Espumeru in Tahiti!
Our passage from Fatu Hiva to Tahiti was one of the most pleasant ones we have experienced so far. We had quite light winds but enough to keep a decent speed and no seas at all, it was sailing at its best. We buddy boated the whole passage with another boat and had a fun time chatting along with them throughout the days. It took us six days to arrive but the days flew by, the weather was fabulous and the fishing was good, Niklas caught a 30kg wahoo, that he actually managed to pull up all by himself while everyone else were fast asleep, unow our freezer is packed.
We arrived in Tahiti early in the morning and navigated through a very narrow pass inside the reef. It is absolutely beautiful here and the people are very friendly. We have had fresh baguettes and brie which is heaven and happy hour cocktails. The kids have been running around and enjoying the terra firma, they even played with some local kids. We have snorkelled and seen some small but very colourful fish and are planning to do a gtrip to the other side of the island for some body surfing. We are very happy here and it really feels that we have reached a milestone by arriving here. It is understandable that people call this paradise and get stuck here for much longer than planned.
We had some fun news at the immigration office, Espumeru has been here before, she has actually travelled through these waters in the past, no wonder she glides through the ocean with such ease here, she is in her element and feels right at home. Incredible that we are here, on the other side of the globe by boat, we do feel a slight sence of achievement and enjoy with full force this lovely tropical island.
Everything find, we have reserved space in the marine Tahiti where we stay at least a couple of days to get water and electricity before we anchor in the bay!
So now we have gone 4570NM since Panama (rumb line, in practice, certainly with some 6000NM Detour to Ecuador and the Galapagos). Soon, we have gone half around the world that is 180 degrees 10800NM if we'd have gone straight ..... In practice, we are approaching 15000NM
"A normal Scandinavian sailors sail around 300nm/year during his vacation so say we have done 50 years in 8 months !!!!"
08/28/2010, Fatu Hiva
Leaving Fatu Hiva!
It is time to say farewell to land once again and set sail into the sunset. We have had a lovely time here at Fatu Hiva, the scenario is absolutely breathtaking, steep cliffs, lush forests and turqouise sea. Upon arrival we had some exciting moments when our anchor decided not to hold and we nearly crashed into another boat. Luckily we noticed it on time, while trying to get a better hold for the anchor the engine turned itself of, which meant we were in a bit of trouble, the skipper already told us to wave goodbye to fatu Hiva because the gusts were quickly taking us out to sea. Fortunate as we were two dinghies were close by, our friends from Friendship and Walk on, and they were able to help us back to shallow water. Finally with Sarah in the water searching for sandy patces and two dinghies as our engines we found a firm hold, it was time to take some cold beers out.
Later that day we had a great hike with Mike and Larissa from Walk on to the local water fall, apparently it is sixty meters tall, we had a very refreshing swim in the fresh water pool. The water was a bit murky and there was not so much water actually falling but it was nice anyway. Later on when getting back on board we had Mike and Larissa over for drinks, Vodka with freshly squeezed pamplemousse, grape fruit, we had a blast. Next morning everyone was feeling somewhat tired but we dragged ourselves up from bed and went to do some trading in order to acquire fresh fruit and eggs. Our best trading currency was without question cheap white wine from Panama which we were happy to get rid of. In the afternoon we took the boys to shore and had a family football match, Niklas and Fekix won but Max and me put on a proper fight.
Yesterday we had a football match with a bunch of local kids, it had been pouring with rain most of the day so the field was flooded. It was very wet and muddy but loads of fun, the local kids cheated like mad, you should have seen us when we got back to the boat , we were covered in mud.
Today we had a good hike up the mountain in order to tire the boys out before more or less a week out on sea again for some reason they only seemed to get more energy out of this. It feels a bit strange to head out again, but there are so many places still in front of us so we can not linger for too long. Next stop is one of the Tuamotu atolls, probably Rangiroa or Tahiti we will see where the wind takes us.
08/22/2010, The Pacific ocean
We are finally on our last miles to the Marquesas (8NM from waypoint). We will be anchoring in the southern most island of Fatu-Hiva for a few days, before sailing towards the atolls in the Tuamotus. This will probably feel quite tiering because it is an other 700NM, and now with other vessels and land to be avoided on the way! The passage has been
slower than expected due to fairly weak winds. We can already see Fatu-Hiva, lit by a very clear full moon , so in total we have been sailing for a bit under 22 days and done a bit over 3000 NM!
We started our southening straight away after leaving Galapagos, which probably costed us two days of extra sailing due to
longer distance and weaker winds (which we did not expect), the advantage though, was that it got warmer quicker!
The passage has gone pretty well with only smaller mishaps (so far....), one Sea-Me antenna breaking off from the mast-head, one broken spinnaker and one exploded exhaust pipe, and the usual problems with our watermaker that is now producing some undrinkable substance. At some stage, we will have to outhaul the boat to check on our leak, which is steadily letting water in from the rubber in the S-shaft from the engine, but if we can manage we will probably wait until Australia to do it, without any rush and without being stuck waiting for some part somewhere for weeks.
Fishing wise, we have had a Ok passage with a total of 2 Tunas, 2 Mahi Mahis and 2 Wahoos where one of the Wahoos was 20+ kg!
We have had a lot more possibilities but our equipment has not been strong enough so we have lost several lures and some 200 meters of fishing line.
