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 »


Location Report WordPress Plugin

Several fellow cruisers asked me whether I can recommend a WordPress plugin for position reporting, that is, a plugin to show the latest position of your vessel on a map and normally also to show the route traveled so far. The truth is I cannot really recommend one. But what do you use on Pitufa.at? On Pitufa.at I use Geo Mashup, or rather a… Continue reading »


PolyMagNet–SSB Radio Net in Polynesia

If you are cruising to, from, or around French Polynesia, you may be interested in checking in on the PolyMagNet. It’s an English-speaking SSB net where vessels underway can report their position and conditions, and boats at anchor pass on info about weather, anchoring, events, etc. in their area. It’s on air twice every day at 1800 UTC and 0400 UTC (8:00 AM and 6:00… Continue reading »


Pitufa’s Wind Atlas and Windrose Browser

Check out our Atlas of Prevailing Ocean Winds! As a convenient alternative to pilot charts, our site provides an interactive wind atlas and windrose browser. Unlike classical pilot charts, this atlas is based on satellite data (uniformly-sampled, unbiased), insofar similar to Jimmy Cornell`s Ocean Atlas (but that one is on paper and pricey…). We visualize world-wide ocean wind data from the SeaWinds scatterometer onboard… Continue reading »


Pan bread

Another simplified recipe is pan bread a la Pitufa: 2 cups of wheat flour 1 cup of rye flour 1,5 cups warm water 1 teaspoon dried yeast 1 teaspoon salt bread spices (typical Austrian: ground coriander, ground caraway, fennel) Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, add water, stir well with a spoon (no kneading necessary). Pour the dough into an oiled pan (with a lid),… Continue reading »



Fellow cruisers have been giving us recipes for yoghurt making, offered yoghurt starter cultures, but we always politely refused–it seemed like such a hassle involving either yoghurt making machines, or without such machines the process would take hours, while we’d have to regularly check with a thermometer to keep the temperature at exactly the right degree to keep the bacteria happy and working. We were… Continue reading »


Haul-out facility in the Marquesas

The first haul-out facility of the Marquesas (in the harbour of Atuona, Hiva Oa) is soon going to start operating (April 2016). Vincent Roche, a young French pilot and mechanic who has lived in the Marquesas for the past 15 years, has organized a trailer capable of carrying keel vessels with a draft of up to 2 meters. He thinks he can deal with yachts… Continue reading »


New railing netting

The last couple of days, in-between the hiking trips with more and less luck (we still have not found the track from Paopao to Vaiare…), we replaced the netting of the railing around Pitufa. Sounds easier than it actually was–in total we spent 3 full working days cutting, attaching, stretching, swearing, undoing, reattaching and tightening the bloody thing. The old one had started to disintegrate… Continue reading »


When to go where in French Polynesia

French Polynesia is a wide-spread and diverse cruising area. To make most of the different archipelagos it is essential to pick the right time. We’ve put together info on when to go where in French Polynesia here.


Cruising Info on Raivavae

As we hardly found cruising info on Raivavae, we’ve summarized our experiences in a small guide.


The environmental impact of cruising

We always found it very unfair, when we heard that states/islands had restricted anchoring for cruising boats, because we’re convinced that cruise ships, freighters, fishing boats and other big vessels do much more damage, but get away with it due to their financial role. Observing the behaviour of cruising yachts for a few seasons now around French Polynesia, we must unfortunately admit that they do… Continue reading »


Yacht services in Tahiti

During our repairs we’ve made some experiences with yacht services in Tahiti and the Societies, which we’d like to share with other cruisers. We cannot recommend the haul-out facilities at Technimarine in Papeete. It’s expensive, the personnel was unfriendly to rude and Pitufa still bears the rust marks from the sanding of rusty fishing vessels in this boat yard. The only advantage of Technimarine is… Continue reading »


Shadowmail for Winlink and Satphone users?

Sailmail offers a service called shadowmail to their subscribed clients. It allows users to monitor their land-based, non-Sailmail e-mail accounts via low-bandwidth Sailmail and to forward messages when requested. It even integrates nicely into the Airmail software, showing theses shadow folders like normal mailboxes. (See the official info page for more information.) For cruisers such a service is definitely a useful thing. I… Continue reading »


Cruising info on the Gambier Islands, French Polynesia

Find our cruising info on the Gambier Islands under Destinations in the Menu or click here.


Garmin GPSmap 4xx — How useful is a mini (4-inch) chartplotter?

On a small sailing yacht, power consumption is a real issue, particularly on passages. A wind generator is typically useless on a downwind course and often the sails shade the solar panels and there might be days with a thick cloud cover. Some electrical devices can be assumed to be running 24 hours a day: the fridge, some instruments (e.g. log, wind, …), a VHF… Continue reading »

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