Galapagos - Polynesia

Galapagos to Marquesas

Pat and I,  Kaye and Nigel left Galapagos on the 2nd March for the 3000nm leg. The weather predictions were for 'lack of winds' 1st week so we decided to head at 230 degrees South West to hit the 8 degrees south latitude for the better winds. Some of he fleet headed sharp south and others stayed north. It turned out to be a fairly good decision and apart from a 12 hour period on the 2nd day where we had to motor we had strong winds most of the way. We failed to catch fish other than one Blue Marlin (my first). We think we did well in the fleet especially without Limey but within the last 24 hours we split a panel in the Genoa so had to sail the last 24 hours using the smaller jib foresail and main.

We completed the trip in 17 days after 3145nm and arrived in Hiva Oa Marquesas. We later heard in Tahiti we had amazingly come 3rd in class on adjusted time. We will need to repair the Genoa in Tahiti along with Limey. The fridge had failed after the 1st week but we managed to get this fixed in Hiva Oa before setting off to tour these spectacular volcanic islands.

 

Touring the Marquesas

After a few days touring Hiva Oa we set off South to Tahuata  and settled into a lovely sandy bay for a couple of nights. The bay just south of us was where James Cook had landed in April 1774 just 240 years ago ! We then moved 40nm on to Fatu Hiva and the spectacular bay of Virgins for a few nights where we swam at the foot of the waterfall, were entertained by the locals and had a close encounter with a vessel that dragged !

North again after this to drop Kaye and Nigel back off at at Hiva Oa for their flight home, I fell in the dock while trying to save my overboard shoe !

Pat and I then left alone the same day North for Ua Pou. This island looks like a cathedral from afar with huge tall spires of volcanic rock protruding from its center thousands of feet - it was impressive as we arrived late in the evening with the sun going down.  Next day early off north to Nuku Hiva, great sailing to an almost hidden bay in the south west at the foot of another spectacular vertical series of ridges thousands of feet high again. At the base two small bays and a very small village. If ever there was a garden of Eden this was it, the few locals (maybe 18)  that live here have beautiful gardens absolutely full of fruit which they were keen to give as gifts to the sailors that arrived. We are now anchored in the the islands main bay catching up with work, spending a few days touring the sights and preparing for the next 500nm leg to the Tuamotus that includes Tahiti - very different islands.

 

Tuamotu's and Society Islands:

We left the Marqueses on the 5th April for a 600nm 3 day passage to the Tuamotu’s, which was a fairly squally and feisty passage (see blog). Arriving in Fakarava North passage on the 7th April. We spent a week in Fakarava and I qualified for diving, (about time I made it official) and had fabulous dives on two of the top dives in the world, the North drift dive and South passage shark dive. (see blogs and pictures). We then sailed a 210nm overnight passage north west to Rangiroa where Murray joined us for 10 days, both Pat and Murray dived here also. We then moved an overnight to Tahiti and the Marina at Taina where we fuelled for the 1st time since Galapagos some 4000nm although we still had 1/3 of our fuel and only took 800 litres on. We have also dropped our sails in for repair. We have now moved 15nm North to Moorea a small volcanic island before we return to drop Murray at Tahiti airport. Pat qualified for her PADI open water qualification. We have now sailed on to the 'pearl' of French polynesia - Bora Bora arriving 4/5/14. (See Pats big Birthday Blog).

 

We left Bora Bora (Tahiti) Tuesday the 13th May after a great week that included Pat's big birthday.  But we are ready for another ocean going trip this time to the very isolated and unpopulated Island of Suwarrow, this is 700nm North West of the Society Islands. Just Pat and I on-board for this and all the remaining 3000nm to Fiji.


Suwarrow - Niue  - Tonga

Suwarrow - wow quiet and fabulous. From here to Niue (both ocean passages of around 600nm). In Niue we dived with their indigenous sea snakes ! (apparently much more dangerous than sharks). We then sailed between Niue and the Tonga islands group crossing the international dateline. So we moved our clocks from -10hours GMT to +13 hours GMT so we are now ahead of UK time and lost the Saturday. Takes some thinking about especially with the instrumentation on board ! (See blogs for these three passages)

We will now tour Tonga for a few weeks.

 

 

Pacific Crossing Pictures

Place cursor over image to control slide show and see text or

Double click to enlarge pictures to full size, browse and see text

Pacific leg map
Pacific leg map

3,145nm - Taking 17 Days - we had good winds throughout after the first 48 hours, motor/sailing only 22 hours.

press to zoom
Kaye and Nigel
Kaye and Nigel

Kaye and Nigel ran a balloon company for many years. Their insight into clouds and weather below them was a useful addition to the trip and sail planning. They also sail and run their own boat in Europe.

press to zoom
Pat doing the long range SSB
Pat doing the long range SSB

Pat acted as the Net controller on one of the days at sea. We seemed to have a strong signal. Several people commented how sexy Pats voice was !

press to zoom
Pacific leg map
Pacific leg map

3,145nm - Taking 17 Days - we had good winds throughout after the first 48 hours, motor/sailing only 22 hours.

press to zoom
1/10

Marqueses & Tuamotu's - French Polynesia Pictures & Socety Islands (Tahiti/Moorea/Bora Bora)

Place cursor over image to control slide show and see text or

Double click to enlarge pictures to full size, browse and see text

Marquesas map.jpg
Marquesas map.jpg

press to zoom
Tiki Hiva Oa
Tiki Hiva Oa

Tiki's are thought to be over 500 years old and carved by the locals ancestors. We were suspicious as this one looks to be wearing glasses!

press to zoom
Weather to Tonga
Weather to Tonga

The weather on the way to Tonga from Niue was pretty poor.

press to zoom
Marquesas map.jpg
Marquesas map.jpg

press to zoom
1/32

Suwarrow, Niue Pictures

Place cursor over image to control slide show and see text or

Double click to enlarge pictures to full size, browse and see text

Bora Bora to Tonga
Bora Bora to Tonga

Two 600nm Ocean passages followed by a short 2 night 'ho'p to Tonga. The main was damaged on the 1st leg. and genoa again on Niue leg.

press to zoom
Suwarrow sign
Suwarrow sign

Lot of miles from London !

press to zoom
Suckling pig roast Tonga
Suckling pig roast Tonga

On the tour of vava'u (Tonga)'s North island group we had a delightful tour of the Botanic gardens and this roast on the beech.

press to zoom
Bora Bora to Tonga
Bora Bora to Tonga

Two 600nm Ocean passages followed by a short 2 night 'ho'p to Tonga. The main was damaged on the 1st leg. and genoa again on Niue leg.

press to zoom
1/10