As sad as we were to leave Easter Island early, we were super excited to get to French Polynesia. This passage from Easter Island to Mangareva, Gambiers is about 1500nm and should take us 12-14 days.
- Departed Easter Island on Sunday, 31 March at 10:30am
- Arrived Mangareva, Gambiers on 11 April at 0900
- Miles Traveled 1,482
- Max speed 11.7
- Average speed 5.6
- Sailed most of the way, had a few motor sailing days
I know you are already caught up with details of this passage as Matt posted “Real-Time blogs” between 31 March and 11 April. But here are a few more highlights:
The first 3-4 days were crap! We got stuck in a whirl pool of confused seas and raging winds. It was an unbelievable set of days bashing in and day out. It was uncomfortable and nerve racking hearing our boat smash into these waves and get tossed side to side. According to our weather forecasts, there was a HUGE southerly storm causing the problems. We were able to stay away from that particular large stormy beast, but it did cause smaller squalls and poor weather conditions for us.
At one point, a smaller storm formed off of our port side, screwed up Otto (our auto pilot), and made the boat do all sorts of crazy stuff. It took us about 2 hours to get the boat “right” and back on course. And per usual, this was around 2am.
The one that got away
On our 6th night, just before sunset and as Matt was taking a nap, we heard ZING! We had been trolling for the past 800nm and had no nibbles or bites, nada! I woke Matt as the reel let out more than ¾ of the line. It kept on going and going and going. Damn, a big fish. It took Matt 1.5 hours to reel this guy in to the boat and he fought him the entire time. We finally got a look at the fish under water and it was a 400lb Marlin. Crap. One: how do we get this guy on board? Two: we don’t have enough space in our freezer for this big of a fish. We didn’t want to gaf him as that would severely injure or kill him but we did want our lure back!
Sucker swam under the boat, got the line caught on either our sail drive or prop and broke the line. Well, I guess that solves our two problems. I was riddled with guilt that the poor fish was stuck with our lure in his mouth. Matt assured me it would rust out within a week. We did not even get a decent photo of him.
Another beautiful sunset to end our day
Land a Ho:
For some reason, this passage seemed to drag for me. Maybe because it was back to back with the other 11-day passage or maybe because of the foul weather, but I struggled. It was a great relief to finally see the Gambiers on the radar, just before dawn.
The feeling of relief was quickly replaced with the feeling of dread as we entered the channel. It was blowing 35 knots, with choppy seas, and a 2kt current. We buried the bows at least 2’ in the water multiple times. Yikes! Reefs all around us made this a bit treacherous. However, we arrived with out any issues to an anchorage with white caps.
An anchorage is an anchorage and we were happy to drop 90 meters of chain in 18 meters of water! Done! Whoop Whoop!