ende

Dec
30

Fortresses

Rapa Iti (the old name is Oparo) was colonised by Polynesian settlers about 1000 years ago (sources vary on that). The limited resources of the small island (Rapa is only 40 km2 big, but most of that land area is rugged and mountainous) led to conflicts among the growing population and the construction of 15 fortresses on the hilltops. When the island was discovered by… Continue reading »

Dec
24

Happy holidays!

We wish you a merry Christmas and a healthy, interesting, and successful year 2018!

Dec
21

Hyper active sunny days

Sunny days have been rare so far, so whenever the sun comes out we try to use the nice weather as actively as possible. On Monday we went ashore to see the freighter arrive. It was a big spectacle as it didn’t only bring new provisions, but also the island’s kids who attend school in Tahiti or Tubuai and only come home during the longer… Continue reading »

Dec
18

Warm-cool Rapa

Rapa Iti is the remotest island of French Polynesia. There is no airport, the cargo ship only comes once a month (sometimes it skips a visit…) and Raivavae, the nearest neighbouring island, lies 290 nm away. The anchorage inside the huge main bay of Rapa is well protected from waves, but gusts howl down from the mountains whenever there are strong winds–and that seems to… Continue reading »

Dec
16

Arrived in Rapa Iti

After a boisterous trip, we arrived in Rapa Iti with the last light–fortunately the days are longer down at this latitude or we wouldn’t have made it. The island looks spectacular, despite the fact that it’s covered in thick clouds. The forecast shows a front arriving tonight so we’ll get some rain to wash off the salt and then hopefully some sunny weather to explore… Continue reading »

Dec
14

On the way to Rapa Iti

We set out from Raivavae yesterday at noon into high winds and waves. We caught a yellow fin tuna just after leaving and cutting and storing that guy took some seasickness medicine… We’re going fast though, so we’re not comfy, but happy to get to Rapa quickly! 177 nm to go (out of 300)

Dec
12

Rain, rain and more rain

The weather’s still nasty, we’ve managed to do a short hike during a sunny spell on Saturday, but apart from that we’ve been at home working on boat projects, while it’s pouring down outside. Fortunately we’ve already explored the island thoroughly during our first visit here 2 years ago, so we’re not missing out on anything new.

Dec
09

Grey and cold

We arrived at noon and are now anchored off Rairua, the main village of Raivavae. The island’s mountains are hidden behind thick clouds, the sky is grey and it’s surprisingly cool. Last week when we suffered in the humid heat of Tahiti we were joking that soon we’d be complaining about the cold in the Austral Islands

Dec
09

Leaving the Tropics for a while

The Austral Islands are the southernmost island group of French Polynesia. Raivavae is just below the tropic of Capricorn, Rapa Iti even further down at the latitude of 27°35′. The Southern summer is the most pleasant time to visit these remote islands.

Dec
08

Unpleasant trip

What looked like a swift ride on the weather forecast has turned into an annoying passage. Since last night we’ve been motoring without any wind, managing only to sail for a few hours in a breeze first from the east and then the west which quickly disappeared again. Now we have 8 knots on the nose–fortunately we only have 20 more miles to go. We… Continue reading »

Dec
07

Not enough wind

We were planning on riding the tail of a low that moved down Southeast and the forecast predicted a stiff breeze. Unfortunately the wind’s been much lighter and now it looks like we might run out of wind on the last day of the passage… 120nm to go

Dec
06

Sleepless night

After a decent sailing day the wind died down last night to almost nothing. Unfortunately the waves didn’t, so we were hobbling along with banging sails and everything on the boat clanging along. 220 nm to go

Dec
05

Lightwind sailing

Light winds, sunny skies–so far this is an easy passage! 320 nm to go

Dec
05

Sailing towards the Iles Australes

We’re just getting ready to set sails again. Actually we haven’t quite finished all jobs, we’re quite stressed out, but we’re still leaving, because the hot, rainy season is just starting in Tahiti and we don’t want to miss our weather window. 390 nm to Raivavae, or 600 to Rapa–whether we’ll stop in Raivavae will depend on the wind.

Dec
04

Article in All-at-Sea: Eyeglasses for the Solomon Islands

We met Paul and Frances (SY Monkey Fist) in Tahiti and were impressed by their project to bring used glasses to people in remote areas. Check out their homepage www.eyeglassassist.org! Right now they need donations for their next expedition… Birgit Hackl: Glasses for the Solomon Islands, All At Sea Caribbean, December 2017, p. 36–38. Free download from allatsea.net.

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