Saturday, May 29, 2010


May 29, 2010
Position 16 03.7S 145 37.1W

Fakarava, Tuamotus
Try to say that fast without sounding like your swearing! We have been inside the Atoll Fakarava for 2 days now. Our last 2 days of sailing here were awful as the wind shifted to the south and we ended up close hauled beating hard on the wind again. But we are over that now. Its amazing how you can be out to sea for 5 days and have a rough terrible sail and curse to yourself up and down that you'll never do this again, and then one day inside these beautiful anchorages and the terrible passage seems to just fade away.
We have reprovisioned at the small village here and once again enjoyed the French influence and engorged ourselves on French baguettes. We have also picked up AL and Tash, our friends from Calgary who will be with us here in paradise for the next two weeks.
We are off to the southern end of the atoll as we have heard that the snorkeling is the best the Tuamotos has to offer.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuamotu Archipelago

The Tuamotu Archipelago are a chain of atolls in French Polynesia and the largest chain of atolls in the world, spanning an area of the Pacific Ocean roughly the size of Western Europe.  For those that don't know, atolls are cool ring islands of corral that encircle a lagoon... so ring islands.

image care of

 The population of these atolls is a mere 15,000  who make a living off of black pearls and the preparation of copra, a coconut food product.  Much of the tourism trade is in the cook islands and Tahiti, leaving this area more pristine.  Having said that, the Tuamotu's contain the atoll Moruroa, site of 193 French nuclear bomb tests between 1966 and 1996.

All of the islands of the Tuamotus are coral "low islands": essentially high sand bars built upon coral reefs.  Because of this there is sparce vegetation and drinking water is all from rain water.  As can be expected, animal life is also sparce, consisting of birds, insects and lizards.  Below water.... that's a different story and I suspect Mike and Hyo will eventually have many pictures to post of the diverse life below land.

 image courtesy of

info and pictures from wikipedia/wikimedia

A calm uneventful sail.

Day 1 10 31S 141 19W
Day 2 11 53S 142 14W
Day 3 12 54S 143 12W
We have had a slow go of it but it had been calm and hot. Not much to complain about really, nice sailing and uneventful and boring is a good thing out here.
Later: The wind has picked up a bit and things are lumpy and hot with all the windows closed again. Feels like we have been here before!
192 miles left to go.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The old familiar roll.

Day 1
Position 10 31S 141 18W, DMG 116 NM.

We are back at sea and have settled into the familiar routine, although this time the wind and current are favorable and so far the sailing is very pleasant. I spent a big chunk of my 5-hour shift last night out in the cockpit learning the new southern stars and constellations. I have been using a program called "Stellarium"; fantastic, especially when you can take the computer outside (it being dry with little threat of spray) and star gaze in the black southern sky until your heart's content.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 0

Current Position: 09 18S 140 22W, Heading: 210 Degrees true, Speed: 5.5 knots.
After several heartfelt goodbyes we have departed the Marquesas and are underway to the next island group.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Nuku Hiva has left its mark

May 21 2010

We have enjoyed this place thoroughly. We have met local peoples and sailors from many nations, tasted of the local cuisine and eaten much tropical fruit. (Hyo-I listened to the most amazing singing by the locals at church.) What an amazing place. However, it is sadly time to leave. Today we will fill our water tanks and load as much fruit as we can carry. Tomorrow we leave for the tropical ring atolls of the Tuamotos.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Marquesas Islands. A brief intro

The Marquesas Islands group is one of the most remote in the world, lying about 1,371 km (852 miles) northeast of Tahiti and about 4800 km (3000 miles) away from the west coast of Mexico.  The Marquesas are among the largest island groups of French Polynesia, Nuku Hiva being the second largest island in the entire territory, after Tahiti.  The Marquesas are remarkably dry islands and has a population around 8,632.
The first recorded settlers of the Marquesas were Polynesians, likely arriving from the region of Tonga and Samoa.
The islands were originally named "Te Henua Enata" (Land of Men) by the native Polynesian people.  First discovered by the Spanish in 1595, they were later made famous by Captain James Cook.  The Marquesas includes 12 islands (2 are small rock islands), and of that total, only 6 are inhabited.  These islands were in-the-news when Nuku Hiva served as the site of the popular TV show, Survivor. 

For additional info about French Polynesia, and their most interesting history, go 
Here are a few pictures of the area.
(information from wikipedia)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Snorkeling with Giant Mantas

May 8 2010
Position 08 49.39S 140 03.90W

So much has happened in the last few days that it's all hard to describe. One thing is for sure, the passage seems like a long distant memory. We are currently in the picturesque tropical paradise, calm aqua marine lagoon, surrounded with white sand beaches. We are anchored 100 meters off a small coral reef that is teaming with tropical fish, sea turtles and spotted eagle rays abound. To make it even better, we are anchored with 4 boats that we met in La Cruz, including Mulan, Oso blanco, Totem and Capaz. Yesterday, we got all the dingys out searching the bay for a school of giant manta rays that come in to feed on the abundant plankton. Once found, every Man woman and child jumped in the 28 degree water and swam within an arms length of these 2-3 meter wide gentle giants. Above is the picture of Jamie on Totem diving down to the manta ray.
We have also gone out big game fishing on Oso Blancos tender were we pulled in a Dorado and a mackerel tuna and today we are taking Oso Blanco (which is a large, 2.5 million dollar motor boat) out to an offshore seamount to fish for an even bigger prize.
Last week we attended a goat pit roast on the beach after hiking to an amazing waterfall where we were swimming in freshwater with meter long eels. I have been eating the French baguettes as fast as I can get my hands on them and even the eels seemed to like them as were feeding them baguettes by hand.
It just seems ridiculous how much fun we are having.

We also had some very slow internet access last week and were able to check the blog and read all the comments you have been posting. Thanks so much everyone, we really enjoyed reading them and sharing this experience with you as best we can. We have been taking lots of pictures and will post them when possible.


Syzygy will make landfall today and I'm sure Matt and Karen will be in contact with their parents ASAP. We also put out a call to Escapade but have not heard if they have made landfall yet. If they have not it should be soon.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


May 5 2010.
Position: 08 49.5S 140 14.9W
I have felt a bit guilty about not writing but we have been fully enjoying our time on this amazing island. I ate 9 mangos today alone. The passion fruit, bread fruit, plantains are just brilliant and the pamplemouse is by far the most fantastic fruit that we have encountered. We currently have 2 nets full of them and are always looking for more. Also the crepes with Nutella are brilliant. Picture large Polynesian men covered in tattoos wearing wild-bore tusk necklaces talking on a cell phone and eating a fresh French baguette. Its quite a contrast between new-world old-world! There are heaps of sharks patrolling the bays and I have seen black tip reef sharks in the surf in less than 2 feet of water and a 6-7 foot grey reef shark swam around the boat this morning. The sharks are harmless and have not prevented any snorkeling or spear fishing. We have met so many people from many nationalities and the locals have been so generous.
So to sum it up, all is well and we are loving it. As we have said many times now, 1 day ashore here melted away all 28 days of the long passage and we are not in any real hurry to leave. Our current plan is to hang out here for another week before heading out to the Tuamotos.


P.S. I spoke to Matt aboard Syzygy today and all is well, they are doing fine. They are about 3-4 days from Nuku Hiva.