Kia Ora

14 May 2015 | Fakarava Atoll, Tuamotus, French Polynesia
25 April 2015 | Hana Moe Noa, Tahuatu, Marquesas, French Polynesia
24 April 2015 | Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia
13 April 2015 | Somewhere on the Pacific, still
11 April 2015 | Somewhere on the Pacific, still
11 April 2015 | Somewhere on the Pacific, still
09 April 2015 | Somewhere on the Pacific, still
02 April 2015 | Somewhere on the Pacific
07 March 2015 | Galapagos, Ecuador
07 March 2015 | San Cristobal, Galapagos
05 March 2015 | Galapagos
01 March 2015 | Galapagos Islands
27 February 2015 | Galapagos Islands
27 February 2015 | Pacific Ocean
26 February 2015 | Pacific Ocean
26 February 2015 | Pacific Ocean
26 February 2015 | Pacific Ocean
23 February 2015 | Pacific Ocean
18 February 2015 | Still in Las Perlas Islands
17 February 2015 | Las Perlas Islands, Panama

Ouefs and oo oo's

14 May 2015 | Fakarava Atoll, Tuamotus, French Polynesia
Julie
We had a wonderful time in the Marquesas islands after a not so great 23 day passage from the Galapagos. Although we had to spend a few days repairing and reinforcing sales and running anew main halyard, the rest of the time was spent hiking around the islands, splashing around in waterfalls, feasting on baguettes, roasted pork and pomplamouse (huge grapefruit), and visiting local artisans where we purchased way too many beautifully carved tikis and war clubs. We traded perfume and nail polish for fresh pomplamouse, bananas, oranges and limes. We even traded a gaff for a carving.

The lady at one of the local markets wanted to trade my groceries for an iPhone. Unfortunately I don't carry spare iPhones and had to pay cold hard cash for my 600 Polynesian Franc (US$6) ouefs (eggs).

One of our prized carvings is a Marquesan war club. The are called oo oo's.

We have a lot of miles to cover this season so we left the Marquesas after spending 3 weeks there. We made a 4 day passage and are now anchored in the lagoon of Fakarava Atoll in the Tuamotus. Even though this is still French Polynesia, the culture is vastly different. There will be no trading for anything here. The want cash!

We went to a black pearl farm this morning. They taught us how they place the nucleus in the oyster, how they grow the pearls and how they harvest. Then we got to visit the store. If we had an extra US$31,000 laying around we could have bought a perfect 1/2 black pearl! I could only spare $35 but still got two beautiful black pearls.

Sailing friends that we met in San Diego and haven't seen since we were in San Carlos, Mexico just anchored and called us on the VHF. One of the best parts of cruising is that you always have friends in every anchorage, no mater where in the world you find yourself. We are going to go explore the town with them tomorrow morning.

Paradise Found?

25 April 2015 | Hana Moe Noa, Tahuatu, Marquesas, French Polynesia
Julie
Have we found Paradise? Well, this is as close as we have come so far. We are anchored of a small Marquesan Island called Tahuatu. There is one house on the bay, 10 boats in the very well protected and calm bay, water so clear we can see the bottom 30 feet below us, no loud music and did I say it's CALM?? Yes, I did. For the first time since May 29th, I am on the boat and not holding on to something to make sure that I don't fall. The bay at Atuano, Hiva Oa was what I call a non-anchorage as all the boats were rolling in the swell like you wouldn't believe. Of course, there is no internet (posting this by satellite), there are no tours, no grocery stores or restaurants here either.

Whats the first thing we both did upon arrival? Take a nap!

Passage to French Polynesia from Galapagos

24 April 2015 | Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia
Julie
We have just completed the second portion of our transpacific journey. This was the longest non-stop part of the crossing and took us from the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador to the Marquesas islands of French Polynesia. This leg was about 3,000 miles long and took us 23 days.

