Athanor Expedition

Our exploration of land and sea

Our first days on the water

For all the benefits of spending time "away from it all," not having enough bandwidth to upload our travels is not one of them! The following description and accompanying images roughly cover July 26 - August 7, 2022, in the Society Islands, French Polynesia. We are just getting started!
Seeing Athanor again felt like crossing paths with a dear friend you haven't seen in a long time. After nearly three years apart - us on land and her in a hot, humid, and lonely boatyard - it took us some time to adjust - both to setting feet in this magical place with its slow pace of life and rich culture, and to being aboard Athanor.
One of the experiences we love most about the voyaging life is the connections we make with fellow sailors. Though we kept in regular contact with cruising friends over the past years, with each passing day we became more disconnected from the day-to-day cruising life. At the same time, we became much more connected / settled into life on land. We loved spending more time in our community, with family/friends, and beginning (and even completing) a few home projects. During that time, we even asked ourselves if this was the time to sell Athanor and begin to explore other parts of the world we'd like to see. But alas, we decided that retiring and uprooting from Seattle was enough change for one year, and here we are. Happily, we have quickly reconnected with our sailing community: friends that we now live 10 minutes away from in CA are here sailing; friends from NZ that we met years ago in Moorea cruised up in their dinghy while we were in the marina; we've talked on the SSB radio with dear friends who are now sailing from Vanuatu to New Caledonia to Australia; and finally, we just emailed friends who are on their boat in NZ with questions to repair our autopilot.
Where to start? Like returning to a cabin after a season away - the place smelled a bit musty and needed a good airing out. And we realize we needed to make a substantial donation pile from the many treasures we've collected over the years (a nice way of saying we have too much stuff). Although we were a bit overwhelmed the first few days, we had our eyes on the prize - prioritize any project that brought us closer to sailing Athanor out of the boatyard marina and into that turquoise water!
We were very fortunate that the boatyard was able to complete preliminary recommissioning projects: installing the batteries we had shipped, putting the sails on, giving her a much needed bath, and  launching her in the water (huge). What took us a week's time would have been 3-4 without their help. After seven days of testing/fixing systems (refrigeration, head, engine, communications), six trips to the gas station ultimately schlepping 65 gallons of diesel (into and out of 5-gallon jugs), cleaning, provisioning, unpacking items we had shipped to us from the U.S. - we were off. All in all, it was a small investment to be able to spend two months in a place that continues to amaze us day in and day out. Being here is a great reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
So now we're back on the water! We're enjoying reconnecting with Athanor. We've even spent several days practicing sailing (lots of tacking/jibing) -- good news, we did remember most of our sailing skills! For the first five days, we had 20+ knot winds and lots of rain, but then the weather calmed, and we tucked into a sweet bay all by ourselves, the moon waxing, and the stars out and proud!
We don't know what the next eight weeks will bring - we've got some mechanical repairs to make, and Susan's sewing machine is back in business making repairs to "all things canvas"; we're learning again how to live together in a small space; and we're feeling grateful to experience this grand adventure.
As always, we'd love to hear from you, and we wish you were all here with us!
Rob and Susan
S/V Athanor