Marquesas to Tuamotu 2015

By Art on (with 2 comments)


Distance (nm)
Average (kts)

After a number of wonderful weeks spent exploring the islands of Marquesas we continue onto the archipelago of Tuamotu where we will have completely different topography from the volcanic mountains of Marquesas. Tuamoto is comprised of atolls barely above sea level. Each atoll has usually has a pass or two that allows a yacht to enter the interior lagoon to anchor. Our first atoll to visit will be Fakarava which about 535 nm from where we are anchored on the island of Fatu Hiva. We expect to take about 62 hours to get there and have planned our arrival from the tide table so we will have a slight outgoing current from the lagoon. If we miss our timing, we will have to wait 6 hours until the next opportunity to enter the lagoon safely.

For now, here's a nice panorama photo from our anchorage here in the "Bay of Virgins" in Fatu Hiva.

Panorama from the tender dock on Fatu Hiva

Passage Position

Log Entries

by Art, Arrival at Fakarava, Tuamotu

Wow! Wow! Wow! At about 9:15 local time we arrived at the entrance to the lagoon in Fakarava. Our timing was perfect and we easily motored on through in a fantasy world of crystal clear water. The really strange part was being in 1000 meters of water one minute then 50 meters the next. The water color changed from deep indigo purple to turquoise blue in a second.

Motoring slowly across the lagoon to our anchorage we enjoyed the completely flat sea state and found a nice spot just off the village where we have some WifI, a nice dive shop and a couple of bars and restaurants. Can't wait to explore a bit but first.... gotta jump in that water!! 31C and calling to us! Ciao!!

Panorama from mast top at anchor in Fakarav, Tuamotu

by Art, Over halfway now...

The winds are down to 7 kts and the sea state is less than 1 meter so the 'rock and roll' we've had is now gone and it's been smooth motoring overnight. We're less than 20 hours to arrival at Fakarava and it looks like our planning will pay off to be able to transit the pass into the lagoon at the correct tide.

For the Marquesas we had been fortunate to find their flag in a chandler we visited in Panama City but no such luck for Tuamotu or Tahiti so we're taking the Austria courtesy flag (no idea why we have that one around!) and converting it over to a French Polynesia flag. Our on-board artist Carmela is doing the honors and it looks authentic. Hopefully, we'll be able to pass it off as the real thing when we arrive!

Speaking of arrival, we are all really looking forward to a nice anchorage in crystal clear water and being able to swim, snorkel and dive for the next few weeks. The Tuamotu's have been on my 'bucket list', as have the Marquesas, for a very long time.

by Art, Pacific between Marquesas and Tuamotu

We raised anchor last night about 18:00 and motored off toward the sunset and Tuamotu. We all felt some sorrow at leaving such a beautiful place and such special people but it's time to move on. We left behind a spare fishing rod/reel, clothing, some beverages and some new friendships. As we are now stocked with fresh banana, pomelo, limes and lemons as well as a large piece of local pork... we are ready to make some trade with the people of Tuamotu who have wonderful coconuts and fish but no fruit.

By the way Carmen prepared some of the yellowfin tuna Andrea caught for our dinner last night and it was easily the best tuna we've had on the trip. We caught a nice little Bonito tuna a few weeks back but the yellowfin has much better flavor and texture. Good thing we have 15 kg of filet/lomo in the freezer!

As there is not much wind, we are motoring with the genoa up to help stabilize us from the rocking but even so, it's a little hard to sleep for some and we all wish for a nice wind to come up. Last night a few small squalls teased us from afar but never came close enough to get us wet. It's 375 nm to Fakarava from here and, in the past 16 hours, we've made 160nm averaging about 8.5 kts.

This is a very remote part of the Pacific yet we find another sailboat, SY Georgia, making its way to the west as well. They are just an AIS target 10 nm away for now but we hope as we get closer we can call them on the VHF to exchange some greetings. Such is life at sea!

Our location is 12°30.818′S 140°25.621′W. Currently we are motoring the mainsail is down and the genoa is out. The sky is clear, we have good visibility and the sea state is slight. Wind is 14.0 kts from 82°T, the air temperature is 31°C while the sea temperature is 30°C. Our SOG is 8.5 kts with our COG 221°T.

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Comments so far

  • comment from Alberto&Patrizia Alberto&Patrizia on May 11, 2015

    Penso che attraversare la "passe" sia stata una grande emozione, anche per qualcuno che questa emozione l'aveva gia' provata. Complimenti ed ora buon riposo! Welcome to the Lagoon of Fakarava!

  • comment from Vickie Vickie on May 10, 2015

    I am enjoying all your stories very much.