Windlass broke just when we needed it but we made it to French Polynesia!

By the numbers

Yes, I do feel like a real sailor now. Don, Josh and I have made landfall in Hiva Oa and are happily catching up on sleep, eating local cuisine, and seeing old friends.

  • Traveled: 4092 nautical miles
  • Sailed 24 days doing roughly 100 sail changes (10x with the Istec parasailor, 2x with the geniker)
  • Motored 6 days: 1.5 through the ITCZ, 2 days to get into Hiva Oa, the rest was leaving Panama and when we did sail changes
  • Fuel consumed: 120 gallons
  • Broke: 1 windlass remote, 1 engine belt, 2 temperator senser gaskets

An exciting arrival indeed!

After 30 days of traveling, we arrived in Hiva Oa, the closest island in French Polynesia. Our good friends Kent & Michele Dudley (SV Jack Iron) greeted us with fresh french baguettes, and pointed us to an anchoring spot they had closely guarded for us. Our friends Sam & Volker (SV Hinewei) also came by in their dinghy to greet us. And what happens, we go to drop anchor and the windless gave No Love! Don quickly hot wired it and dropped anchor with the help of Jack Iron, and we hoisted our Yellow quarantine flag. Kent then gave us a full tour of the town, and we went to the Hiva Oa Gendarmarie to check into the country. We happened upon some ladies playing ukulele and I sat to listen with them. Afterwards, one of them gave us a ride back to the boat, stopping to give us many pomellas from her land!

Tour of the island

Before Josh leaves to return home to New York, we arranged a tour and circumnavigated the island. This included Lipona to see Hiva Oa’s five famous tikis including Tiki Souriant, Tiki Maki Taua Pepe and Tiki Takaii ad well as several stones used for preparing ink for tattoos and sharpening tools. There also was the place for punishing people by putting them upside down in the ground and stoning them which was filled with tiki legs standing up once that practice was stopped by the colonists.

We then ate a very home made meal at Marie Antoinette of local foods: poissan cru of tuna, goat, pork, breakfruit and coconut.

Lost shoe, broken kayak but safe son!

In the interium though, Josh kayaked into town and on the way back faced significant waves. The kayak broke enough not to be sea worthy so he went back on land and walked back. Our good friends Sam and Vokler saved the day AGAIN. Volker planned to bring the kayack over after the waves calmed down, but after trying, realized Josh made the right call and managed to get a Polynesian to load the kayak on his truck and bring it back to us. In the mean while, I lost Josh’s shoe only for us to find it on the road, the next day.

Meeting up with Kayo from Nausikaa

It was fantastic being able to return the favor and bring Kayo Mae a fresh baguette when she dropped anchor after 48 days at sea. Having been one of her all female Panama canal crossing team, it was terrific to swap stories and catch up with this brave solo circumnavigator!

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