The bay of Hiva-Oa or, getting away with a black eye

Sailing in the Pacific

Amanu is only 16 nautical miles away from Hao. Another atoll, the countless in the Tuamotus. The northeastererly wind that has been happening for weeks turns to the east. We want to take the opportunity to sail a bit north. Unfortunately, the weather models, for the Pacific, only fit the day they are valid. A prediction can therefore be forgotten. The east wind, which was scheduled day before, quickly turned back into a northeast wind. So we get strong, because we have a lot of time until the incoming tide in Amanu anyway. We then manage an hour before “slack time”, i.e. the time in which the water changes from runways to run out or vice versa. Various wind factors then lead to shifts. Unfortunately, the Pass of Amanu is not fired and it gets dark. The current of the water leaking is still too large, so we do not come into the lagoon before it is night. 

On the way to the Maquesas

 We decide to continue sailing and tackle the trip to the Marquesas. Unfortunately, the Marquesas are located in the northeast and the wind is not favorable. The night returns and I set the course, once again hard on the edge. Two to three knots ride, in the wind around the fifteen to eighteen knots, hard on the wind. The wave is with three meters, also quite very high and next to the swell from the southeast, there is a wind wave from northeastern, which results in the potato racker, already often mentioned by us. It beats, claps and rattling, whereby everyone can choose the order. Sometimes, even every three simultaneously. We can keep the course to the north just like this. 

A goodbye Tuamotus

To the east we have no chance at the moment. The first days on the high seas are always heavy for us until we get used to the movements. This time even more difficult, because we have not prepared for it. Surely we have everything on board, which requires a longer sea voyage, but the mental preparation is crucial. At night I download the weather, via satellite. The further we come to the north, the more easterly wind we get. Confidence is spreading. We spend the first day lying lying down. In the evening a new challenge becomes visible. We keep directly on a grain of sand in the Pacific. Fangatau is called this atoll and is silly directly on our price line. The safe variant, would have fallen off, but would have meant ten nautical miles detour. Safety is usually overrated in sailing, i.e. straight towards, in the hope that the wind will give us the chance to make a little bit of East to get past this “nothing”. Ten nautical miles off the island, the wind also does us the favor, but the wind turner is only short duration. I'm squeezing everything out of our Katinka and we just scrape past the little atoll. The good thing, there are no depths around the atoll. The seabed rises shortly before to 300 metres. We pass by and can count the monkeys in the palm trees. But just as there are no penguins in the Arctic, despite scientific claim, there are no monkeys on the aters in the Tuamotus. You can believe me. Even if I sometimes listen to the monkey, as soon as the island, when the wind suddenly turns towards the east and we can finally dock northeast. By the way, there are no penguins on the Tuamotus. With the turning of the wind from northeast to east-northeast, it unfortunately also becomes a little weaker and, the already slow ride, is slowing down. However, the wave is also getting lower and so we have a relaxed freeguard at night. At least what you can imagine yourself as relaxed with an ever-moving ship. Anyway, we could sleep well. Towards morning, the wind turns back on northeast and continues to north-northeast. The miles East shredders like butter in the hot sun of the South Sea. We try it on the other bug, but we find that we have to drop far too far to south. So we swallow the bitter pill and go back to old course, towards the north, drift slowly to the northwest. But tomorrow the east wind, loud weather forecast, comes as yesterday and the day before yesterday. Then the next day the next day will be northeast. We do not give up hope. And so we sail on the Pacific and if the wind does not turn to the east, we will sail even longer until we reach the Marquesas. We will tell you when this is the case in the next or next blog. Until then, always fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.