We have left Fakarava and are now waiting on a weather window to sail to Hawaii. We had hoped to stop in the Marquesas one last time, but we've been delayed with some north winds and will most likely have to sail past the Marquesas as we sail back to the Northern Hemisphere. It would be easy to forget our former lives and stay here in paradise a little longer, but we do need to get to Hawaii before the hurricane season starts in the North Pacific. Those pesky hurricanes really hamper the cruising schedule. We thought we would be half way to the Marquesas by now, but instead we've moved to Taou, just 15 miles north west.
The South pass of Fakarava was a divers paradise and we thoroughly took advantage of it. From the South pass we re-transited the lagoon, stopping at the North pass just long enough to provision for 3-4 weeks; a week of waiting and up to three weeks at sea (although we are hoping it will be faster). While buying a banana stalk from a local family Ana looked down and noticed their yard was littered with black pearls. They literally had thousands of pearls strewn all over amongst the small rocks. We asked if we could buy a handful as souvenirs and the man sadly declined. Apparently they have a small pearl farm and any low quality pearls are supposed to be destroyed so they don't make it on the market. Tahiti is very strict with the pearl farms and they can lose their farm if they sell the low quality pearls. We bought pearls in Raroia, but we really wanted to buy souvenir quality pearls (lower end) in Fakarava and we just couldn't find any. So sad, we were actually trodding on the thing we so desperately wanted to find. The streets are not paved in Gold in Fakarava, but there are some that are paved in pearls.
From Fakarava we wanted to find a quiet atoll to wait and enjoy some last snorkeling, beach combing, beach bonfires, and lazy beach days. We moved to Taou. After the first day of snorkeling we quickly noticed the sharks were more aggressive on this atoll. They are still small reef sharks, but they bluff charge and have actually hit the kids while there were swimming. We are checking in daily on the Polynesian Magellan net and several other cruisers have noticed the same thing. We've changed anchorages once, and that seemed to help, but I don't think we will be doing much spear fishing here. Pity, we could actually use the fish now and save provisions for our time at sea. A dive ship came in the atoll yesterday so Mike and Zander were able to dive the outer wall (taking advantage of the low winds and calm ocean conditions) and get their tanks refilled by the dive boat. That was a luxury we were not expecting. We now have 4 full tanks and hopefully we will find a place to do one last dive before we leave. Otherwise we are enjoying the snorkeling from a bommie just 100 meters from the Pelagic.
We are currently sharing an anchorage with a solo sailor we met back in Nuka Hiva. He's young, loves free diving and spearing fish and the kids have had a good time hanging out with him on and off the last month. While we were at the South Pass Mike and Zander were doing a night dive under the boat when Josh swam over from his boat, dove down and tapped Z on the shoulder. I think Zander almost crawled out of his skin. We haven't met many other boats with kids in Polynesia, but we have met plenty of lovely adults that go out of their way to invite the kids to do things or include them in activities. It is going to be hard to quit this life!
While we wait the winds are almost non existent here in the Tuamotus, the north winds we are avoiding are a day or two north of us and it is blissfully calm here. There isn't a ripple on the water and while it may not be good for sailing, it is fantastic for lounging and swimming. We'll take advantage of our delay and soak up as much of the south pacific as we can and hopefully be ready to leave when the winds pick up again. We need those predominant winds to return to point us home.
The following pages chronicle the journey of the sailing vessel Pelagic and her crew. We are a family of 5; Michael, Amy, Zander, Porter and Anakena, taking our 42' Hallberg Rassy as far as we can comfortably go in three years. We left Oregon in September 2014, participated in the 2014 Baja Haha, continued on through the Panama Canal, into the Caribbean, up the coast of the US to Maritime Canada and from there crossed the Atlantic. After an arrival in Ireland we toured Scotland, then sailed down to France, Portugal and on to Morocco. In January of 2016 we slowed down considerably and enrolled the kids in a local Spanish school in Sanlucar de Guadiana for a few months. In the spring of 2016 we crossed the Atlantic towards the Caribbean. We are now in the Pacific, officially on our way home, albeit via a very circuitous path. We are currently in French Polynesia and looking at weather windows to Hawaii before finally making landfall back in the Pacific Northwest.
Currently our exact location is not available. Our spot coverage will pick us back up in Hawaii towards the end of May, 2017.
Our favorite sailing quote:
"If anythings gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there boss!" Captain Ron