ende

2020
19
Nov

Back again in Tahiti

We arrived in Tahiti last night after the breeze had died down–we had to motor the last few miles. It looks like we may get a weather window for the Austral Islands next week, so we’ll try to get all our chores done quickly before that. I have to visit my dentist, we have to repair our foresail and of course we’ll think of a… Continue reading »

2020
18
Nov

Gennaker

This morning the wind dropped to 5 to 9 knots and Pitufa was stumbling along goose-winged. We got out the gennaker–it took us about an hour until we had everything sorted out, quite a cumbersome procedure. Now Pitufa’s flying along under that huge blue-yellow lightwind sail and it’s so calm that Leeloo came up to check whether we’re already at anchor. Pitufa’s companionway ladder is… Continue reading »

2020
18
Nov

Almost like at anchor

We’re having a slow, but comfy ride. A bit rolly sometimes, but mostly like being at anchor. I’ve written two articles in two days and now I’m working on a ‘through the tuamotus’ gallery for our blog. Christian’s proof-reading my book and programming. Very different from our recent trips (climbing along walls, extreme cooking with ballistic ingredients, but mostly seasickish lying around, trying to hold… Continue reading »

2020
17
Nov

Comfy sailing

We’re having a smooth down-wind sail in light winds. We’re not doing much more than 4 knots, but it’s really comfy. Just now we’re passing through a little squall, it’s sunny despite the downpour and we’re sailing through a rainbow gate 175 nm to go!

2020
16
Nov

Underway to Tahiti

Cruiser’s plans are always written in the sand and the weather as well as outer circumstances dictate our itineraries. We set out from Tahanea this morning planning to sail straight down to Tubuai (Austral Islands). When we rolled out the foresail we saw that the leech line had ripped open the top half of the sail–sailing close-hauled the sail wouldn’t have its proper shape and… Continue reading »

2020
16
Nov

Our new Rutland wind generator!

Our old Rutland wind generator died after 11 years of faithful service in the Gambier last April when we didn’t tie it down during a 60 knot squall (our own fault, but the weather forecast had predicted nothing that violent, it was in the middle of the night and when we finally got up to save it during rain and storm, it was too late…).… Continue reading »

2020
15
Nov

Riding Squalls to Tahanea

In Tahiti the Covid situation is similarly serious as in Europe–the people put lots of effort into precautions in the beginning, but international flights brought in too many cases (interestingly enough mainly politicians and administrative staff, not tourists as expected). There’s a curfew now in Tahiti and Moorea, but inter-island traffic goes on and so more and more cases are reported from remote islands… Very… Continue reading »

2020
08
Nov

My historical novel

I’ve just finished writing a historical novel about the Tahitian women who were abducted by the mutineers of the Bounty when they set out to find a hiding place in the Pacific. The topic is of course well-known, but presented from a completely new angle with a modern, perky narrating voice. Writing the book was the easy part (just 120 000 words and two years… Continue reading »

2020
05
Nov

Hunting and fishing

In some remote places of French Polynesia there is still an abundancy of fish and clams on the reefs and coconut crabs hide on motus. The resources of such tiny eco-systems are very limited though and overhunting and overfishing is always a problem when locals do raids without much thought of sustainability. Cruisers sometimes go along with this ‘living off the land’ mentality and get… Continue reading »

2020
05
Nov

Protecting birds

We are very worried about shrinking bird populations in French Polynesia. Locals burn down motus for more palm tree plantations, but also cruisers unthinkingly disturb the few remaining ‘wild’ little islands. If you get lucky and find one of those motus with shrubs, high, deciduous trees and circling birds explore with care: you might see red-footed boobies nesting in trees, frigate birds, noddies and white… Continue reading »

2020
04
Nov

Good infrastructure in Fakarava

We usually don’t stay too long in Fakarava, because it’s one of the bigger atolls (a long way to a protected anchorages when the wind shifts) and a bit too busy for our taste (dive tourists, charter cats), but we have to admit that it’s certainly a very convenient place to be: the supply ship comes every Wednesday and the supermarkets are really well stocked,… Continue reading »

2020
25
Oct

Cat worries

We were worried sick when Leeloo suddenly had a haemorrhage in the vitrious body of her left eye five weeks ago–just after we had arrived in the Tuamotus… We tried to get a long distance diagnosis from different vets and ordered drops to lower the eye pressure from Tahiti. After a dozen phone calls to different vets, pharmacies, a money transfer via the post office… Continue reading »

2020
19
Oct

Back at the village

On our second visit to the village we already have the feeling that we know most of the faces here (no wonder, only 65 people live on the atoll) and we were greeted like returning friends. We talked with the mayor and the policeman again, praising their efforts to protect the untouched motus, trying to emphasize how precious and rare such wilderness is. Then we… Continue reading »

2020
17
Oct

Mixed feelings

We’ve now spent three weeks here and our experiences are a bit mixed. We were very happy to find about 50 nesting couples of brown boobies (more than anywhere else in the Tuamotus, which is a sad fact by itself) and a few endemic sandpipers. Most of the little motus in the biosphere only have shrubs and some trees, but on a few coconut trees… Continue reading »

2020
03
Oct

Brewing aboard

I’m sure we’ve mentioned our bubbly experiments a few times already, but as there have been questions recently and an article from us about that topic in Cruising World I thought it was time to write a new blog entry. Alcohol is horribly expensive here in the South Pacific, so many locals brew their own ‘komo’ (fermented sugarwater with yeast, that’s how we got started… Continue reading »

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