ende

Apr
25

Fish’n dips

Yesterday we had a fresh breeze and good sailing, caught a wahoo (our first fish since October…) and during the night we went more slowly, but still steadily ahead. Today we’re crossing a convergence zone, the N wind died down and we hope that the promised SE will soon set in. This afternoon we were drifting along under sails so slowly that we could have a dip into the deep-azure of the Pacific, just hanging from the swimming ladder ;-)
Afterwards the wind died down even more, we tried drifting for a while, but without stabilising boat speed the motion in the still quite churned up sea was unbearable and we turned on the engine. Now we’re hoping for wind!

Apr
23

Huffs and puffs

The wind’s been a bit unstable, so we motored for a few hours last night, but now we’re rushing along nicely again doing 6 knots with 15 knots on the beam. 370 nm to go!

Apr
22

heading out

We checked weather this morning and decided spontaneously to try a new, but a bit fickle window… We’ll leave soon, keep your fingers crossed for some wind for us ;-)

Apr
21

Autumn weather

The festival ended last week with a torrential downpour that lasted a whole day–even locals claim they’ve never seen rain coming down with such intensity over such a long period.
After that followed a week of perfectly calm and finally sunny and warm weather again… Yesterday a tempting weather window to sail to the Tuamotus came up–light northeasterly winds would allow a smooth sail with winds on the beam. We just were not quite ready yet, still had to do some last shopping, internet and errands in Rikitea and we also had not said good-bye to our friends on Taravai.
Instead of rushing around we’ve decided to enjoy the nice weather here instead and to head out with the next window.

Apr
20

Photos from the 2019 Gambier Festival

Matapukurega Festival 2019

In April 2019 the Gambier Islands hosted a cultural festival. Singers, dancers, drummers came from all over French Polynesia and presented the differences between the Gambier, the Australes, the Tuamotus, the Societies and the Marquesas.

(60 photos)

Apr
15

Penrhyn article in Cruising World April 2019

We have a few articles accepted for publication in the renowned Cruising World magazine, and the first one has now actually made it into the April issue. This one is about our stay in Penrhyn.

Birgit Hackl, Christian Feldbauer: A Cook Islands Highlight, Cruising World, April 2019.

Apr
13

Matapukurega Festival

There’s a 3 day long cultural festival going on in Rikitea at the moment. Groups from Hao (Tuamotus), Hiva Oa (Marquesas), Tubuai (Australes), Faaa (Tahiti) and even Rapa Nui (Easter Island) have arrived, events take place every evening and it’s great to see and hear the differences in their dances and choirs. The anchorage has filled up with boats, almost 30 are anchored here at the moment.
Unfortunately the weather’s not playing along. It’s blowing hard from the SE, the dancers are shivering while waiting for their performances and the cruisers watch in their foul-weather gear ;-) On the first day it was still sunny, yesterday cloudy and today it’s raining…

Apr
02

Summer’s coming to an end

This year the summer weather in the Gambier hasn’t been great and now it seems that it’s coming to an early end. The second mara’amu (strong southeasterly wind) is bringing chilly airmasses to us and a sniff of winter’s in the wind.
We’ve been really busy between boat projects (e.g. we got new foam from Tahiti and redid our sofa including new upholstery), writing and the usual daily chores. Whenever the weather was nice we got out for some fun activities with friends–sticking to our ‘carpe diem’ approach to avoid getting frustrated in unreliable weather…

Mar
27

Cruising Info on Rapa Iti

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

Mar
27

Cruising info on Tubuai

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

Mar
16

Rainy weather program

This summer we get more windy and rainy weather here in the Gambier than usually. We don’t mind so much as we have plenty of jobs on our to-do list. At the moment the southeasterly’s blowing hard, but we’re tucked into a little, protected bay getting some work done. So far we’ve done engine maintenance (changed diesel and oil filters followed by a thorough bilge-cleaning), maintenance on the watermaker and the past two days were dedicated to sails: the leech line of our yankee headsail had chafed through, so we took the sail down and sewed patches over the damaged parts (fortunately our old ‘Pfaff’ household machine’s up to such work…). Today we stowed it away, got the big genoa up that we use for downwind sailing and rearranged the forecabin.

The weather forecast for tomorrow looks better, so maybe we’ll get off the boat for a change. There are no trails on this side of Taravai, but equipped with a machete, long sleeves and trousers and gloves we should be able to make our own path through the reed;-)

Feb
28

Summer

The weather’s back to gorgeous summer conditions here and we’re exploring the more remote islands of the archipelago.

Feb
20

Nasty weather

Just now that we have a visitor (my dad is here) the weather has turned unseasonably nasty in the Gambier. A trough with fronts, strong winds and lots of rain has kept us mostly on the boat for the past 4 days. There were 30 boats in Rikitea, which made life in the anchorage quite exciting when the boats were swirled around in gusts and some of them dragged. Now we hope for some settled weather!

Feb
10

Finally! Photos of our mooring project in Rapa Iti

A Mooring for Rapa Iti

To protect the delicate coral and to make life easier for visiting cruisers, we installed a mooring together with the community of Rapa Iti. This mooring can be picked up at S27°36.808' W144°20.034'. More moorings are planned.

(21 photos)

Feb
04

Cleaning

Ever since we arrived in the Gambier we’ve had perfect sunny, breezy and hot summer weather. We really needed these conditions after the rainy time in Rapa Iti–we had accumulated two laundry bags full of humid clothes (yuck) and due to the lack of circulation the interior of the boat was mouldy all over.

We stayed out on the motus, spent a week doing laundry in the mornings, cleaning furniture afterwards (first with vinegar then with oil, we call it the ‘salad treatment) and we still found time to go snorkeling in the afternoon and hang out with friends.

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