Airlie Beach to Darwin

Peach sailed out from Arlie Beach, on the 3 of July, destination Darwin approx. 1 500 nm. Finally we had a working AIS which we purchased online and had delivered to Airlie Beach.

We had heard that Cairns was the last port for supplies for further sailing north and we arrived there on the 9 of July. On our way to Cairns we anchored a few nights in some beautiful spots and did night sailing as well when we wished to move on to Darwin to get to Indonesia well before the Northwest monsoon.

We stayed in Cairns for a few days, only to make sure that we had all we needed such as fuel, water and food.
From Cairns we decided to sail during day time and dropped anchor at Double Island, Low Islets, Hope Islands, Cape Flattery, Howick Island, Bathurst Bay, Stanley Island part of Flinder’s Group, Morris island, Night Island where we saw our first Crocodile, Portland Road, Margaret Bay and the long journey to Escape River where we met John and Andrea on Bojangles and Tony on Janner 2 properly. A few crocks in the river! We sailed together towards Albany passage in where we made 3-4 kn extra. After the passage we split up and Peach went straight to Horn Island in the middle of Torres Strait, anchored and stayed a few days looking at the crocks on the beach a stone-throw from Peach. Guess if we took a swim? We were also in need for supplies which we took care of.

The trip up the Australian coast along the Great Barrier Reef was actually a disappointment when the visibility never went beyond 2 meters and the water colour was yellowish and no swimming due to crocs everywhere. We are however certain that the water quality was better closer to the outer islands. In the picture below the water is clear which did not happen that often. The picture is taken of Noble Island on our way towards Stanley Island.

From Horn Island it was time to cross the Arafura Sea towards Wessel Islands, a passage of approx. 350 miles. We started early in the morning hoping the tidal current would give some help. It did not for a couple of hours but then we has good speed. We had planned to stay over-night at Red Island but were forced to sail a little bit south of the island due to tricky winds. On our way we sailed between Prince of Wales Island and Zuna Island where we reach 10 kn at the most. A spectacular ride with the current.

Interesting design

We took of towards Wessel Island having 18-20 knots which changed after a couple of miles to 26-28 kn due to a lot of winds under some heavy rain clouds. During our crossing we had 2-4 m waves and a lot of wind, thank god from behind, and it took 3 days to do the crossing. Approaching Wessel Island we passed south of Bromby Islet and after that we had really calm winds which was a relief after those 3 days at sea. We went down the Malay Road to Astelle Island where we dropped anchor. Moved the next day up the Brown Strait to Guruliya Bay, the last anchorage before took on the last crossing of Arafura Bay to South Goulburn Island. The crossing took around 2 days.

Short Video from our crossing of Arafur Sea between Horn Island and Wessel Islands

Again it was nice with some rest even if this crossing was not as bad as the former, only 22 kn as most. We had decided upon a specific anchorage before we planned to do the last leg to Darwin when it became really important to calculate tidal streams and take off at the optional time to get the current with us all the way down to Darwin. Anyway, after South Goulburn we stayed one night at Valentia Island and had a rolling night, continued up the Bowen Strait to Black Point, anchored and finally reached Alcaro Bay where we also anchored and did some calculations. Took off at 4 pm the next day and had a smooth journey to Darwin and approached Cullen Bay Marina at 10 am on 11 August.  

Life in Cullen Bay Marina

We had some hope to stay in Cullen Bay 2 weeks at the most. Unfortunately this was not to be when the Indonesian border closed due to too many Covid cases. We were stuck in Australia! However, the Marina was safe and nice but we were under-stimulated just waiting for the visa process to Indonesia to start.

Instead we did maintenance on Peach and prepared for the forthcoming sailing. We are awaiting news in regards to the visa-process everyday….

50-year anniversary in a restaurant in Cullen Bay

Luckily other sailing vessels were here and in the same situation as we and we exchange information on a daily basis and did our best to inspire each other to work on. For all of us it has been many days to reach Darwin and at the same time we all want to leave for Indonesia. It turned out to be 6 weeks before the visa processing could start through our agent/sponsor based in Indonesia. The rainy season got closer and closer and the humidity became annoying. Anyway, the visa process had started and we calculated to be on our way after 7-10 days.

