under the watchful presence of Volcano Barceno. Sailing under a full moon the sky was bright enough for us to feel comfortable anchoring at night, considering the cove is wide open with no hazards. Still we crept carefully forward, the island pale as a ghost, all colors of grey and white in the moonlight. It was like approaching a lunar mountain and I turned to Mike and said, “This place is giving me the spook! It’s like a ghost island. ” Gliding to a stop in 30 feet of water we dropped anchor and felt it set, finally here at this place we had been dreaming of visiting since last year.

This morning we awoke to water crisp and clear as blue crystal against the grey monolith of the volcano and a beach with sand the rich brown color of mink. From the boat the sand looks silky soft but that may just be wishful thinking. It’s stunning here. Stark and wild, the land raw with its newness. This is a young island. A great crowd of elegant and serious Masked Boobies has taken residence just above the lava flow. Frigate birds and Tropic birds share space with both Brown and the occasional Blue Footed Booby. But the Masked Boobies steal the show here, fine black and white plumage surrounding a yellow beak and piercing eyes. Among Boobies, the Masked Boobie is the most refined.

Mike snorkeled around the boat today and barely missed swimming with a giant manta ray making way through the anchorage. I saw it from my shark lookout on deck and pointed it out but it disappeared before long. (I generally keep an eye out for sharks in a new place. None here yet. ) Tomorrow is another day and we plan to snorkel the point where the rocks look terribly inviting and interesting. We are sure to see some wonderful animals.

There is another boat here and we chatted with them this evening. They are also on their way to Hawaii but are on a fast catamaran so we may leave together but they will quickly outpace us. Still it’s nice to have people in this wild anchorage. Both of us will be here until the winds fill in for Hawaii. No hurry on my end. I could spend some time here.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

13 thoughts on “Ghost Island

  1. Need to let you know that Hanalua Bay is being guarded by a group of thugs. Carol said to let you know it is dangerous. She spoke to her sister who lives nearby. You might want to look at another port.

  2. Sounds so wonderful so hope you can stay a while. I continue to be envious but enjoy the voyage vicariously from my chair by the fireplace. Don’t worry about keeping up with a multi hull. On our trip from Bora Bora to the northern Cook Islands we passed a multi hull from Australia. Mind you we were Going downwind in 40 knots with just our headsail half furled in. Kind of a hoot to hear them complaining about it being so rough after almost competing a circumnavigation. We had just a few waves break over the stern but felt so safe….you have an amazing cruising boat that loves to be driven hard.

    • You are so right! This boat can really take it. And you should know! So happy to have you following along. We may be up in the BC area before sailing back into Puget Sound for awhile this summer. If so, we’ll contact you and let you know. It’s going to depend on whether Canada lifts the restrictions on their border.

      • I would love to see you both and maybe have a nostalgic visit to Galapagos. It is the perfect cruising boat and my heart is with you on every minute of your voyage. I followed you each day across to Hawaii and will look forward to following you on the next Leg back to the Pacific Northwest. Fair winds, safe travels and clear skies. It just might be a little colder so bundle up and make sure you have lots of propane for creating hot drinks for night watch. You folks are an inspiration.
        Cheers Derek

        • Ah, yes, the cold weather awaits us. I tell you what, Derek, that gives me pause because we are now pretty thin blooded. I have dug out my foul weather gear and I’m looking for a package of sweaters I know I have somewhere on board. But ugh. I, very frankly, do not look forward to anything but the summer weather up there. We would love to see you so hopefully BC will start letting people cross their borders before long.

          • Remember I mentioned having a hot water bottle tucked inside our wet weather gear while on night watch. …. and lots of hot chocolate or soup. We ran out of propane heating stuff up on the trip. But that was on our Fast Passage with an open cockpit behind a canvas dodger.

            • This boat has spoiled us forever to open cockpit boats. The hard dodger…well we will never go back to having no weather protection. At my age I do not appreciate being cold and wet. We are stocked on hot chocolate and soup. I only wish I could buy UHT milk here in Hawaii. That’s so convenient.

            • However once you round Cape Fattery and head down the straits the smell of cedars and fir trees and the crisp fresh air with family and friends awaiting your exciting return makes up for it all. It will be a big adjustment but hopefully the start of planning the next offshore voyage will soon take over. Lessons learned, experiences shared, and memories indelible in your mind.. nothing and nobody can take that away from you. Treasure them as I have… they are beyond priceless. You two have done what 99.9% of others will never get to experience.
              Safe voyage

  3. Sounds very very interesting… you’ve been lucky to be able to stop there!

    Not sure how “young” Benedicto is… it was first sighted in 1533….

    • Thank you for correcting our information about the age of San Benedicto. Now that we are back in the land of Cell Service I just read the Wikipedia article about the history of the island. Here is that link for anyone else that is interested:

      The eruption of 1952/53 certainly gave the island a fresh, young look. From our vantage points was barren of plant life except for a small area where booblies were congregating.

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