It wasn't easy. We had days of no wind and squall after squall with gusts up to 35 knots. The seas have never been calm and at times we have seen 9 foot swells rolling under us. We've had issues and have had to do things to keep us going that I hope never to have to do again. A boat that was less than 300 miles from us was hit by a large wave and subsequently sunk. I think I kept a lookout for that wave for 2 days before finally deciding that we weren't in any danger.

Besides keeping an eye out for that rogue wave, we've had two issues that we've had to deal with. Early in our passage we noticed that our raw water pump on the engine was dripping a slow drip. We kept an eye on it and be about day 15 the slow drip turned into a small stream. It wasn't enough water that the bilge pump couldn't keep up with it and we could have just turned the thru hull valve off to stop the flow but since the problem was escalating, we decided to change it while under way. We carry spares for most everything so we had a new one squirreled away. Ken worked on the project for about 2 hours and now we are leak free.

The other issue was much more serious and I get queasy thinking about what we had to do. Our main halyard (the rope used to hoist the mainsail up the mast) got jammed and we couldn't get the mainsail down. Ken had to climb the mast to the top, using safety gear of course, while out at sea to cut the halyard and dropt the sail. Our mast is almost 65 feet off the waters surface and you can only imagine how much it moves up there while out on the open ocean. I was so frightened while he was up there and so relieved when after 3 hours, he returned to the deck.

Night watches took a while to get used to. After about 3 days we got into the rhythm of it though. We have found that since I can get to sleep early that we do best if I go to bed at 8. Ken sleeps from midnight to 3, I sleep from 3 to 6 then Ken sleeps from 6 to about 11. We stay busy on night watches with games, books and pod casts on our iPads, sending email, texting with other boaters who are out here and watching the horizon for lights and the radar screen for other boats.

This passage has been the hardest thing that I've ever set myself up to do. 23 days on the huge open Pacific Ocean leaves one vulnerable to all kinds of trouble. Ken and I make a good team and did well together. I am very happy to have this feat in my back pocket.

We still have over 3,000 miles to go before reaching our goal of New Zealand bet since there are many islands to stop at along the way, none of the passages will be as long as this one has been.

oops

13 April 2015 | Somewhere on the Pacific, still
Julie
Looks like I made a position mistake yesterday. We are not moving backwards.

Today is day 16 on our way to The Marquesas. We have less than 900 miles to go so hopefully we will be there in less than a week.

All is well on board.

Communication is a key element for safety

11 April 2015 | Somewhere on the Pacific, still
Julie
The sea, she knows...

How come big waves always hit us when I am half way up the companionway ladder with something in my hand? And how does she know when Ken is, well. let's just say aiming? I am so full of boat bites (bruises) from being tossed about for the last two weeks. The seas are finally calming but we had 8 foot seas for a long time. What is this, the Washington coast? Hardly, they are much gentler here and widely spaced but still an annoyance.

We are on day 15 of our approximately 3 week passage.

Things are generally good on board. We are eating well although our fresh food is running low. The boat is doing fantastic! Way better than I am.

Since finding the trade winds well over a week ago we haven't changed our direction. Besides reefing at night or when we see squalls ahead, we haven't even needed to adjust the sails much.

A bunch of boats that left the Galapagos at the same time got together and started a cruisers net on the SSB radio. We all listen in at the same time twice a day, give our location, speed, direction and sea and wind conditions. It's very nice to be a part of because it makes me feel less alone out here.

I've also been in contact with another cruiser via text messaging. We both have the new Iridium Go and can text each other for no extra charge all day long if we want. It helps pass the tie and it's good to compare notes as they are about 300 miles ahead of us.

I've learned how important keeping in touch with others is. Three days ago a fellow cruiser who was sailing on the same route as us and only a few hundred miles away was hit by a large wave. The wave ripped his rudder off the boat and put a hole in it. They contacted other boats known to be in the area by email. They were also in communication with the US Coast Guard. I am a little unclear of how long it took but another cruiser eventually rescued the couple on the stricken boat. The boat has now sunk. The couple, who we met in Panama, is okay.