About Covid-19

Australia have had lock-downs at different hot spots and one lock-down in Darwin, for three days, since we arrived. At that time we managed to do some errands at a hard ware store and had 20 minutes to end what we were doing before the hard ware store closed. We got a lift by a private person back to the marina when no taxis were available. We are very grateful to Rachel, the nurse, who helped us that day. During our sailing from Arlie Beach to Darwin we passed the boarder to the Northern Territory from Queensland and before entering we had to fill in a form and pre-announce our arrival. No big deal if it was not for the fact that there is hardly no internet-connection along the coast. Good planning is absolutely necessary.

Next leg is Darwin to Kupang, Indonesia.

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Northbound from Boat Works, Coomera River

We left the quarantine Hotel in a good mood, looking forward getting to Peach which had been moved to the Boat Works work area from her hardstand experience for more than a year. It was a nice feeling being onboard again although still on land…

Finally on Peach we faced a lot of work to be done. Cleaning, antifouling, change of injectors, batteries and of course a “boatload…” of other small issues that needed to be fixed plus installing a brand new windlass. Finally we were able to anchor with a smile. We worked really hard for two weeks and at last she looked that she was ready for the sea again. We were of course wrong but did not fully understand that at the time. We were lucky to get in contact with Joe who does all kinds of work on boats in the area.

Joe took care of the antifouling and polished Peach to the extent sunglasses were needed to look at her and all to a decent cost. If you are in the area with needs just give him a ring on 0431104372.

When in the water again we anchored in the Coomera River a couple of days just to be sure she behaved properly and had no problems staying afloat. Our plan was to sail nonstop to Airlie Beach, approx. 600 nm up the coast. The AIS was not yet 100% reliable and a warning message turned up on the plotter display every 5th second but we were receiving and others had said that we also transmitted our position despite the noisy messages. We actually felt the need for a therapist after a couple of days. Our plan was to fix the problem in Airlie Beach.

We set sail and left Southport during the afternoon a Monday with a wind of 18 knots from southeast. A good sailing during the night up north. After about 24 hours we decided to anchor and picked Tin Cap Bay/Pelican Bay, south of Frazer Island, as the spot. At that moment we had no wind and sunshine. To get to the bay we had to pass a large sandbank and all looked great and “no worries” as they say here. Unfortunately the wind increased to 20 knots under our approach and there was no escape. Immediately huge breaking waves came from behind and from nowhere. We managed two slide through 2 big one’s but we didn´t escape the third one. It came down over Peach and us. We probable got a couple of busloads of water in the cockpit, and over us and with one hatch open we managed to get seawater in the galley and on the cabin sole. We estimated at least 30 cm of seawater in the cockpit which luckily disappeared quickly through the self-bailers. We spent a day in pelican Bay, not directly relaxing, but instead taking care of the effects from the breaking wave. Since the major reason for going into the Bay was to try to fix the AIS which was unsuccessful, the adventure could have been avoided…

For leaving Pelican Bay there are two options. To go west of Frazier Island, through Sandy Strait, or to go on the outside which was much longer but perhaps safer due to the strong tidal current and the sandbanks on the west side of the Island. We were wrong! We started at 06.00 am, went for the outside of the Island and all was great until we barely had passed the Island and the long reef north of the Island when the wind picked up and the night came upon us. It was pitch black and the squalls started to arrive, one after another which resulted in headwind, heavy rain and 24-28 knots for the rest of the night. Our Bimini turned into trash and our autopilot gave up. Two 8 mm bolts holding the stainless plate for the pilot, attached to the quadrant, had cracked and the only remaining option was to hand steer, accept a helping hand from the engine and turn west for the mainland. Unfortunately we had 50 nm to go. After a long time and a lot of hard work for the two of us we reached Bustard bay at 02.00 am the following night and could finally rest. The expected normal passage around Frazier Island became a terrible event in total lasting for about 36 hours. Later we became aware of that the Marine Rescue as well as the coast guard had tried to contact us to check if we were ok. The problem was that they tried our mobile phone which of course did not have coverage that far out. Anyway, we contacted the Authorities and let them know all was ok and thanked them for keeping an eye on us. It is a safe feeling to have Marine Rescue as well as the Coast Guard looking out for Mariners and prepared to give a helping hand if necessary. We also got the tip from visiting Border Police at Gladstone Marina to change the mobile provider from Vodafone to Testra which has better coverage further north.

