We began to make our way into the narrow opening of the atoll, one tack, followed by a second, then a third. So close we could taste it, see the placid water of the lagoon, picture our anchor dropping into the sugar-white sand and holding strong. Then we started sliding, sliding backward, and before we could say hard-a-lee, we were spit back out from whence we came by the 6-knot countercurrent. Day 20 at sea, and land ho was not to be ours until the turning of the tide the next morning. We licked our wounds, shed a few tears and tacked about until we found a lumpy but secure spot to drop the hook on the leeward side of the atoll.