Logbook: Passages to and from Tahiti

 Estrellita on Passage from Tahiti to Tikehau

It was exciting to go on passage again when we left the Tuamotus for Tahiti. With our flight back to N America and time on the hard we hadn’t been to sea for 8 months. Technically that is a lie because any transit between atolls in the Tuamotus is open ocean sailing, but leaving the Tuamotus for the Societies felt like a “real” passage. It was a fast, wet, fun ride with 20-25 knots of SE wind increasing to 30 and seas rising to the 3m range. Estrellita flew under reefed down sails and our windvane took over the steering while we held on for the ride.

Our passage from Tahiti to Tikehau was another wild ride with light winds to start and then steadily increasing wind and seas to the same conditions as our passage to Tahiti. There have been a series of fronts coming through (it is mara’amu season) and after waiting until we were no longer patient, we squeaked in a passage between fronts.

GOPR3374Passages are like good drama. In our drama, Estrellita is the heroine. The wind and waves are sometimes the supporting cast and sometimes the villians-to-be-cursed. Carol and I are usually the comic sidekicks. Like a drama, on our passages there will be a point when we want to laugh, and a point where we want to cry. There will be a moment when everything seems to go wrong and the successful resolution of the problem binds our main characters together further.

On our passage to Tikehau we tried out the new-to-us used tow generator that we had purchased at a swap meet. It was amazing. In the ballpark of 5 amps at 12V incoming day and night. Then, one hour before we made landfall we noticed no amps and…our prop had broken off. Apparently someone brilliant decided to make part of the connection out of plastic. The good news is we can make another. The bad news is we just left the neck of the woods where we could have bought parts. It’s a good thing we have friends in Tahiti kind enough to ship things to us in the Tuamotus.


  1. question: is that a running backstay in the 2nd picture on the left hand side?

  2. Hi Chris, Yep. We changed ours over to synthetic above the block and tackle you see in the picture (Amsteel or something like it). Livia

  3. What kind of windvane steering do you have and how do you like it? Pros? Cons?

  4. What kind of windvane steering do you have and what do you think of it? Pros? Cons?



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