After Bustard Bay we had a lazy sailing for 20 nm to Pancake Creek where we dropped anchor and had a lovely evening. We also noticed that the weather had improved. A little warmer and, at least what people said, calmer winds the further up north we come. True indeed! We sailed on to Gladstone after Pancake Creek which was only 25 nm. Finally in Gladstone Marina it was time to repair the autopilot, check on the water-maker, do some laundry, repair the Bimini, take care of a leakage at the rudder seal and of course remove all traces of seawater in Peach.

In Gladstone we came realized that
Australia has a wildlife that differs from back home. For the first time on the continent we faced the danger with crocodiles and actually came upon thousands of flying foxes resting in the trees just where the Marina was.

We still had 280 nm to go before we berth in Airlie Beach.

From Gladstone after everything, well, except for the AIS, has been repaired we set sail for Airlie Beach again. We took the long way up the North Channel and went around Curtis Island. No drama this time and we soon had to lower the sails and turn on the engine. No wind at all. We moved on through the night, passed Keppler Islands and Mackay to finally anchor south of Whitsunday Islands at Shaw Island at 2 pm and had a nice afternoon and evening. The day after we took on the remaining 20 nm to Airlie Beach where we currently have a berth at Coral Sea Marina. We plan to stay here a week or two before we move on to Cairns and true tropical weather.

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Quarantined in Australia

27th of April – 29th of April

At last we have arrived in Australia despite the covid-19 and the fact that the Australian border still is closed. The trick was to apply for an exemption which was granted. We got back to Australia with a delay of one year and one month. We have also applied for an exemption from the quarantine but that request was unfortunately not granted so……

…….currently we are quarantined for 14 days at Crowne Plaza close to where we have Peach, approx. 30 kilometers from the Boat works Marina. When arriving at the Airport we knew that we would be quarantined but we had no information on what kind of living we would face, a room or an apartment or whatever. Nor did we know the location. Circumstances around the quarantine were also uncertain about food, beverages, costs, smoking etc. Information of the cost was given to us after check-in set by the responsible Authority. Anyway, the conditions for our quarantine turned out to be a large room with shower as well as bathtub and a lovely balcony.

A colourful bird,
Rainbow Lorikee,
payed us a visit
on the balcony

View from the balcony at Hotel Crowne Plaza, Southport

We settled and arranged for the quarantine with anti-smoking lozenges and patches, loads of instant coffee, and a hired exercise bike, cutlery/flatware and a good spirit. Be sure that we will comply with every quarantine regulation including total isolation in our room, facemask when receiving food/other items delivered outside the door as well as when relaxing on the balcony. After our release on the 11th of May life starts again……

10th of May

One day and night left of the quarantine……

We are in good health, “sweep-tests” have been taken on two occasions which proved that we are not effected by covid-19 that is, all tests showed negative results. If one doesn´t comply with doing the tests you just have to stay in quarantine for 14 more days, not an option for us be so sure……

Every other day representatives from the Queensland Government/Health Authority phoned us to make sure that we are well. We have also had calls about information of quarantine payment, about documents to be sign at check-out, preparation for our release and procedures at check-out. We´ve learned that we will be escorted by the Police from our room via the Hotel reception and then to wait outside for transport. By the way, the Hotel staff has been very effective and helpful in different ways and really tried to make our staying as pleasant as possible under the circumstances, we salute them.

The food, (which we pay for without being able to specify what we wish to have, and regardless if we eat it) including water, soft drinks, fruit juice, fruit such as apples, oranges or pears, tropical fruit salads, vegetables, snacks such as potato chips and cookies, is served three times a day within a fixed time frame. At breakfast we have been served yoghurt and cereals as well as egg and bacon, well at least eggs in one way or another. Yesterday we were served a hamburger for lunch and the day before that, the dinner was steak with mashed potatoes. We believe a dietician has put everything together to make sure that we stay healthy during the quarantine. We have in addition asked for ketchup and spicy sauce and with that the food was ok. Most of the time even better than ok. Perhaps this was too much information about the food but many of you have asked particularly about that.

Our accommodation also includes free wifi, free laundry service and assistance with deliveries from different shops such as the exercise bike, some technical equipment, food for our first days at the Boat Works. We did also receive free sim-cards from Vodafone complementary by the Hotel (or the Queensland Government?) Karin is working hard as you can see from the picture

By the way, we now have found out that we have to pay 3 710 AUD for the two weeks that we both have been quarantined in room 812. That is approx. 2 400 EURO, for two persons in one room.

