To most sailors doing circumnavigation this leg of the Pacific Crossing is the longest they will ever do. I guess that for us it will not be any different. So we are talking about a major major crossing here. After sailing 3.000 nm from Galapagos to Marquesas and spending 21 nights at sea we arrived in the French Polynesia. In a nutshell the crossing was as smooth as it could be. Apart from being extremely long it was super easy. We were lucky with the weather, the crew was amazing and the planning worked out great.
We left Galapagos with almost no wind and we motored for the first few miles. After a bit we were able to open the sails and the wind did not stop blowing until we got to the Marquesas Islands.
The main decision we had to make was when we left Galapagos. Somehow close to the islands there was a region known for unsettled seas and lighting storms. We had to decide between going north or south of the region. South there was more wind and less current pushing out to the Marquesas and the north is the opposite. We decided to go north and it was certainly the right decision. For the first week the wind was weak but enough to push us forward and the current was amazing!
During the following weeks as we moved further south the wind picked up and the current pushing us west decreased. During this time the stronger wind created short period waves which rocked the boat left to right. This rocking is a bit uncomfortable and makes the boom hit hard when the main sail in not full. So our challenge during the final weeks was to control the boom from banging too hard.
Luckily he had a kick as crew. The main challenge in a crossing this long is to deal with boredom and maintaining high spirit. Our crew not only did ALL the sailing (no shift for the lazy captain), but also kept a great atmosphere.
There was also a fishing competition going on. Family (captain and cousin) vs. “intruders” (Fabio and Caio). I am very sad to say that the “outsiders” kicked our asses… big time!
Sarah was truly amazing on the planning of the food and somehow managed to make delicious fresh meals everyday. She somehow keeps getting better and better. As an example, every morning I would clean the deck from flying squids. There were usually five or six of them each morning. Sarah asked us to start collecting them and putting them on the freezer. After a week we had 40+ squids. Sarah breaded and fried them, we had fresh calamari for lunch with mashed potatoes and white rice! An amazing meal after 15+ days at sea. I am sure the great food was a huge factor for everyone’s maintaining such a good mood during the entire trip.
Feijao is very easy going during crossings and he was a great companion to everyone. He slept non-stop, even more than average. Only to be waken up all excited when the fishing rods went off. Of course our chubby guy manages the process of fish cleaning very closely, for a small sashimi fee.
And just like that, this major leg of the Pacific Crossing was over. After sailing 3.000 nautical miles and spending 21 nights at sea we arrived in the French Polynesia. As an Ipanema tradition, a pod of dolphins welcomed us to this paradise!
To be more specific we made landfall in Hiva Oa island, which is part of the Marquesas archipelago.
Hiva Oa is such an amazing place… next post we will write more about it.
You can also check out a short documentary we did about our trip! Episodes available on our YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/c/sailipanem