ende

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
11
Sep

Rapa Iti remains closed

Rapa Iti, the southernmost of the Austral Islands, has no airport and only one supply ship a month. When the Covid crisis started, they very reasonably decided that they couldn’t take any risk and closed their bay for all ships (except the Tuhaa Pae supply ship). Only family returning to Rapa Iti was allowed to travel on that ship and they have to stay in… Continue reading »

2019
31
Jul

Pearl jewellery designs

On rainy days I get out my workshop and create necklaces, bracelets, anklets, etc. with pearls from the Gambier Islands. Each design is unique, I work with cords made of leather, rubber and stainless steel. The so-called ‘black’ pearls are actually shining in all colours of the rainbow and I love playing with them

2019
21
Jul

Lagoon Tide Simulator

I’ve just uploaded a website that contains an interactive lagoon tide simulator. It lets you play with different parameters like swell height or how open/closed the lagoon is and instantly draws a graph with the tides and shows when the current in a pass is in or outgoing. Experimenting with this simulator may help understanding lagoon passes better. Just follow this link.

2019
27
Mar

Cruising Info on Rapa Iti

Our little cruising guide on Rapa Iti, the southernmost island in the Australs, is finally on-line!

2019
27
Mar

Cruising info on Tubuai

We’ve put a short cruising guide for Tubuai in the Austral Islands onto our blog.

2019
11
Jan

A mooring for Rapa Iti

The main bay of Rapa Iti is infamous for tricky anchoring. Cruising guides mention ‘dead coral rubble’ at the bottom, the bay is very deep (20-30 m) and uneven. Many boats have dragged and fouled their anchors and chains here. When we got here last year we found that large areas of the bay are indeed covered in live staghorn coral–especially the shallower parts that… Continue reading »

2018
21
Nov

Weather forecasts for cruising in and around French Polynesia

I’ve just put a page on our blog that, on the one hand, summarizes all weather forecasts we’re using on Pitufa. It includes weather bulletins, surface-analysis charts, cyclone warnings, El-Niño discussions, and of course how all those can be requested via Saildocs. On the other hand, the page also embeds all those current forecasts, so it may be a convenient all-in-one weather site for cruisers… Continue reading »

2018
30
Oct

Cruising info on Rurutu

We added a small cruising guide about Rurutu (Austral Islands) to our blog, click here to read it.

2018
16
Oct

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 »

2018
30
Mar

Gambier’s Pearl Farms Increasingly Become Navigational Hazard

In recent years, the motto in the Gambier Islands seems to be “a pearl farm for everyone.” Many new concessions were granted, and the result is clearly noticeable. Not only were existing buoy fields massively expanded, but also countless smaller installations were deployed (and still are), scattered throughout the lagoon. Some of those new installations are made by one-man companies, lacking man-power, proper material, and… Continue reading »

2017
13
May

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 and foul their anchor and/or chain in coral. Having just a short piece of free chain left while pitching madly is a dangerous situation and the results are stressful maneuvers to get the anchor back up, bent bow rollers and… Continue reading »

2017
11
Apr

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 highly… Continue reading »

2016
09
Dec

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 »

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