To sum it all up, the first five days we adapted to the situation and struggled a bit with jet lag. We finally could relax after working hard in relation to our departure from Sweden and the nervousness when it came to the mandatory PCR-tests. Surprisingly the time for how long the test has to be valid changed from 72 hours to 24 hours four days before departure from Arlanda due to fresh requirements for entering into Denmark, even if that was only transfer. We also re-packed our luggage, adjusted for storage in Peach.

The second period of five days we became organized and did a lot of preparations prior to get onboard Peach as well as to adjust to the sun and to exercise. Preparations included purchase of new batteries, spare parts to the water maker and a few other things. All delivered to the marina office at Boat Works. We read books and did crosswords, TV was no option except for the news. The channels offered was to say at least lousy. A couple of hours per day we made plans for our sailing, checking up sea charts, weather channels, Governmental restrictions etc. There is also information about the conditions due to the Covid-19 in South East Asia which we take interest in, these conditions are crucial once we reach Thursday Islands or Darwin before we set sail towards Indonesia.

The last couple of days we have felt impatience as well as anticipation. We look very much forward to live boat life again even if the covid-19 as such distress us a bit. We have to accept the circumstances even if it means new obstacles as well as higher costs than we have anticipated. But one thing at a time. There are several options for our continuous sailing and at one point we will have to decide about all of that, but now, we just have to make Peach ready for sailing again.

Fair Winds, Göran and Karin, very soon onboard on Peach

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Tahiti to Vanuatu

French Polynesia


After some well-earned rest in Papetee marina it was time to move on, again. Tahiti and Papetee was a pleasant stay with friendly people. The city offered everything we needed as well as for Peach. Basically only one problem. We had decided to get new antifouling and to let the wharf in Papetee do the work. Unfortunately we had to turn their offer down when they asked for 5 000 US to do this rather simple work on our 38 feet yacht. A horrible price according to us. Thankfully it was very little growth on the hull west of Tahiti, compared to the situation in the Caribbean waters and around Panama and Galapagos. We decided to wait until absolutely necessary. The air compressor we purchased in Las Palmas make it simple for us to clean the hull temporarily when needed.
In the marina we met many fellow sailors and had a nice time spending time with all of them. In particular we spent quality time with Rasmus on Dies Natalie.
When it was time to leave we got our self the necessary inter-cruising permit and took off for Moorea, a stone throw from Tahiti as the first stop on our way west.


A nice island with a spectacular view. There are two bays on the north side which give good shelter, Baie de Cook and Baie de D’Opunohu. We stayed in the Cook bay for a couple of days at anchor on 25 meter. Being that far out, we were practically alone when most of the neighboring yachts anchored in more shallow water. Although the island was pretty and the surroundings spectacular we did not feel that we wanted to stay more than a few days. Maybe because we had Bora Bora to much in our minds when that island was our current focus. We had also read about thefts on yachts when the crew was not on board.

Huahini Hui

We left Moorea late in the afternoon for a night sailing to Bora Bora
via some neighboring islands on the way. We arrived to Huahihi Hui early in the morning and sailed through the reef passage, Passe Avapehi, which was simple enough. The west side of the island offered several good and sheltered places to stay. We decided to go to the big bay, Potr Bourayne, where we anchored in the southwest corner at 20 meters. We stayed several days when we felt at peace in the bay. We were only two yachts in the corner with enough distance between us. The water was crystal clear and no disturbing wind at all. It was a really quiet place. We recommend a visit to the island if you are sailing in the neighborhood. We felt both safe and secure on the island.

Ile Tahaa

Our next stop was only 22 miles away towards Bora Bora. We decided to visit Tahaa after we had studied the sea chart closely. Several nice anchorages were indicated. We entered the island through Passe Toahotu on the east side of the island. The passage was well marked while it was no problem to sail through and continue to sail on the inside of the reef further north. We had decided to drop anchor at Coral Garden, a small resort on the west side. We did that and this place turned out to be one of the nicest anchorages so far. We stayed for many days and relaxed, inflated and used our kayak and did a lot of snorkeling among beautiful coral fish.

Bora Bora

After Tahaa it was finally time for Bora Bora. Many says it is the
most specular island in the Pacific. Maybe they are correct. It was spectacular but to tell you the truth (our truth) we have seen other islands as spectacular as this one. Anyway, it felt good to be here at last. We took a mooring buoy north of the town center although other places around the island might have been more scenic. Unfortunately many anchorage areas have been occupied by mooring buoys and anchoring has been somewhat restricted, probably due to a lot of visiting yachts.

