It’s an incredible feeling arriving somewhere that’s so far away from everything we know. It’s 1200 miles from the closest city. And it really does feel that way.
When we were about 5 miles out, our steering locked up and the boat started turning to the wind. We looked over the back of the boat, and the track that the steering cars ran across was destroyed. We rolled up our head sail, got the steering back under control, and limped our way toward the island. Arriving somewhere like this is funny because the only means of contact is through VHF radio. You just sort of pick it up and hopefully someone is listening! I called channel 16 for about 30 minutes, repeating ‘’Kanton Island, Kanton Island, this is the sailing vessel Vela, do you copy”.
Finally, a voice came over the radio calling our name. They gave us permission to enter into the lagoon and anchor. At this point, after being at sea for 10 days, and the stress of the rudder issues, it was a major feeling of relief to set the anchor and jump in the water! We took it all in, and then got to work right away on solving the rudder problems.
We spent 3 days on Kanton. The locals were very helpful with allowing us access to the land and their lagoon. We had a chance to surf a perfect little left that runs inside of a shipwreck, and then had the chance to go diving. The coral reef there was some of the most incredible I have seen anywhere in the world. We saw giant coral tables, 10-15ft across and half an inch thick. Kanton looked like it was pretty heavily used during WWII as well. There’s nothing but old shipwrecks and army trucks scattered across the landscape and shoreline. Even around the shipwrecks, it’s amazing to see what the reefs and wildlife can do when given some time to make a comeback. It reminded me of our previous trip to Palmyra Atoll.