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A family travels from Florida to New Zealand aboard their St Francis 50 catamaran
06/19/2011, Taiohae Bay

I have been remiss in keeping the blog up to date, partly due to the lure of internet; it really sucks all your time. We had a 12 hour sail from Tahuata to Nuku-Hiva arriving just before dark. The anchorage I remember as peaceful and idyllic was anything but with the overly strong southeasterlys we were having. Every squall brought a new wind direction with the many (it was quite crowded) boats turning every which way requiring a lot of space between you and your neighbor. We gave up trying to crowd into the east end of the anchorage and went to the west side by ourselves. Not as good internet, but at least we were safe. We spent 3 nights rocking and rolling. We saw two dingys damaged while we were there, people not using a stern anchor and the surge will either flip it when it come in contact with the wall or it will get under the ladder and punctured. I saw both in the short while we were there. We tried to obtain fuel directly from the quay, a stressful process in the big swells and rain while trying to med moor just up wind of a large barge. The end result is after receiving the fuel hose aboard via heaving line it was a bit too short. So we took on 310 liters using the dingy, jerry jugs, and a line to lower the jugs into the dingy from the quay. We paid $147 CPF per liter or $6.95 US per gal. We could have paid $104 CPF (duty Free) if we hired an agent but the agent would have cost more than we would have saved and French Polynesia is one place you don't need an agent, it is just so easy. It is a wonderful place normally; we just hit it the wrong weather time and with a whole lot of other boats.

06/18/2011, Tahuata

We spent a wonderful four nights in Fatu-Hiva and today made the short 50 mile hop to Tahuata arriving at 1pm. Since there is no bank or atm in Fatu-Hiva we obtained all our fruit and souvenirs by trading. Every night just after dark they would practice their Marquesian dance and song and we were there every night! The people of Fatu-Hiva are still as wonderful as I remembered them. I managed to hike up to the cross this time which was quite good after being sedentary for so long. The last night we had Free Sprit and Katy C over for drinks and snacks, something we had been looking forward to since meeting them in the Galapagos.

Day 16 Galapagos to Marquises
06/15/2011, Faru-Hiva

Arrived at 4pm local time after a very nice sail in under the kite. 2970 miles in 372 hours (15 days and 12 hours) which is an average speed of 7.98 knots or 191.6 miles per day. Not bad considering we were handicapped the last three days. The first thing done was to clean the waterline of all the growth before it got a chance to dry. Although we have two hundred feet of waterline to clean it's not near as much work as some of the slower boats. A Swiss boat pulled in several hours after us and you could collect dinner from the sides of their boat. Next thing was to consume massive amounts of beer, and then a quick dinner left over from lunch. Now well past dark when we should have been collapsing into bed the sounds of drums drew us to shore. We found two groups doing dance and singing rehearsals. The policeman remembered me after some prodding of his memory about the generator and truck I had helped fix. He has a new truck now but his son still drives the old one. I made an appointment with one of the children to score some fruit later today. Then it was back to a very still Ovive for sleeping.

06/16/2011 | chris flint
awesome, so glad you made it
heres a link to a tide guide helper entering coves. see below

tide guide for the islands out there
Day 15 Galapagos to Marquises
06/14/2011, 10 20S 137 16W

83 miles to go, 182 miles toward destination this 24 hour period. Raised the kite first thing in the morning and made good time all day. Still could not head directly at Fatu-Hiva as we had to steer downwind but the auto pilot was able to keep her on course, so a better day. Even put some fishing lines out and caught a 15lb Mahi- Mahi in the afternoon, At sunset dropped the kite and motor sailed with the jib only to the south of Fatu-Hiva so we will be in a position come sunrise to raise the kite and sail directly downwind to Fatu-Hiva. Getting very close now.

Day 14 Galapagos to Marquises
06/13/2011, 09 52S 134 14W

265 miles to go, 183 miles toward destination this 24 hour period. Yesterdays steering problem turned out to be the complete loss of the starboard rudder. At 4am we rounded up into the wind, Dean woke me up to tell me something was wrong. I got the motor running got us back on course but the steering was very sluggish with the autopilot having a hard time keeping us on course. By disconnecting each rudder from the system I determined something had happened to the starboard rudder. In daylight I stuck my head under there to discover no rudder, not even a frame, the shaft had sheared off leaving a 1" stub. We dropped the main and jib, raised the kite and hand steered for the rest of the day. It was difficult as you had to keep the boat dead downwind because if she rounded up more than 10 degrees there was no stopping her with just the one rudder. Only three of us could manage it well enough to keep her on such a tight course so it was a very stressful day after a stressful night. Although we were not able to point directly at or destination, we made good time. After talking with our friends on the SSB net we got some good advice on going into the autopilot dealer calibration section and making some changes to make it react quicker and with more turn to the rudder. So at sunset we dropped the kite raised a small amount of main and the jib and tried the new auto. It worked but it was turning the rudder so much I was afraid of the stress so we dropped the main and have been motor sailing all night with just the jib and auto able to handle it. The factory told us that they had straightened many rudder shafts and many were still sailing years later with those same shafts. Well, it did not work out for us. So now we sail on thinking about our one remaining rudder that was bent just as bad as the one that sheared off. Fingers crossed.

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Who: David, Alec, Emilie, Nathalie
Port: Tavernier, Florida USA
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