While we were there, a kajak race was going on. Fascinating to see all these people in their kajaks struggling against the tide. On our trip around the islands we had seen that kajaking and racing is very popular.

It was ok to be close to the town when it was easy to take the dinghy to shore and get the supplies we needed after so many days of anchoring without access to food shops or vegetable markets. Even if we were in the vicinity of the town the water was clear and we had a good time bathing and swimming. Unfortunately it started to rain after a couple of days and it kept on raining for almost a week. It might had have something to do with the huge mountain close to us. Still, we enjoyed our stay! That the island is popular was clearly noted from all the big cruising ships arriving and staying for a few days. All these people on board were ferried to shore and probably directed to the tourist shops in the town. We saw many shops selling beautiful black pearls and of course other beautiful items typical for the Pacific area.
After more than a week it was time to leave. We were getting tired of the rain, we had all the supplies we needed and we had filled our diesel tanks with tax free fuel which was possible in French Polynesia in conjunction with clearing out of the country.

Cook Islands

The plan was to sail to Suwarrow, one of the most northern islands of the Cook Islands, a distance of more than 600 miles. After a visit and a few days rest on the island our plan was to continue to Samoa Islands. This would require good wind most of the journey especially when no fuel could be purchased on Suwarrow and we would still be having more than 400 miles to Samoa Islands. It turned out that we had no wind at all despite the wind in the weather report. We needed to use the engine for about 300 miles until we noted that reaching the island only by engine was not possible and no wind were predicted for several days. Instead we had to change our minds and turn towards an island we could reach with the use of our engine.

Change of destination

We settled for Aitutaki further south at a distance of 300 more miles from our position. Still no wind which was the case more or less all the way. After arrival we planned to anchor outside the village on the west side of the island. It did not look inviting when it was no beach but lots of coral reefs and rocks. We tried to hail the customs but did not get any replay. The narrow channel into the village had a depth of maximum 1.90 m which we considered to shallow and the small area just outside the village had only room for a few, small yachts according to the pilot we used. What to do? Well, we simply took of and did a night sailing, first motoring and then sailing, to the main Island Rarotonga, another 125 miles south of Aitutaki. As it turned out, we ended up 500 miles south of our planned destination!


Although it was not planned but still nice to be here. The town, Avatiu, was on the north side which was good when the wind finally arrived. We hailed the Authorities before and after we have entered the tiny harbour but did not get any answer. We knew we were not allowed to go on shore why we tied us to a big cat anchored in the middle of the harbor. It was not space enough for two yachts at anchor in the tiny harbor. We learned later that the day we arrived was a public holiday and no one was working. Anyway, the day after we got in contact with the Port Captain who notified the Authorities to come on board to carry out the clearance into Rarotonga. They were very friendly and the matter was carried out quickly and we could remove the Q-flag.

We were told to stay at the dock/pier, Mediterranean style, with our stern towards the dock which was made of stone and huge. We used our CQR-bow anchor to keep a distance. We had a space of 3-4 meters from the dock not to bump into it when the tide was strong. We were lucky that the wind was weak during our first days when the basin was open towards the sea and with strong wind from north it was recommended to leave the harbor. Well, the strong wind arrived a few days later but we stayed and with assistance from port staff we could drop our log anchor, which we call our cyclone anchor. With the help of that anchor we were perfectly safe although it was bumpy. A neighboring yacht actually smashed into the dock with a damaged stern as a result.

If you go there, be aware of that no electricity or water is provided.

The stay was nice enough, despite the bumpy water, with friendly people. We actually came into contact with a Swede who had been on the island for more than 30 years, taking care of his business, a printing company, he took us around the island in his car and we had a great time.

It was clear that we were on a very south parallel when it was chilly during the evenings. A peculiar thing to say by two Swedes accustomed to colder weather. We had got used to really hot weather and we were eager to turn north towards Fiji perhaps via Tonga. We bring good memories from Rarotonga but hope that the Port Authorities put some money in developing the harbor suitable also for small crafts.


The distance from Rarotonga to Fiji was 1 200 miles, to Tonga approx. 800 miles and to Niue around 600 miles. We had planned to stop at both Niue and Tonga on our way but the sailing was so good that we decided just to move on. Mostly the wind was around 20-24 knots which was perfect. South of Niue and northwest of Tonga we faced 30 knots for about 30 hours in total but with proper amount of sail, Peach behaved nicely and it was just to let go and let her do the work she is built for.

