Video of the Week: Sailing passage to Fakarava

One more on our series of videos from last year. This time we captures the key moments of a 100-mile passage between two atolls of French Polynesia.

Watch us glide away over the protected waters of Makemo, then off to a golden sunset in to the open Pacific Ocean, a brief jump-scare due to a squall at the entrance of Fakarava, to finally gliding again inside that atoll:

Click on the image above (or HERE) to watch the video

This is the link to the post that this video relates to ===> CLICK HERE


We hope you enjoy. THANK YOU for following us on this journey !!!

  • DON’T MISS OUR POSTS ! Click here to receive them in your inbox of choice as soon as we publish them.
  •  Click here to return to the Home Page

We are just trying to get some sleep here, folks …

Day broke, and Adriana’s and my eyes were wide and baggy. It’d seen like an afterparty awakening. Only that we were not waking up – we’d not been asleep at all. For long. And while there were a lot of drumming and moving all through the night … a party it wasn’t.


Raratonga’s only harbour, Avatiu, is exposed to the wide-open sea. That we knew.

The exposure is oriented to the North. So, as long as the winds would not blow from that direction, we should be fine. So we reasoned.

Since our arrival here, the winds have been blowing ONLY from the North …

The wind per se is not a problem. To the contrary, a relief from the warmth of the tropical autumn. But this wind, blowing along miles of vast ocean surface, creates waves. These waves enter Avatiu harbour. Unobstructed.

And that’s only the beginning.

Once inside, the waves hit the concrete walls that surround half the perimeter of the small harbour, creating a backwash. The reflected waves sometimes reflect AGAIN on the opposing wall and … well, there you go, a large-scale washing machine is formed.

Since our arrival, Pesto has been bouncing a lot, her bow raising to the waves that just entered the harbour, and her stern being slapped loudly by the waves that just backwashed from the wall.

Our bed is positioned at Pesto’s stern. Right were it is slapped. It’s been nosy.

Then, yesterday the rain arrived. It had been announced by the forecast long ago.

The rain made the air, which was already very humid, now absolutely damp.

The rain forces us to keep all our hatches closed.

The air inside the cabin quickly got saturated, condensing on the inside of the hatches.

We now had our own private condensation-induced rain inside our cabin.

And then night came.

As it did, the rain accelerated the winds, which then aroused the seas some more.

And our Washing Machine switched to the “max-spin” mode.

All night long, our bedroom bounced up and down, left and right. We rolled on our bed without having intended to. The incessant slapping from the backwash waves creating a cyclical thump. It felt as if we were inside a drum. And every time I did manage to fall asleep in those conditions, a drop of condensation water would fall over some part of my body – never on the bed, of course.

And then there was boat-keeping. I must have gotten up at least 20 times last night. To wipe condensation from the hatches, just to watch it forming instantly afterwards. To open the hatches for fresh air, then to close them a few minutes later because the rain had resumed. To check that our mooring lines were in place. To check that our anchor was holding. To check that our neighbors mooring lines were in place. To check that their anchor was holding. And to check that Pesto was not going to smack their boat, and vice versa.

In the middle of the night, Adriana at some point decided to overcome it all with dignity, and came to the main salon to read. But it was too bouncy, seasickness threatening, and she came back to bed resigned to withstand what was left of that shit show for the night.

Through the hatch, we watched the sky turn from pitch black to grey, and then to blue. The sun is out, the winds slower, the waves smaller. All hatches are open, no more condensation inside. We are sleepless, but the crazy night is over, and hopefully a calm day is in order. Adriana is producing a wonderful spinach omelet to get it started the right way.

We are all in hopes that the forecast upholds its promise, that the rain move away, that the North winds keep slow, that the waves remain low.

We are hoping it does.

Because all we want for tonight, folks, is to get some sleep.

Have a GREAT weekend !

Howdy from Rarotonga

The sun just slid behind the lush hill to the West, and the kids (all kids, not just ours) are still performing their jumps from the quay.
Avatiu Harbour, in the island of Rarotonga, capital of the Cook Islands nation. That’s where we are. And we haven’t been here long. Four or five hours, to be exact.
We arrived earlier today, after four days of passage from Tahiti. And it was NOT an uneventful one. Right from the onset we realized how “rusty” our sea legs had gotten, and each of us felt the impact. Raquel and Adri both felt terribly seasick and remained so all the way. I hung from a thread due to medication. And even Paulo acknowledged to have felt tired at some points. There were a few thrills as well. On the first day, a hose connection went loose and dispensed the entire content of our fresh water tank into our bilge. Luckily we were able to make water along the way. And now we have a very clean bilge. And a hose connection so tight that it will NEVER come loose agan! Then, on day three, a wave top broke just onto our aft deck, making its way through the hatch, drenching Adriana – who was trying to sleep – and our stateroom in the process. Finally, I underestimated Pesto’s speed potential for this passage, resulting that we would arrive to Rarotonga during the night, w
hich is something we never do. So we had to spend the last afternoon and night zig-zagging to the Northeast of the island awaiting for a proper daylight landfall.
But, fait accompli, here we are. The Customs official wasn’t happy to have to open his office on a national holiday because of us. But we were warmly received by a lady from the Cook Islands Yacht Squadrom – Pesto’s homeport – who promised to pick us up tomorrow for a visit of the premises.
And then there were the kids. Being a national holiday I presume there was no school today and all kids seemed to come to the quay to show off their jumping prowess. They were even more thrilled when we tied Pesto’s mooring lines the dock, using them as an equipment for their evolutions. But what we really enjoyed was how swiftly Paulo and Raquel blended in. As soon as we were done with the dissatisfied customs guy, they jumped in the water and started playing with the kids. “Dad, we can actually TALK to them” was their immediate reaction, after almost an year dealing with the language barrier in French Poly (people speak english here in the Cooks).
And so went our first afternoon in the Cook Islands.
We have the impression we will like it very much here.

Well, Adriana is producing our first warm meal of the last four days, it’s smelling delicious, and I have to wrap up this post.
Have a good night !

And the wait is over

Weather has finally settled in a way that is allowing us to depart.
Accordingly, yesterday we started the paperwork to do so, and with this our long stay here in French Polynesia starts to de-materialize to the Memories category.
Ahead, a multi-step voyage in which we shall cover nearly 1,500 miles within the next twenty days or so. From Tahiti we sail to Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands. From there to Niue, and then finally to Vavau, in Tonga.
What has made the planning of this voyage tricky is the fact that all intermediary stops are roadsteads, with little to protection. Thus the need for settled weather.
We depart today. Tired with the last minute prep, anxious to be breaking in back into cruising and for the long passage ahead, but glad to be cruising again !
We expect to reach Rarotonga in 5 days or so. And if technology permits, we shall publish updates underway as well.
Have a great weekend !