Trek to The Marquesas Islands

Sailing 5.5 knots 50 miles south of the big island December 1, 7:30am 131.7 nautical miles traveled from Honokohau, HI.

Wednesday December 2, 269.6 nautical miles traveled, the forecast for the next 24 hours will be partly cloudy, in 20 knots of wind with 6-8 ft seas. Traveling at 6.6 knots speed over ground with a reefed main and Genoa. By afternoon the wind had dropped to 14knots, went with a full Genoa and main plus the staysail. Sailing at 7.6 knots close reach.

For dinner we made Turkey, stuffing, mashed potato and gravy bowls utilizing all the leftovers from Thanksgiving.

The Milky Way and a sky full of stars so visible till the moon rose.

Thursday December 3, 422.3 nautical miles traveled

3 Rain squalls this morning

It was a very windy day, winds in the high teens, low twenties.

Dinner was ground pork sausage with onion, pepper and celery tossed in pasta with olive oil and shredded Parmesan cheese.

At night around 11:30pm boat time, we were hit by a wave that separated the dodgers windshield plastic from the canvas piece at the bottom. Not really “broken” just separated. The wave also forced open the zipper on the adjacent panel. The water quickly drained from the cockpit.

Friday December 4, 571.1 nautical miles traveled.

Cloudy sky this morning, 14 knots of wind we’re going 7.2knots speed over ground with a full main, staysail and a reefed main (that helps keep the boat flatter), close reached. The wind all day 16-20 knots, 6-10ft waves.

Our watch shifts are, I’m on 6pm-12am, Dan 12am to 7am. Dan will nap most of the morning, I’ll catch a few hours in the afternoon. Repeat.

So what’s it like at night? Life jackets are always on, and we are tethered to the boat, it’s now 9:20 pm, it’s pitch dark outside except for the stars I can see through the cockpit enclosure and the glow of the instrument panels. The enclosure sides are all down for protection from water and waves. With a reefed Main and Genoa, the wind is steady, howling 17-22knots and our speed over ground is around 7knots. It’s like being tossed on an amusement park ride in the dark, except this ride last hours. Periodically we check the screen for other vessels we may see on AIS (automated identification system). Since leaving Hawaii, there have been 3. One fishing boat and two cargo ships heading to China, they probably just came through the Panama Canal based on their position and course heading. Also, we’ll turn the radar on for awhile. I used to listen music at night till I got a new phone and haven’t re-downloaded much of my music yet. I did download several podcasts before leaving Hawaii, we’ve both been listening to them. A variety of topics from TED talks to Dolly Parton’s America, The Lincoln Project, This American Life, and even a few crime stories. It sure helps pass time during a 6 hour watch. It’s now 9:46pm, the moon is starting to rise, the deep darkness of night will be a little bit brighter.

Saturday December 5, 741.6 nautical miles traveled. 9.10N 150.27W this morning, party cloudy, 20-23 knots of wind , swells 6-10 ft. speed over ground 7 knots, double reefed Main and Genoa. The wind stayed that intense all day.

Sunday December 6, 849.7 nautical miles traveled. We’re in the doldrums! This is an area just north of the equator where the air rises up, as a result there is lighter shifty winds at the surface of the water. Also the air is humid, creating scattered rain showers. We will be motor sailing for awhile with the Main and Staysail.

After 7 days on port tack, we tacked to starboard. Then an hour later we were back on port.

The rain continued on and off all day, gray skies and cloudy, sometimes with big winds, the most we saw was 25knots. There was a stretch of calm winds and seas.

Taking advantage of the light winds and seas, we both took showers today! Feels so good!

Monday December 7, 954 nautical miles traveled, cloudy sky’s this morning, wind at 9-12 knots but from the wrong direction, it’s on the nose, motor sailing again till the shift comes, scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Rain. Then the wind shifted, in the right direction! Sailing a beam reach 18-20knots, 6-8ft waves, still raining, sailing 8knots speed over ground.

Tuesday December 8, 4.56N 147.16W 1064 miles traveled, cloudy skies this morning with a few patches of blue, waves 3-6 ft, winds 13knots, on the nose, it is predicted to shift by midday. Motor sailing with a full Main and Staysail. So good to be out of the rain!

Wednesday December 9, 3.31N 146.47W, 1159 nautical miles traveled, cloudy skies with a few patches of blue. Winds are around 10-12knots, motor sailing with the Main and Staysail still waiting for that shift. According to PredictWind it was supposed to happen yesterday, now it says today. That will be great if it does happen, this has been like bashing up the California coast.

Our view is 360 degrees of water.

I baked banana bread. On this trip I have been wrapping all my breads as well as using it to cover bowls, in Bees Wrap. It’s a washable, reusable waxed cloth. Keeps the breads very fresh. One wrap last about a year, better alternative to plastic wrap. There are several brands available.

For dinner we made loaded baked potatoes.

We crossed paths late afternoon with s/v Wanderer Surf, a Vagabond 39, that has 3 people onboard, they are heading to Honolulu, from Tahiti. Dan spoke with them for a bit on the radio.

Oh my, the stars, Incredible!! Then there it was, The Crux or The Southern Cross! We found it with help from the Star Walk App I have on my phone.