We sailed together with another yacht up to Niue but that sailing yacht got problems with the autopilot why we came apart 12 hours from the island. We did however help out by sending e-mails via our SSB to a friend of the vessel in order to speed up the shipment of spare parts to Niue. We later came together in Savusavu, Fiji, for a short while before we left for Vanuatu.

We arrived to Vanua Levu, Savusavu, after 10 days at sea. Being so many days at sea we always find the routine for sleep and watch-keeping. It works very well.

In Savusavu we were docked at Copra Shed Marina which was a great place to be. We actually arrived only three hours before the time we had said in the pre-notification we provided Fiji customs with from Rarotonga via mail. Not bad after a journey of 1 200 miles. Nice people, lovely environment and decent prices in the marina as well as in the restaurants close by. As Europeans it is also nice to get 240 V and 50 Hz. The water was drinkable although we used a carbon filter before letting the water in to our tank. This for getting rid of chlorine. We use tank water to flush the water-maker and the membrane does not go well with chlorine.

Speaking of membrane we discovered that the oil in our compass was escaping due to a crack in that membrane. To get a new membrane was not possible why we has removed the large cockpit-compass and store it upside down until we can get a new membrane.
We took a “vacation” flight to Suva, the capital of Fiji and spent a few days there looking into some chandleries searching for boat stuff. It turned out we did not need anything, except for the compass membrane which we knew we could not get in the city. Well, we bought the carbon filter including the compartment for the filter and nothing else, which was the first time we did not have any great need for additional spare parts other than those stored on board.

The Fiji archipelago is beautiful and to properly visit all nice places would take at least a whole season, probably longer. We however were on route why we settled with our rather short stay and wanted to move on. The plan was to continue to New Caledonia but sailing friends told us that we must visit Vanuatu why we change our minds and set course for Vanuatu instead, 700 miles from Fiji.


Arriving at Port Vila on Efate Island early in the morning after good, normal sailing. We have been rather skilled at calculating and adjust arrival time not to approach in the dark. Based on what friends have told us we looked forward to explore Vanuatu.

We left Port Vila after a couple of days and sailed north, still around Efate. Due to strong trade winds it was necessary to find sheltered water for comfortable anchoring. Still, there were a lot of nice places to visit. We first went to Esema Bay on the northwest side of Efate and stayed there longer than planned. It was quiet, no other yachts and very sheltered in the northeast corner of the bay.

On our way we met a large family of dolphins. They acted crazy and our guess was that they tried to impress on each other. They jumped very high and spinned around at the same time. Obviously trying to make a show out of it.

Every day we had locals visiting us offering vegetables for sale. Some also asked for 2-stroke oil when they had the petrol but no oil. We helped out as much as we could.
One morning we saw a large rowing bot with 6 small children with parents. We hailed them and handed over presents to the children. Presents we had bought in Sweden just for this purpose. At the same time we told the father that it is some large fish swimming under Peach and in the neighborhood. He said that he does not have any fishing gear at all why we gave him fishing lines and some good hooks. They were happy for the presents. In the afternoon they came back with a lot of vegetables, something we had not expected but warmly welcomed.

For the next leg we wanted to check the Palao Bay on the north side of Efate. We have heard that the bay offered shelter as well as a nice beach. Well, when we arrived we had wind of 28 knots why we turned back, catched a nice barracuda on the way and just regarded the day as “a nice day of sailing”. The strong wind in the northern bay was probably due to that the wind accelerated somehow around the northeast corner of Efate. Well back in Esema Bay, the barracuda was prepared for dinner and it was delicious (and lasted for additional two meals).

We agreed on a night sailing and set course for the island Epi at 21.00 in the evening. The distance was around 55 miles to a very small bay on the west coast by the name of Revolieu Bay where we planned to stay a day or two. However, on our way north we were hailed by another yacht going south, coming from the bay. The captain recommended us to continue a little further north to Lamen Bay which he said was much better. We followed that recommendation and he was probably correct. We anchored in black sand at a depth of 6-7 meters. It is a really nice bay, with a small village with friendly people, an airport, a school and a few small shops where we could buy some things just for the fun of it. The Captain was actually looking for beer but that was sold out and next delivery was planned for next week.

We had some plans to continue north and look at those islands but the weather report told us about very strong winds for more than a week why we went back to Efate and anchored in Esame Bay as far north as possible. No other yachts but Peach. Now we are back in Port Vila doing maintenance and preparations for the journey to New Caledonia and further Brisbane.

