Beautiful Rurutu

[geo_mashup_save_location lat=- lng=- geocoding_error="Address not found - try making it less detailed"] We had little info about Rurutu before we got here, but the island is a pleasant surprise for us. In the Lonely Planet Rurutu is described as a raised atoll, but then it should be just a flat plateau surrounded by coral cliffs like Niue, instead it has cliffs divided by flat coastal… Continue reading »


Touring around the Austral Islands

After an excursion through the Cook Islands, Pitufa is back in French Polynesia! We are currently in the ‘Archipel des Australes’ and hop from island to island, starting with Maria in the Northwest and finishing with Rapa Iti in the Southeast.


Time for a new generation?

When we bought Pitufa 10 years ago, she was equipped with navigation instruments by Robertson/Simrad which were already 10 years old then. We are still using these instruments, despite their growing need for life-sustaining measures. About five years ago, the mast top unit of the wind instrument was the first component to quit. On the passage from Galapagos to French Polynesia we soon learned to… Continue reading »


Kissy-kissy country

We have just anchored in the little harbour of Rurutu, which is a big raised atoll with lush vegetation and steep cliffs. We’ll check in later at the gendarmerie to re-enter French Polynesia officially. We’re back in the land of speaking French and giving kisses



We are rushing along nicely, going close-hauled under blue skies. 110 nm to Rurutu


Heading further East

Yesterday we managed to visit the northern motu, this time in even rougher conditions but with sun and blue skies. The small, shallow lagoon was gleaming light mint, the motus were gleaming in white and fresh green–Maria is stunningly beautiful… A group of young brown boobies circled us while we were taking the dinghy across the lagoon, sometimes almost touching us with their wings –… Continue reading »


Finally ashore

Ever since we arrived on the Western side of Maria the swell has been high and the breakers looked too scary for us to try taking the dinghy over the barrier reef. We’ve been fairly comfy despite the rough conditions as we let Pitufa ride on a bridle (one anchor line from the bow and another line to the anchor line from the beam of… Continue reading »



We arrived at Maria yesterday afternoon and managed to anchor in 24 m on the eastern side. We’re still in passage-mode though as the night was very rolly… Today we’ll have to search for an anchorage on the western side, because the wind will shift to SE.


Racing the sun

Yesterday evening we had a tough decision to make: if we raced like crazy and the wind held out we’d just be able to make it to Maria in daylight today. We were contemplating slowing down and planning for an early arrival on Tuesday, but in the end we couldn’t resist–we let all sails out, let Pitufa run as fast as she can and were… Continue reading »


Beautiful sailing

The seas are calm, the wind’s blowing steady, it’s sunny and warm–sailing can actually be nice sometimes 200 nm to go to Maria!


Leaving the Cook Islands

In the end we managed to get everything done and the weather window has arrived just in time: As we’ll be headed East (or rather Southeast) from now on we have to wait for passing troughs and depressions that interrupt the prevailing easterly trade winds and make the wind clock around. We’ll set out this morning towards the Austral Islands, the southernmost archipelago of French… Continue reading »



We’ve spent a week now in Rarotonga. The main island of the Cooks is a beautiful mountainous island with a fringing reef that is too shallow and narrow for navigation (apart from a tiny lagoon on the eastern shore). The main town Avarua is a bustling place with plenty of souvenir shops, clothes shops and little cafes. The Cook Islands are theoretically independent, but have… Continue reading »


Arrived in Rarotonga

The passage from Aitutaki was warm and sunny, but when we reached Rarotonga yesterday afternoon we already saw clouds hanging over the island. We tied up in the harbour med-mooring style and had a quiet night. Unfortunately the weather’s grey and rainy today…


Weather forecast

The weather forecast is as usually messing with us. Instead of steady northeasterlies we had fickle E to SE yesterday, played with the gennaker, but ended up motorsailing (which we hate). During the night the engine was also running partly and now that the wind is officially dying down (according to the forecast) it’s blowing merry 15 knots… We haven’t caught a fish since we… Continue reading »


Leaving Aitutaki

It looks like we finally have a weather window to sail down to Rarotonga. We leave tomorrow morning–140 nm to go!

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