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Sailing to the Tuamotus

We are halfway between the Marquesas and the Tuamotus and expect to make landfall at our first atoll, either Kauehi or Fakarava depending on our timing, on Saturday. The trades are strong and steady; we are sailing at 6-7 knots and made our first noon-to-noon record of 140 miles today. Exhilarating sailing on our little ketch.

I enjoyed watching the girls get into their passage making routine so quickly on this trip. It’s relatively short, only 500 miles, just long enough to get into the groove of ocean sailing by the time we arrive and drop our anchor. But today, Thursday, will be our third night at sea and we’re already comfortably keeping busy around the boat. Leah and Holly napped much of the day yesterday, as they usually do the first day or two underway, but then today they got busy on their own reading books, listening to music and audio books, playing with their little toys.

It’s still a bizarre concept for us, that as we sail south we are getting a little cooler every day. The Marquesas are many things, hot and steamy included. We spent more than a little time just dripping with sweat in front of our fans, too hot to do much of anything. It’s a little startling to see your Northwest-born children with sweat dripping from their noses as they sit at the table and draw in a coloring book. Holly is prone to rashes and the poor girl is covered in prickly heat. But here we are at 13 south and already the water temperature has dropped a few degrees, to 84F, and I just realized that I am typing this in the aft cabin with not one fan pointed at me. I had to put on a light sweatshirt last night on my 3 am watch and it felt wonderful.

We are getting more excited by the mile to see the atolls that lie ahead of us with their crystal-clear water and aquarium-like snorkeling. We plan to spend a week or two at Fakarava, doing nothing but swimming, playing on the pink sand beach and just soaking up another whole new world.

13 08’S
143 11’W

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