11:34:57S 141:10:08W Passage to Tuamotus Day 1

Superted V
Jean & Matt Findlay
Fri 20 Apr 2012 21:36

The Tuamotus are a series of atolls, typically 5 – 10 miles in diameter – low lying coral rings with a pass to get inside. Some are inhabited and some not. They cover a huge area in the pacific to the south of the Marquesas and east of Tahiti.   After studying various charts, articles and pilot books, we decided to make our land fall on Raroia (where the Kon Tiki was wrecked on the coral in 1947).  The wind looked like a good beam reach – easterly 15 knots constant.  The problem with theses atolls is that you have try to get through the passes at slack water – at other times the water can run out at between 5 and 10 knots and there can be huge standing waves depending on wind and sea conditions.  So the name of the game is to time your arrival to coincide with low water. We based our passage of 450 miles on an average of 7 knots.  We set off at 11.30am Thursday with an easterly wind of around 20 knots which gradually built and all through last night it blew 25k and even with deep reefed main and small staysail, we couldn’t get the speed much below 8 – 8.5k without making the boat’s rolling motion unacceptable. Once again those lovely rolling long waves of the pacific have eluded us and the seas are huge – with the waves on the beam.  So this morning we came to the conclusion that Raroia is not a viable option, so at 0630 we bore away for Manahini. We are currently broad reaching under genoa only, making between 7 and 7.5 knots but have the waves mainly on the stern.


24 hour distance:   182 miles   Position: 11.34.57S  141.10.08W