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A family travels from Florida to New Zealand aboard their St Francis 50 catamaran
Arrived at Manihi
06/26/2011, Manihi Atoll

Caught two 24 pound tunas yesterday afternoon. Anchor down in Manihi at 8:45am. Time to relax!

More rudder problems, not Ovive though
06/25/2011, 10 42S 142 10W

Shortly after posting the blog yesterday morning Robin on Free Spirit who I had mentioned yesterday was keeping in close contact with us in case it became necessary to take us under tow informed us at our regular 8am check-in that they had some drama happening and Phillip was going in the water to look at something. Half an hour later Phillip calls me to say he has lost 80% of his rudder. We were talking rudders the other day and he was telling me how his rudder shaft is 4" solid pipe. Well his shaft and internal framework is still there but 80% of the fiberglass part is gone. So now we are standing by in case we need to take them in tow! So far they are doing well on their own with just the staysail up sheeted in flat and a warp off the back under motor using the remaining part of their rudder to keep within 20 degrees of their course. The worry is that with the rudder torn open the water will cause the remaining foam and fiberglass to detach. So we both continue on with fingers crossed 2/3 of the way to Manihi having only one more day as of this morning. On Ovive, day two was much better with much calmer conditions only having to adjust the rudder every 1 ½ hour. We made 167 miles the first day and 163 the second day. Not so bad considering we are only using our working jib with no main.

In Route to Manihi
06/24/2011, 10 42S 142 10W

It turns out Seb and Lise were able to make the waterfall. They were only just able to cross the rivers on the way as they were running high due to all the rain. They ran into a nice Marquesan couple on the way back who wanted to trade for fruit. Turns out ¾ of one of the tunas did the trick for as much as they could carry. It has been so rough they had not been able to get out fishing for a while. In the morning we left for Manihi in the Tuamotu's a 480 mile passage. I choose Manihi as it lies directly in the path to Tahiti and with one rudder it would not be prudent to go zigzagging though the Atolls as originally planned. It has been blowing for a week and the gribs showed it would be decreasing. Well this morning it has decreased to 20 knots which sounds like silence after yesterday. 30 knots with waves on the beam to match made for a nervous ride with just the one rudder. I had to adjust the quadrant every 15 minutes at the worse part. But we sailed with just the jib rolled out a little bit and conditions slowly improved throughout the night and I am now adjusting every 1 ½ hour. Free Spirit is less than 10 miles behind and willing to lend assistance if we lose the remaining rudder.

A short sail
06/22/2011, Hakatea Bay, Daniels Bay

Today we bought salad, bread and a few vegetables then upped anchor and moved a few miles to Hakatea Bay sometimes called Daniels Bay. We caught two nice tuna just before entering the bay. The waves have conspired against us again and it was too rough to attempt a dingy landing so I dropped Seb and Lise ashore in a different bay. Whether they can make it to the falls from where I dropped them remains to be seen. Meanwhile Dean and I have been doing boat chores. Tomorrow we will depart for Tahiti with perhaps a rest stop in the Tuamotus. Two new rudders should be awaiting us in Tahiti.

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.

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