Thursday December 10, 2.11N 146.23W 1252 nautical miles traveled, the morning started with blue skies then quickly turned gray. We reefed the sails and turned on the engine. We looked at in on radar, then that squall took us to starboard without a drop of rain, engine off, sails out. Sailing 6knots close hulled with 16knots true wind, 1knot of current against us.

For dinner, a baked sweet potato topped with a black bean, corn, tomato sauce mixture with a tsp. Of Cumin added. Both days the potatoes were “baked” using a stove top pressure cooker.

Oh my, the stars!

Friday December 11, 0.10N 146.04W 1384 nautical miles traveled, sunny and blue skies wind is 15knots sailing 6.2knots, no more adverse current, 3-6 ft waves, close hulled.

It was a New Years Eve countdown event, crossing the Equator! 10:39am UTC-09.30.

Today, is the Great Reasoner Cookie Bake. A bit different from previous years, it will be more of a cookie exchange but baking together on Zoom. Before we left on this journey, I made a photo book for each Beth, Danielle, Rachael and Mecca. My sister Linda baked with us one year, she received a book too. It contains the recipes with photos of the cookies I’ve traditionally baked for the Christmas holiday. We would all gather and bake all day together, dividing up the goods at the end. Oh and there was usually a little bit of alcohol consumption too.

Dinner was rice with chicken, leftover black bean mix from yesterday plus a little salsa and shredded cheddar cheese.

Oh my, the stars!

Saturday December 12, 1.47S 145.13N 1513 nautical miles traveled, cloudy skies this morning with only 7knots of wind. We are motor sailing 6knots, heading more East towards the destination of Nuku-Hiva. The afternoon was sunny, light winds continued, by early evening the winds were up to 11knots, engine off, all sails flying, with a 50 degree wind shift.

For dinner Dan made mashed potatoes with sausage, onions and peppers.

Oh my, the stars!

Sunday December 13, 3.10S 144.22W, 1615 nautical miles traveled, what a difference calmer seas make. This morning it’s sunny, wind 12knots, sailing 6knots speed sailing over ground, close hulled, seas 1-2feet.

Dan washed windows today. Then it rained.

For dinner we cooked pasta, a 17oz bag (Costco) added diced ham, 2 celery ribs, 1 green pepper, 3/4 red onion, tossed in olive oil with Italian seasoning, basil, oregano, parsley and red pepper flakes topped with shredded Parmesan cheese and cherry tomato halves. This will be dinner for a few nights.

Oh my, the stars!

Monday December 14, 4.35S 143.38W, 1727 nautical miles traveled, cloudy skies 16knots of wind, the outhaul breaks. An outhaul is the rope attached to the Main sail and the end of the boom, allowing you to pull the Main out or roll it in. MacGyver Dan fixed it.

Tuesday December 15, 6.15S 143.89W 1834 nautical miles traveled, crazy wind morning, 19-21knots true wind, with 6-8ft waves. We are only moving at 4.5-5knots speed over ground, with a reefed Main and Genoa, because of the waves and swells, 1knot of adverse current, heeling 20+ degrees. Sailing close hulled. It’s like a washing machine out there.

Wednesday December 16, 6.38S 142.11W , 1947 nautical miles traveled, 21knots of wind, 6-10ft waves. For 14 hours starting last night, we tacked on to starboard. When we tacked back onto port, speed over ground is 6.3knots with 20knots true, waves still high, sailing close hulled. With a Reefed Main and Genoa, the rail frequently kissing the water. As night falls the winds are 16-19knots, speed over ground 5.5-6knots. Reefed Main and full Genoa.

Thursday December 17, 8.31S 141.25W 2079 nautical miles traveled, winds are moderate this morning around 15knots, with a full Main and Genoa we sailing at 5.5knots speed over ground, sunny, mostly cloudy skies. Waves 3-6ft, we’re hobby horsing along.

By early afternoon, the wind had dropped to 12knots, may be a shadow from the island, the waves significantly less. Still sailing 5knots speed over ground. Almost there!

Late afternoon, we started motor sailing, in a more favorable direction.

Friday December 18, Land Ho! Nuku Hiva, The Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia!

2168 miles traveled from Honokohau, Hawaii

428:26:25 hours

Average speed 5.1 knots

15665 total miles traveled since November 20, 2019

14 thoughts on “Trek to The Marquesas Islands

  1. So glad your there & safe.
    Aunt Helen & I want to wish you a safe blessed Christmas & Happy Safe New Year. We love you.🎄🤶☃️🎅


  2. So glad you are on solid ground for awhile, that was quite an exhausting voyage for both of you.
    Wishing you the Merriest of Christmas in the beautiful Islands!
    Love you,


  3. What a gift you gave us to be able to follow this incredible passage. So, so happy you arrived safely. Your journals are also a gift. Thank you so much. Now, rest and relax for a while in such a beautiful spot. You two are amazing and very courageous!!!
    Our love,
    Carol and Gary


  4. Oh my the stars! You should write a children’s story about this part of your trip. It has a rhythm to it!

    Were you able to take pictures of the stars?

    Merry Christmas! Thanks for keeping us up to date!


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