We originally started our passage from Tikehau with the hopes of making it all the way to Gambiers. However, if you read “A Journey: Tuamotus to Gambiers Part I” you will see that we were thwarted and had to stop in Amanu for 10 days to wait for more favorable weather. This blog post will be the second and final part to the Tuamotus to Gambiers passage.
Continuing our Journey to Gambiers
Matt and I left the South East anchorage at Amanu around 0930 on a Monday morning. We needed to cross the Amanu lagoon, head out the pass, and travel down the atoll which added 16nm to our 450nm passage. As we approached the pass to exit the lagoon, we noticed we had a 2kt outgoing current. It turned out to be no problem for us as we exited.
The weather routing gave us four routes. All of which had us turning left out of the pass and going between Amanu and Hao as it was the shortest distance. However, that was a huge mistake. We should have turned right, motored the extra 8-9nm and rounded the NE side of Amanu. It would have given us a much better wind angle and prevented the horrible washing machine effect.
As we rounded Amanu, we encountered 3-meter waves coming from every direction. It was a mess. The waves were trapped between the two atolls creating a really uncomfortable start to our passage. It lasted the entire length of Hao which is 33+nm long! Rotten way to start the trip. Especially because I never recovered from that moment forward. I stayed in a state of sea sickness the entire trip. Not my worst trip, but certainly not my best.
The first day we tried to make as much easting as possible. We were pinching (heading as close to the wind as possible) which forced us to constantly trim the sails to keep them full. Sunset on first night.
First 24 Hours
- 134nm Miles travelled over all
- 337nm Distance to destination
- 7 Max Speed
- 6 Average Speed
Beautiful sunrise on day 2
On day two, we had calmer seas. They dropped from 3-meters to 2-meters and were primarily on our forward quarter panel. Still a bumpy, crazy ride. Our course for the first 1.5 days was about 140-150T with an average of 12-18kts of wind from North of East. We had to adjust course to avoid hitting a small atoll called “Tureia” in the middle of the night. We had lots and lots of beautiful stars as the moon did not rise until 0100.
- 290nm Miles travelled over all
- 156nm Travelled in the last 24-hour period
- 181nm Distance to destination
- 4 Max Speed
- 2 Average Speed
We were waiting on a wind shift to make our actual heading to the Gambiers. Finally, during the 2nd night it started to shift a bit after Matt dwelt with 2 big squalls. We finally had a course of 120T with winds at about 15-18kts from NE and 1.5-meter seas. Our cross track was at +47 and we needed to widdle that down. Happy to be heading directly to Gambiers with decent winds and smaller seas.
Matt took this really cool photo of the moon and sky as the sun was trying to rise. If you zoom in you can see we are making 8kts of boat speed in 16kts of wind. Pretty impressive.
- 466nm Miles travelled over all
- 176nm Travelled in the last 24-hour period
- 6nm Distance to destination
- 6 Max Speed
- 6 Average Speed
We entered the Gambiers pass with a reefed main and jib. Normally we would take our sails down, but the wind was coming from the right direction and just pulled us nicely into the pass with no problems. All in all, it was a decent trip. We were able to sail the entire passage without the use of the motors (yea, save money on diesel). Had it not been for the horrible beginning I probably would have felt better the rest of the trip. But, what can you do?
Final Passage Details
- 73 hours travelled for entire passage – anchor to anchor
- 481nm Miles travelled over all
- 10.6 Max Speed
- 6.6 Average Speed
Arriving at the Gambiers pass
Did you read “A Journey: Tuamotus to Gambiers Part I“? Find out why we stopped and had to continue our journey 10 days later.
Events from this journey occurred around the 2nd week of December, 2020. Our blog posts run 8 weeks behind our adventures.