The boys have been behaving really good, and they have not been complaining even once that they are bored! Max had his mid-term exams yesterday so now he will enjoy 4 days of holiday before he continues with the hard work. Felix has done 2/3 of his year during the passage, he informed yesterday before going to bed, that he was going to wake up early today to have a few hours of Maths before we arrive.
It is wiered how quick time goes on the sea, and how little one misses land and all the so called comforts. Then again, since when has it been comforting to have constant stress, surrounded by toxic fumes and miserable people rushing to trivial meetings that does not make a change anyway! At the sea one can reflect on space and time and wonder if different dimensions exist or if it is a illusion, without being exposed to either noise or light pollution. The plenitude of stars is incredible and they glow even brighter than in Lapland during winter, with the exception that the view at sea is undisturbed and 360 degrees.
In a few hours it is time to let down the anchor and start cleaning the boat from in- and outside and then head into land and explore a bit, lets hope that there is not too many people to scare us off! The Marquesas islands, and specially Fatu-Hiva, has been said to have been the last island in the Pacific with kannibalism! So, if you donÂ´t hear from us any more we became a nice meal for some polynesian family.
And then some people say that crossing oceans is dangerous????
Have a nice day,
08/19/2010, The Pacific ocean
Hej igen frÃ¥n vÃ¤rldens stÃ¶rsta hav!!!
Our plotter shows 483Nm and 80 hours to our waypoint, we are slowly getting closer. It has been an other lovely day with clear blue skies, light winds and smooth seas. Our watermaker has been playing up again and the skipper and Marcus have been busy with it for most of the day. The watermaker has been causing so many problems that everyone is getting really sick of it, now the pressure is too low and the water that comes out is way too salty. Most of the crew has been experiencing dodgy stomachs for a few days.
I took the boys off the water and gave them bottled water instead and they have been fine, I think it is time for the rest of us to follow their example. Hopefully we will receive a new machine to Tahiti, one that would actually work.
yesterday we had a real treat, we caught an enormous Wahoo, it weighed about 20kg, it was bigger than the boys, a real giant of a fish. The incredible thing was that it caught a hook on a normal nylon line with no actual lure on it, I think we made fishing history. The captain had a very pleased smirk on his face while cutting up lovely medallions of the beautiful white meat. Now we have fish for many meals to come which is good because apparently there is cigatuera closer to many of the islands and you should be very careful of what sort of fish you eat.
Max and Felix were convinced that the fish was a gift from Neptune to them on account of all of the lovely pictures they had been drawing to him, who knows they just may be right. We enjoyed a meal of fish, potatoes and Sarahs special veggie sauce accompanied by a chilled bottle of portuguese white Douro wine, it would have satisfied even a true gourmand.
The sun just set behind the horizon and everyone is getting ready to retire to their cabins, life on board follows very much the schedule of the sun, when it sets its time for bed, only those on watch are awake. The nights are silent, more so than you can ever imagine, there is nothing here, nobody for hundreds of miles, it is us and the ocean. Our world is our yacht surrounded by the vast ocean and the everlasting sky, it is beautiful.
08/17/2010, Pacific Ocean
The last two days have held their share of drama. After a very peaceful two weeks on sea I guess we had it coming. Yesterday started as most mornings, nice and quiet. The winds and the weather were favorable for some spinnaker sailing so we got everything ready to pull the sail up.
The kids were inside eating breakfast and Sarah was still fast asleep. Niklas started the engine and according to plans we started pulling the sail up. All of a sudden The skipper shouted, get the sail down now, the engine is burning. We could smell the smoke and see it rising in black puffs, my mind was instantly filled with all sorts of horror scenarios. Sarah was woken up and the fire extinguishers were gathered.
Niklas got ready to use his fire fighting skills assisted by Marcus and Sarah, I got the kids in their life jackets and ready if we would have to abandon ship. A fire on board 1000Nm from land is one of the worst case scenarios that you can imagine. When the engine hatch was opened, we noticed to our extreme relief that it was not in flames, it was the exhaust pipe that had exploded, we were out of danger. After the shocking start to the day everything else went smoothly, we were happy to be safe and sound.
This morning the winds were very light and we were mainly bobbing around in the water barely moving at all, the skipper decided it was time to pull up the big white spinnaker. We all should have known what to do but everything went completely wrong. I could not get the boat to turn to the correct wind angle fast enough, Sarah and Marcus let go of the sail too early, instead of pulling it back down it was pulled higher up, it spinned around the genoa and we had disaster on our hands.
After a lot of manoeuvring and hard work we finally got the sail down, not without extensive damage to it though. The skipper was very displeased with us all. These things happen once in a while, sometimes routine procedures go wrong.
What can we say we are only human and make mistakes, hopefully we learn from them and act differently in similar situations in the future. The rest of the day has been very variable, many squalls with rain, no wind and miserable progress, the autopilot has been jumping off as the boat has been turned from one direction to the other with the waves. Now towards the night the wind has picked up again we are doing 6 to 7kts and the mileage is decreasing. Hopefully in about five to six days we should be approaching land, the plan is to visit Fatu Hiva, the Southernmost island of the Marquesas, rest there for some days and then continue to the Tuamotu atoll of Rangiroa. We are all looking forward to a good nights sleep and stretching our legs on firm land.