Author's details

Name: Birgit
Date registered: September 22, 2010

Latest posts

  1. Mantas! — June 28, 2017
  2. Mantas! — June 28, 2017
  3. Weather quirks — June 22, 2017
  4. Wetterkapriolen — June 22, 2017
  5. Bird islands in peril — June 21, 2017

Most commented posts

  1. Waiting for the right wind — 5 comments
  2. Faultag — 4 comments
  3. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria — 4 comments
  4. Englishman’s Bay — 4 comments
  5. Freundliches Grenada — 4 comments

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Yesterday we were anchored off ‘smurf island’ in the middle of the lagoon. During the night a northwesterly wind set in (the forecast had nothing but easterlies predicted…) and we got dangerously close to the steep reef off the island. We brought out a second anchor at 1 o’clock in the morning and spent a rather restless night with fortunately not strong, but consistent winds… Continue reading »


Weather quirks

The French Polynesian Meteo as well as the grib files predicted a disturbance with wind clocking to the north, then west, south and finally southeast. During such episodes the southerly and/or southeasterly winds are usually strong which the Polynesians call ‘Maramu’. Ideally we would hop from anchorage to anchorage around an atoll to be on the protected side, but in an atoll as big as… Continue reading »


Bird islands in peril

Tahanea was the first atoll we ever sailed too. We were enchanted by the bird colonies and healthy reefs and expected other atolls to be just like that. We were disappointed wherever we went. On populated atolls the motus were all burned down (‘cleaned’) at some point and the endemic shrubs replaced by coconut plantations where people make copra that is then turned into palm… Continue reading »



It would be hard to find a more perfect spot than beautiful Tahanea for our 6th cruising anniversary. As an anniversary present we got ourselves a phantastic snorkel trip through the pass with white tips, black tips, grey reef sharks and even a lemon shark, and as a special highlight an eagle ray and a turtle passing by to congratulate


Lagoon sailing

It’s a pleasure to sail across a calm lagoon on a sunny day, but yesterday’s trip from the northernmost point to the pass area was quite exciting. Sailing close-hauled in quite some wind (around 20 knots) we were dodging bommies and of course a fish decided to bite just as the wind was gusting up a bit. Now we’re anchored next to the northernmost pass,… Continue reading »


Around the atoll

We’re enjoying our time in Tahanea, moving around the atoll according to the wind and spending the days with a nice balance between boat projects and fun like snorkeling, kayaking and long walks along the motus. At this time of the year a big fleet of yachts passes through the Tuamotus. We see some of them on the AIS, hear them talking on the VHF… Continue reading »



The downwind passage from the Gambier to Tahanea with quite a windy start put lots of strain on the material. We bent a stanchion and one of the genoa poles actually ripped the pole track out of the mast (a 15 cm long bit, we could still use the other pole). Christian has already cut out the bent bit and will move the remaining piece… Continue reading »


Good sailing

This morning we arrived at the pass of Tahanea after a very slow nightsail (we didn’t want to get there during the night). At 8 the pass still looked quite impressive with high standing waves (wind against an outgoing current), so we sailed up and down with 3 lures out hoping to finally catch a fish. After 2 hours the pass calmed down, so we… Continue reading »


Good sailing

The wind is still holding out, we did a daily run of 150 nm–a fabulous speed for Pitufa (downwind isn’t usually her thing) and were still comfy enough (despite waves of still about 3m) to bake bread. 210 out of 660 left!


Better conditions

Yesterday the sun came out and we were happy to be able to dry out our damp foul weather gear, the wind got lighter and we optimistically rolled out the genoa, but then it died down completely and we started the engine to stop Pitufa from rolling in the still high and confused seas. While sailing we use the windvane to steer Pitufa, but when… Continue reading »


Miserable passage

It’s been squally with winds around 35 knots gusting 45 since yesterday, torrential rainfalls add to the general misery on Pitufa. A shitty trip so far.


Sailing again!

After 5 months in the lagoon it took us two full days to get Pitufa back into passage mode. In our case that doesn’t just mean clearing and organising, but also repotting and securing the garden. It seems we didn’t do such a good job, because the Pok Choy did a plungedive through the companionway and into the kitchen leaving an epic mess just when… Continue reading »


Anchoring around Coral

Each year sailboats cruising in the Tuamotus get into trouble at anchor: they get trapped on lee shores after a shift in the wind direction, foul their anchor and/or chain in coral and the results are stressful manoeuvres to get the anchor back up, bent bow rollers and ruined or even ripped out windlasses. Of course the fragile coral structures get badly damaged with each… Continue reading »


Tour de Motu

We didn’t really have the time to explore around the motus on the barrier reef during this cyclone season. First we were busy with the house and then I spent some time in Austria. Now we’ve been doing a tour along the barrier reef for a week. We started with southeasterly winds anchored off the bird motu Tauna, then we spent a phase of northerlies… Continue reading »


Back home!

The flight back was fortunately quite eventless, apart from minor nuisances like a bunch of schoolkids who chatted relentlessly all night, a polynesian woman who fell asleep over her own seat, the empty one next to her and half of mine and a french woman who refused to pull down the blinds next to her and had shouting arguments over it with the flight personnel.… Continue reading »

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