Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Irie in French Polynesia!

Time: 2030UTC, COG Drinking Beer and Wine, SOG As quickly as possible, Distance
Remaining: 0nm

Irie, Mark and I arrived safely in Rikitea, Gambier Islands today, after
exactly 21 days at sea. It was a rough and mostly unpleasant passage that
was finished "appropriately". After two uncomfortable days dealing with a
low pressure system, we arrived at 6:00 this morning near the Gambier
archipelago, where squalls brought over 30 knots of wind on the nose, and
more rain. It took us a while to motor all the way into the channel and
towards the comfortable anchorage against wind and seas. As if we did not
bounce and slam enough the last three weeks…

Once in the anchorage, we were surprised by cheers, ringing bells, fog horns
and waves from other cruisers who made it here over the last few weeks. Our
friends from SV Pitufa quickly came by to say "hello" and handed us a basket
full of local produce and a fresh baguette! Very nice of them and most of
the bread has already found its way into our bellies! Basically everybody
had a terrible trip, from gales, to serious damage, to crappy weather and
sea conditions, to long periods of being becalmed, to one single hander
(man) drowning. His boat is still drifting out at sea. Scary!

As I mentioned before, this was not a fun trip and I would recommend every
cruiser thinking about sailing west to French Polynesia to go to the
Marquesas instead. It is the most popular route for a reason. Not much has
been written about this subject (we would have loved to read some
negative/objective experiences about it to help us make the decision), so
please beware of undertaking a sail trip to the Gambier Islands, especially in a catamaran. The weather
is crap and the banging and bouncing incessant!

Now, it is time for a well-deserved nap and then… cocktail time; our first
drink in three weeks!! Santé! :)


s/vMowzer said...

Congratulations to both of you! The destination will be all the sweeter knowing how difficult it was to get to.

I have read your blog for a long time but for the past three weeks have been anxiously awaiting your daily updates to know you were safe. Thanks for sharing and for your truly candid reports on the conditions. Enjoy your time in The Gambiers.

Stefan Decuypere said...

Proficiat Irie,
ik heb jullie zien afzien in mijn gedachten. Blij voor jullie dat je er bent. Is het weer naar de Gambiers altijd slecht deze tijd van het jaar?
Mvg Stefaan

Liesbet said...

Hello crew of Mowzer,

Thank you so much for mentally steering us through a safe passage and following our watery ordeals. We were very happy to have arrived in the Gambier islands, and once the cloud cover and rain disappeared, some beautiful scenery appeared! I am sure we will enjoy it here. We are slowly getting used to being at anchor - no more bouncing around! - and a leisurely pace of life again.

Liesbet said...

Ahoy Stefan,
Bedankt!Het was inderdaad een beetje afzien en blijkbaar voor iedereen die deze trip maakte, zelfs voor de monohulls. Ongeveer de helft van de boten die op weg naar de Gambiers zijn, geven op en draaien al snel "rechtsaf" naar de Marquesas. De Gambier eilanden liggen ver genoeg naar het zuiden, dat er regelmatig - om de tien dagen of zo - weerssystemen (fronten) passeren en die brengen veel wind en regen met zich mee. En blijkbaar koud weer voor enkele dagen erna! De koelere temperatuur (20 graden) is wel een aangename afwisseling na jaren in de tropen te vertoeven. Groetjes.

Anonymous said...

Geluk met die prestasie aan beide van julle en dankie vir n insiggewende blog. Geniet die kalm weer nou dat julle daar is

Liesbet said...

Dank u, Frikkie! Ben jij nog steeds in Grenada met Desire?

Liesbet en Mark