AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/05/31 17:48
LATITUDE: 16-51.07S
LONGITUDE: 144-41.51W
MARINE: NO
WIND_SPEED: 17
WIND_DIR: 191T
CLOUDS: 40%
VISIBILITY: 15
BARO: 1015.2
AIR_TEMP: 28.9C
COMMENT: Beach House -Anchored – Tahanea Atoll – north of center pass

Sorry this got out a day late.
For those of you who knew my Aunt Barbara Kantro, she lost her year long battle with cancer yesterday and we send our condolences to all of our extended family.
She was a wonderful woman and we will all miss her very much. Barbara was the last of her generation in my immediate family and was the glue that held us together. I hope we’ll be able to continue to do so.

We had a nice night sail from Raroia (Kon Tiki Atoll) to the now un-inhabited atoll of Tahanea. The pass was easy to enter but then got very bouncy
as we came into the lagoon. “Blowin’ Bubbles” is with us here as well as now “Enchanter” and “Amarulla”. The rocket ship catamaran “Water Music” with Pascal and Tom were here yesterday and we all had a lovely evening together aboard “Beach House” with the “Bubbles” crew. Friends on “Swiftsure”, continued directly to Fakarava and we’ll meet up with them I’m sure tomorrow evening when we plan to arrive there.

Today, The Bubble’s crew and we will try a dive outside the pass at slack tide and tomorrow we will head to the magical atoll of Fakarava with good winds predicted for the approximately 7-8 hour sail. After that, we may have to hunker down for another couple of days awaiting some rain, squalls and “weather” again?

All is well except of course for our “boat bites” which we continue to manage. The steering, the engines and now the hydraulic boom vang. It further lends credence to to old adage, that “cruising a small sail boat is all about doing boat projects in exotic locations”….:-)

We are planning stops at Fakarava, Kauehi, perhaps back to North Fakarava and finally Anse Amyot at the East side of Toau. From there we will head to Tahiti
and effect repairs. That should be within about 2-3 weeks from now.

Happy Anniversary to my daughter Skye and son-in-law Sean on their first year of marriage which was yesterday. We’re looking forward to our big family reunion in Sydney this December.

KIT,
Scott and Nikki
Tahanea Atoll – The Tuamotu Islands

AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/05/23 20:52
LATITUDE: 16-04.26S
LONGITUDE: 142-22.04W
MARINE: NO
WIND_SPEED: 14
WIND_DIR: SE
CLOUDS: 50%
VISIBILITY: 15
BARO: 1015.7
AIR_TEMP: 31.1C
COMMENT: Beach House – ANCHORED – Raroia Atoll just south of Kon Tiki Motu, Tuamotu Islands…. (2 days 18 hours)

Nicely, the winds subsided last night down to 12-16 knots. We’d made enough south-ing to have a lovely just forward of the beam reach the last 125 miles.
We arrived just off Takume (the atoll north of here) around 5 a.m. local time. The full moon showed the low lying islets (motus) and Palm Trees.

This pass is a bit notorious and hopefully the most challenging we’ll see while in the Tuamotus. The slack times were reported to be 6:30 a.m. and around 1-1:30 p.m. Normally, if there are no standing waves (which there were not), we’d just power through any 6 knot current. However, our engines and steering are a bit of an issue at the moment, so extra caution was the order of the day. We didn’t push to hard which meant it took longer and we had a 4.5-4.9 knot current running against us. The atolls are essentially enclosed bodies of water that constantly are fed more water than they can hold over their SEastern reefs.
As such, the passes are always out flowing (especially if there is only one pass like this atoll) and when the tide is rising, it fights the out flow and actual standing waves can form. It looks like a surf site in static motion. Glad we didn’t see that here. I did 7 years ago at the largest atoll in the group – Rangiroa.

After we made a speed of only 1.5 knots over the bottom (our speedometer said 6.5 knots!), we negotiated the pass and the current then quickly abated. It took about 15 – 20 minutes to enter which is a long time.