Because of our great network of cruisers, not only were these two people saved but we were all given advance notice of two potential hazards. One, a rogue wave and two, the possibility of an unmanned 42 foot sailboat waiting to be run into by one of us (we hadn't received word yet that the boat had sunk). I immediately got in contact with cruiser friends who had access to phone and internet in New Zealand, who called both the New Zealand and USCG to get information on this wave. They had none. It set our minds at ease that we probably didn't need to worry about a freak wave. As it turns out, we never found it and a boat that was close to the stricken boat at the time didn't feel it either. The coast guard gave me information on the set and drift of the sailboat from it's last known location and from that I could warn the rest of the fleet where the potential hazard of the wayward vessel was.

Okay, so there it is, one of us has sunk again this year. Shit happens but the odds are that we will be fine. Hundreds of boats make this same run every year and the vast majority arrive unscratched but bruised.

Communication is a key element for safety

11 April 2015 | Somewhere on the Pacific, still
Julie
The sea, she knows...

How come big waves always hit us when I am half way up the companionway ladder with something in my hand? And how does she know when Ken is, well. let's just say aiming? I am so full of boat bites (bruises) from being tossed about for the last two weeks. The seas are finally calming but we had 8 foot seas for a long time. What is this, the Washington coast? Hardly, they are much gentler here and widely spaced but still an annoyance.

We are on day 15 of our approximately 3 week passage.

Things are generally good on board. We are eating well although our fresh food is running low. The boat is doing fantastic! Way better than I am.

Since finding the trade winds well over a week ago we haven't changed our direction. Besides reefing at night or when we see squalls ahead, we haven't even needed to adjust the sails much.

A bunch of boats that left the Galapagos at the same time got together and started a cruisers net on the SSB radio. We all listen in at the same time twice a day, give our location, speed, direction and sea and wind conditions. It's very nice to be a part of because it makes me feel less alone out here.

I've also been in contact with another cruiser via text messaging. We both have the new Iridium Go and can text each other for no extra charge all day long if we want. It helps pass the tie and it's good to compare notes as they are about 300 miles ahead of us.

I've learned how important keeping in touch with others is. Three days ago a fellow cruiser who was sailing on the same route as us and only a few hundred miles away was hit by a large wave. The wave ripped his rudder off the boat and put a hole in it. They contacted other boats known to be in the area by email. They were also in communication with the US Coast Guard. I am a little unclear of how long it took but another cruiser eventually rescued the couple on the stricken boat. The boat has now sunk. The couple, who we met in Panama, is okay.

Because of our great network of cruisers, not only were these two people saved but we were all given advance notice of two potential hazards. One, a rogue wave and two, the possibility of an unmanned 42 foot sailboat waiting to be run into by one of us (we hadn't received word yet that the boat had sunk). I immediately got in contact with cruiser friends who had access to phone and internet in New Zealand, who called both the New Zealand and USCG to get information on this wave. They had none. It set our minds at ease that we probably didn't need to worry about a freak wave. As it turns out, we never found it and a boat that was close to the stricken boat at the time didn't feel it either. The coast guard gave me information on the set and drift of the sailboat from it's last known location and from that I could warn the rest of the fleet where the potential hazard of the wayward vessel was.

Okay, so there it is, one of us has sunk again this year. Shit happens but the odds are that we will be fine. Hundreds of boats make this same run every year and the vast majority arrive unscratched but bruised.
Vessel Name: Kia Ora
Vessel Make/Model: Hylas 44
Hailing Port: Seattle, Washington, USA
Crew: Julie and Ken Dausman
Extra: In the spring of 2011 we left Seattle and headed north. We spent 6 months circumnavigating Vancouver Island. We headed out again in the summer of 2012 and are now cruising in Central America.
Kia Ora's Photos - The Boat
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Added 9 February 2011

Heading South

Who: Julie and Ken Dausman
Port: Seattle, Washington, USA