Landfall in Raivavae

When we arrived at dawn, the island looked spectacular with clouds rolling over the vertical cliffs of the mountain, illuminated by fiery rays of fresh sunlight. As last night was rather strenuous with squalls, torrential rainfall, and confused, lumpy seas, we rested for a while after we’d dropped the anchor and only went for a quick stroll to the village of Rairua in the afternoon.… Continue reading »


Going bananas

No, we’re not going mad on Pitufa, but the stack of bananas we’ve brought from the Gambier has turned from green to yellow overnight–yep, all of them. At least we won’t go hungry, despite the fact that the fishies still refuse to hop on board. We crossed the tropic of capricorn last night, so we’re no longer officially in the tropics (the Gambier lie just… Continue reading »


Banging and clanging along

Last night the wind died down and Pitufa staggered through the confused waves with banging sails. We tried to optimise (tighter preventer, less sail area, etc.), but the nervewrecking cacophony went on. It’s not just the noise and the shaking that goes through the mast and rigging all throughout the boat, it’s also the knowledge of the damage done to the material that makes these… Continue reading »


Out on the ocean again!

Yesterday morning we checked the grib again and realised that we wouldn’t be able to set out during the following week towards Rapa. As we’re running late already, we decided to go to Raivavae (also one of the Australs) instead. We changed the small yankee against the big genoa (buried underneath all the secured stuff in the forecabin) and set out in the afternoon. Now… Continue reading »


Weather games

Waiting for a weather window is always frustrating. We get new forecasts twice a day and then the strategic games begin: we try to “sail” the cursor in expected daily runs through the area of the grib file where arrows indicate the wind speed and direction, trying to avoid becalmed zones and galeforce winds. Of course the further into the future the prediction goes, the… Continue reading »


Winter is coming

Until three days ago it was really hot and calm, but then southerly winds set in, sending up chilly air masses with best regards of the icebergs down there The weather forecast had predicted light westerly winds, so we were anchored off the western motu Tenoko when a procession of squalls approached, hiding Taravai and Mangareva behind a dark grey wall. When the squalls reached… Continue reading »


Article on Keeping Nightwatches in current (April) All-at-Sea

Birgit Hackl: Night Watches, All At Sea Caribbean, April 2015, p. 34–37. Free download from allatsea.net.


New attractions on Taravai

Autumn’s gifting us with gorgeous weather here this year. Last year it was already cool and windy in April, but at the moment we’re enjoying perfectly calm, sunny and hot days. Just looking over the pastel shades of the lagoon in the early morning when the mountains are reflected in the sea like in a mirror with the corals gleaming through the crystal clear water,… Continue reading »