By the way, we have noted that Marinetraffic does not keep up with or journey which probably is because there are no land based stations in this area. We have finally solved this problem by using an app that send our position to Marinetraffic on a regular basis. As far as we know we should, currently, be positioned in Port Vila.

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Galapagos to Tahiti

Tahiti next

After 72 hours on Galapagos we left on a Sunday morning for the Pacific crossing. We had discussed whether we should sail to Marquesas or directly to Tahiti even if Tahiti would mean an extra week of sailing. We decided on Tahiti! We agreed on that our first waypoint would be to go south of the 6th parallel in order to catch the trade wind coming from southeast. We set a course of approx. 200 degrees. We actually needed to go close to the 7th parallel to catch the wind we were looking for. We were lucky to get wind most of the way south why we needed to use our engine for about 24 hours only. Fortunately we had, this time, the current with us and well in the trade wind we had used surprisingly little fuel. The distance we sailed from Galapagos to where we turned west was around 450 miles which meant that we only (!) had 3300 miles left to Tahiti. From the waypoint we went west and slowly moved south to the 18th parallel which actually means that we moved south 660 miles while going west.

Click on the picture to view the movie

Well settled in the wind we looked ahead to an easy sailing, although a long one, but it turned out that the wind was not stable and from day to day it changed direction as well as speed. Using the whisker pole (sometimes both of them) as we always do when crossing an ocean, it turned out to be a lot of work changing the set up frequently. Despite this the sailing was smooth and strong winds only accord when we had rain showers then the wind speed reached 34 knots several times and 42 knots at one occasion. Many days we sailed in 6-14 knots which is not really enough for Peach being heavy as she is only doing 4 kn in that wind. We had the best sailing conditions when the wind stayed between 18-24 knots which happened from time to time.

You may wonder how it is to be at sea for four weeks which was the time it took to reach Tahiti. Probably normal considering it take three weeks to reach Marquesas from Galapagos. Well, the days pass very quickly. We are comfortable with four hour watches which works well for us. It is a lot of sleeping of course and especially to catch up when something needs to be done in the middle of the night when both of us needs to be awake. Remember the whisker poles and the change of sail set-up. After 3-4 days the routine is there and the days just go on. Each day we downloaded grib files via our SSB radio to check the weather forecast. We are happy with the communication system . When in Panama we subscribed to Sailmail which meant that we had 2 systems to use, Sailmail as well as Winlink which is free of charge. Both systems worked well.

Annoying birds

We had some hope to see whales on the way but certainly not to go to war against big backed gulls. Two of them insisted to park every night on our davits or on the pull pit. They moved around a little after we had started to yell at them but they always came back and reclaimed their seats. We did not want to hurt them but to scare them off. We had tried to scare them by yelling, waving, producing high sounds and rushing towards them but nothing helped until we made a small bundle of a tiny line which we threw close to them. They did not like that and left, thank goodness. If you wonder why we were eager to get rid of them just imagine how much they shit during a night. Took us an eternity to clean the deck afterwards. We actually touched one of them once and the bird looked at us like “what in heavens name are you doing…” but did not move.

A couple of days later another sea bird arrived, a gannet, and settled down on a davit. The bird was big but had nice colors and we let him/she rest during the night. A big mistake! Took a long time to clean the deck, again.

Well, that was the only wildlife we saw during the journey across the Pacific. We kept looking for other yachts, merchant ships or fishing boats but during the four weeks we saw only one boat rather close one morning which was a fishing boat, not actually fishing. The first yacht we came across was not until we reached the Tuamotu Archipelago approx. 200 miles from Tahiti. From there we just had around two days of sailing left and we were looking forward to set foot on land again. When Tahiti emerged in the distance we were happy that we had made it across a big part of the Pacific Ocean without any other problems than those in relation to our 72 hours on Galapagos and related matters.

Finally at rest

On Tahiti we are staying in Papetee Marina preparing for the next leg. The location of the marina is at the city water front with a nice view of the city. When doing the clearance, one has to visit the customs and the Port captain in the city area. After that the immigration office at the airport has to be visited. All visits are expected to be done on the day of arrival. All services are available such as gas, fuel, food etc. why it is a good place to be. After a couple of weeks in the marina we are now longing for being at anchor with the possibility to swim, do some snorkeling and just be in an environment with crystal clear water.

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