“SO LONG” MARQUESAS
May 25, 2015. “SO LONG” MARQUESAS
Due to the weather we had to postpone the original plan. At least we all had a good sleep which is useful before a long passage. The weather looked promising until we got out of the bay. Squalls after squalls packed with 35knt wind. Start questioning it either back to the harbour or ride it through and continue? The good old 15 minutes rule always applies.
As the island started fading behind us the blue sky appeared on the horizon. As we were heading south, Ua Pou’s majestic peaks and spirals showed in the distance and stayed in the sight for a while.
We were heading to the Tuamotu archipelago the group of 78 islands, two of them are coral atolls. The Tuamotus stretches in an arc more than 1000nm (1800km) long from South East to North West.
The first day and night sailing was unusually rough, specially for Jason who is first timer, but he slept day and night so his system slowly got adjusted. The weather called for strong wind and high sea. Unfortunately that was accurate at this time. Wind gusted up to 35knt. all day and night and the white caps became permanent seen on the horizon.
If we had left on the previous afternoon as we scheduled, we were there in two and a half days with this speed.
The currents are running strong between and the entrance of the motus (atolls), so timing the slack tide is essential for navigation to get inside of the motus safely. For that reason next day we had to slow the boat down to 7 knots to catch the morning slack tide.
Actually, the slower speed made the rest of the crossing more comfortable, even we got a small tuna on the hook.