Completed Passage to Marquesas

We completed our 3000 mile passage safely from the Galapagos to the French Marquesas on May 10th in just over 16 days. A very respectable time – especially considering we had a very challenging weather pattern that produced unusually light winds on our route. We carefully routed ourselves to where winds were going to be slightly stronger. During the last several days we managed between 15 and 20 knots of wind and had several 200+ mile days!

I’ve finally uploaded a number of photos from the passage (the Internet connection is VERY slow and expensive here). Some photos have been added to earlier posts to provide some visual context. There are lots of photos of sunsets, sunrises, fish we caught, shots of the crew, our sail repair job, the bananas, and more. Check out the photos here (note, I haven’t geotagged them yet – but, view the full-sized version):

View full-sized with descriptions

You can see our GPS track of the entire trip here:

View Tahina’s Passage to Marquesas in a larger map

On our final day of approach to Hiva Oa, we were flying our spinnaker. It was a beautiful day and we were all enjoying the shade of the sail on Tahina’s deck in the afternoon sun as we glided along the beautiful island. The experience of excitement as you approach land after more than two weeks at sea is hard to describe. The prospect of exploring new places, meeting other people (including other sailors who also just completed the passage), and – even more enticing – getting fresh fruits and vegatables; it’s really almost overwhelming!

The small anchorage near Atuono is protected by a break-wall. But, there is still a strong sea surge in the area. These factors require you to also use a stern anchor in order to keep you from swinging in too many directions. It took us several tries to get our anchors set just right, but we finally were sitting fine. We opened up a bottle of champagne to celebrate our arrival!

We soon went ashore to step on land for the first time. The land feels very odd under your feet after 2 weeks at sea. It doesn’t “move” right! But, it didn’t take us long to adapt. We met some other sailors ashore and were asked about our passage. Everyone was impressed with our 16 day passage. Most of the boats in the anchorage are mono-hulls which typically have a slower top speed than Tahina – a catamaran. We also met a local who had just finished paddling out at sea in a beautiful fiberglass outrigger kayak. He was giving us some tips on Hiva Oa in broken english and with our smattering of french.

The next day, we got up early and walked into town to get cleared in with customs. We then went to the bank to get some local currency. We got some fresh fruit and vegetables, some fantastic fresh french bread, and some much-needed cold drinks.

Later posts will describe our visit our sightseeing in the Marquesas. For now, enjoy the new photos and the GPS track above.

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6 Responses to Completed Passage to Marquesas

  1. Carol Royer says:

    Congratulations on your safe passage! Love the blogs and the photos – I’m living vicariously! -Carol

  2. EricandSuzy1 says:

    Congrats guys! Long haul. Bet the terra firma is a welcome feeling!

  3. Stuart Taylor says:

    First of all – Congratulations on your successful long, and safe passage! You did make excellent time! I remember those times of sighting and stepping onto land after being on missions out of sight of land for over thirty days. It is indeed an exciting event. The terrain looks like Hawaii. Enjoy!

  4. Fred Burke says:

    It’s great to see the photos of you guys. We’re glad you made it safely, and in good time. I’m sure that you, Karen, Laura and Jason are coming away from it with memories that will last a life time. Congrats!!!! The mountains of Hiva Oa look interesting. The two shots I liked the most were the picture out of the portal – the colors were very rich, and you opening the champagne with Hiva Oa in the background. Wish I was there to share it with you.
    Take care,

  5. nanag says:

    Thank goodness you made it with so little problems. I loved the picture of the sunset reflecting in the window of Tahina!

  6. Joshua Wilson says:

    How long are you going to stay on Hiva Oa? Where to next?.
    Im glad you guys made it in one piece.

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