We were hailed by s/v “Maluhia” and s/v “(I can’t remember). They’ve been here for many weeks. As the best protection is on the downwind side of the eastern shore, we motored across (about an hour) and are now anchored near Dave and Kim on “Malahia” (not too close…:-) in a gorgeous setting with lovely small palm tree encrusted islets. This is the classic look of the approximately 77 Tuamotu Atolls.

We’ve still got the steering issue and will always check it before entering and exiting the reef systems as well as the engine issues to sort out in Tahiti (where will be longer than we want to be).

For now, we hope that our friends who will be here tomorrow or the next day are getting an easier time of it than we had, it sounds like their big winds will be shorter in duration than ours. The classic “Maramu” set up was happening, but convergence zone seemed to jump way north and reform breaking up the pattern. Let’s hope it stays that way.

We’ll try and locate the monument soon to “Kon Tiki” (Thor Heyerdahl’s raft that floated here from South America in 1948) and take lots of photos.
We’ll update the regular Ship’s Blog – photos and all when we reach Tahiti.
For now, feel free to drop us a note and KIT!
Scott and Nikki

AIRMAIL YOTREPS
IDENT: N6ABC
TIME: 2016/05/22 23:24
LATITUDE: 14-43.71S
LONGITUDE: 140-46.50W
COURSE: 230T
SPEED: 6.9
MARINE: YES
WIND_SPEED: 19
WIND_DIR: SE
WAVE_HT: 0.3M
WAVE_PER: 4
SWELL_DIR: SSE
SWELL_HT: 1.7M
SWELL_PER: 6
CLOUDS: 80%
VISIBILITY: 10
BARO: 1013.6
AIR_TEMP: 30.6C
COMMENT: Beach House -En Route – Hiva Oa to Rairoa – Tuamotu Islands – Day 2 – 151 nm (122 nm to go) Should be early a.m. arrival.

Whew! Yesterday was light air on a beam reach with 10 knots of Easterly gentle trades. At 4 a.m. local time (why always after midnight?),
Nik woke me up for the first of what would be about 10 squalls in our neighborhood. We took in our headsail and put in a precautionary reef in the main sail. Only two got a piece of us and winds were no greater than just over 20 knots. We also benefited from the full moon and could pretty easily see them. The radar is a big help in determining whether the squalls will hit us or just graze by.

The squall line was quite discernible and we knew this was the harbinger of the south easterlies we would soon encounter. This is what’s known in Polynesia as a “Maramu”. Strong, high pressure winds out of the SE. Usually, these will last around a week. The good news is, this isn’t a whammer! At least not so far. Predictions are actually for it to lessen in about 24 hours, but remain South Easterly.

When we looked at the weather window, we knew we had to bank as much easting as possible, because once this wind hit, we’d be close reaching for Rairoa (which we are now!). At first, the seas were a washing machine and there was little wind for several hours. Once we were clearly on the south side of the squall lines, the winds came fast and the direction changed in an instant. We had 18-22 knots out of the SE and then SSE! which we really didn’t want. Fortunately, “Beac House” aka: Miss Piggy again with her speed, got us far enough south and we’re close reaching in 18-22 knots (wind about 65 deg apparent) with staysail and double reefed main. This is comfortable and we’re directly on heading for the entrance at Rairoa Atoll’s lagoon. We’re keeping a little extra south-ing in the bank in case the winds decide to go back to SSE. The twin Atolls will give us nice cover from the seas when we are about 6-8 miles away. This will be welcome.

There are several other boats behind us and hopefully they will encounter no more difficulties than we have so far. When we speak to them on the radio, though only 120 miles behind us, it’s like we’re in two different oceans regarding the weather.

Hopefully tomorrow, we’ll report successful entrance to the lagoon and anchorage around this time tomorrow.
KIT,
Scott and Nikki – yet again making fabulous meals under duress….:-)