Another day in Paradise

In the silent stillness of dawn, I motored out of Bora Bora lagoon headed for Raiatea. The perfect reflections of the few other yachts shimmered in Next Chapter’s passing wake, then stilled once more on the glass like surface. I let the engine run slowly, reluctant to make noise. Slight pangs of regret pricked as I cleared the south-western reef marker, and that beautiful island started to fade to grey. It would have been so easy to spend a few weeks there…

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Papeete

A Brief Stay in Papeete There seems to be some negativity about Papeete within the cruising community, but I loved it. The town quay was almost empty, and by the second day Next Chapter had a pontoon all to herself. It was both novel and convenient to be alongside so close to the centre of town. The well-stocked Municipal Market was just a five-minute walk away, and along the way there were enough bars and cafes to keep any thirsty sailor happy.…

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Rolling down the trades, south of Nuku-Hiva…

As Nuku Hiva fades from view, the conditions are much as they were three weeks earlier when I limped in at the end of the passage from Panama. The sea is confused with an aggressive swell from the southeast, which punches the hull and rolls the eight-knot tailwind out of the sails every few seconds. A mug of tea just went flying. my last clean, dry towel caught most of it... At least this time I have a passage of just 760…

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Pacific Crossing

Tomorrow I leave mainland Panama and start the long trade-wind passage to the Marquesas, some 3500 nautical miles to the west. I changed head-sails today after reflecting on the passage from St Martin to Colombia. The sailing angle and wind strength were much the same as I will find on this next leg, that is, a broad reach, and I felt the need for the 150% genoa many times on that earlier leg. So, I removed and stored the yankee, which is now…

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