Bora Bora to Penrhyn

In Voyages on 28/11/2010 at 21:49

Monday November 8th Penrhyn 8.59S 158.03W – At anchor!

We did it! The first real passage with the two of us! This afternoon at 14.00 we dropped the anchor in the lagoon of Penrhyn. The Basjako is at anchor next to us and we’ve been sharing war stories and wine this evening. We already met the officials on board and we are the 20th ship to visit Penrhyn this year. We also found out that everything we brought along for trading on all the islands that we’re gonna see is probably not enough. Apparently the supply ship for these remote islands has sunk on a reef somewhere around here and it will take another year before the next official supply ship comes around here. Luckily for the local population there is a ship arriving next Saturday from Hawaii with some provisioning. But for not it seems that our watermaker will be running overtime (drinking water comes solely from rain and it hasn’t rained much lately) and a lot of the powdered milk (thanks for the tip mom) will be destined for this very first remote island that we’re visiting.

Sunday November 7th 10.33S 157.00W

It’s another beautiful day on Helena. We’re making good progress and we still expect to arrive tomorrow on Penrhyn. We also got some nice news… Some friends of ours from the Basjako that we met with in the Marquesas, are also on their way to Penrhyn. They expect to arrive there tomorrow as well. Imagine, on this massive ocean, as far from the developed world as possible, and we run into the only other ship that we know of that also had similar plans as we do. Both on the same day after also many months of delays. We’re looking forward to meeting them again.

In the mean time Boukje has spent the last 3 days preparing for this morning’s breakfast… Croissants! They were fabulous! We also got properly into our day and night routines and that means that it’s almost bedtime for Boukje and just past lunchtime for me now.

Saturday November 6th 11.47S 155.35W

After some good winds all night and morning, we crossed the border of French Polynesia and Kiribati at 10.30 this morning. That means we went from 10.30 Saturday morning to 10.30 Sunday morning. Yes, we’ve lost a day. But don’t worry: somewhere tomorrow morning we’ll cross the border to the Cook Islands, and go from Monday to Sunday again. Confused yet? Well it all doesn’t really make any difference out here on the ocean what day it is anyway.

We’ve had some good winds today, so we are getting closer and closer to Penrhyn. Also some rain, but most of the rainstorm passed either in front or behind Helena. All that wine during the renaming ritual must have pleased the gods of the wind!

On board everything is nice and relaxed. Had a small problem with the autopilot, but Rolf fixed that just in time to keep it from becoming a big one. We’ve been watching some Doctor Who again, Boukje is trying to get smarter by reading “Short introduction to …”(starting from A, so far African history and American politics) and if everything goes well tomorrow we’ll have home made croissants (started from scratch last Friday evening).

Friday November 5th 13.45S 154.45W

The elements are gentle to us. The ocean has never been as calm and the wind is low, but just enough to keep us moving. We’re rocking very slowly and gently on the small waves and we’re refusing to start the engine in the many calms with less than 7 knots of wind. This means that we’re not making very much progress, but we don’t have to either. We’re rather enjoying this. The watch routine is starting to pay off. We’re both getting some good sleep which is also due to the calm seas and we’re not as tired as we had expected. We’ve spend some time relaxing and not doing much at all.

We just had our first ship by the way, the “Yuan Wang 6” heading for Papeete, so it seems that we’re not alone out here after all. We haven’t made contact, but they came by at a few miles away. We expect to arrive at Penrhyn on Monday if the weather stays light like this.

Thursday November 4th 15.10S 153.34W

It is a nice and relaxing day today. We are trying to get into our day-and-night rhythm and the weather is helping out a bit with a gentle ocean and a gentle wind. Today we even tried out something that we normally don’t do… sunbathing! On the stern deck! It was very good I can tell you and we were doing it for a full hour. Since we’re not really accustomed to sunbathing, we prepared very well with the highest sunblock so we ended up still being the same white bodied Dutchies.

The wind was coming straight from behind yesterday so to prevent the ship from rolling too much we altered our course west. Doesn’t really matter that this meant going in the wrong direction since we’re more comfortable and not in any kind of hurry to get anywhere at all.

Tonight we’ll try again with the same watch scheme. I’m staying up until as late as possible (last night until about 4.45) and Boukje tries to sleep as early as possible. That way we’re both trying to get as much sleep in one go as possible. This usually doesn’t work out that well on the first night, since you have to get used to the moving ship again, but tonight we’ve got our hopes up that we’ll both be able to get a proper night sleep.

So far no dolphins, whales or other stuff. An empty ocean and it seems that we’re all alone out here.

Wednesday November 3th 16.18S 151.56W

We’re finally on our way again!!! Yes, our real adventures have started even though it’s about 2 months over due… After all the repairs, sharks, birthdays, atolls and many more things we are now on our way to Penrhyn. With the two of us!!! :))

This afternoon we left Borabora behind us with a calm southerly wind and a relatively calm ocean. We are very happy to finally leave French territory! With all due respect for the French, there is something about them that is not always compatible with us. Maybe it’s just the language barrier, so we’re looking forward to having actual conversations again in English! Yes, most of the islands we’ll be visiting from now on are English speaking.


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