In our first bay near the main town I was not too Impressed by Raiatea. However once we moved south down the east side we were pleasantly surprised and rewarded with a beautiful ancourage next to a sandy spit for the night. As we arrived there was a huge rainbow over it which made up for all the rain!
For an hour we were the only boat there. Unconditional arrived and invited us over for drinks which was lovely. However jet lag kicked in again and I was struggling to keep my eyes open. I had a nap ( planning to wake up in time for tea later) and didn’t wake up until the next day. 12 hours of sleep were obviously needed!





It is only when you have been away a long time that you can really appreciate home. After a 4 day treck back it was so lovely to be reunited with everyone. Now sat in a blustery bay in Raiatea home feels a million miles away but I have my oyster family and will be returning home in September  🙂



Taxi Tina😍

The thing that I will take home the most from French Polynesia is just how friendly the people are here. Always wanting to share fruit from their gardens,  share their culture , give you lifts to the pharmacy or just wave and smile hello.  We have met many lovely people here but my favourite is Taxi Tina.

6 weeks ago she drove a tired and emotional girl around tahiti. I really felt that for the 24 hours I was in Tahiti I had someone looking out for me. Not only did she take me to restaurants and to town she showed me how to get the bus back, where to eat and where to be wary of. My phone doesn’t work in FP so she lent me hers while I shopped so we could stay in contact if I needed. All the while I was in town she looked after my bags and even offered me over for tea and a shower bwfore my flight. ” I don’t like driving ” she tells me. ” but I love the people”.

6 weeks later and I looked forward to being reunited with her on my way back to the boat in Raiatea.  Again she looked after my stuff and drove me around, never once letting me tip her!

To have met her once was a privalege , but to meet her twice was just lovely. I will always remember how kind Taxi Tina was  and so much fun 🙂


Race to the Tuamotos

The tuamotos are an archipelago of 73 coral atolls in the middle of the pacific. Entrance into the atolls is through narrow passes with currents of up to 8 knots and coral reefs.  Because of this timing your crossing through the pass is essential.  Slack water is best but as we found it doesn’t always garentee a smooth entrance.  When there have been strong winds, water gets pushed over the surrounding reefs and into the atolls.  This water then must exit through the pass and can over-rule the tidal currents. Careful navigation and patience is therfore needed but once through the passes the atolls are stunning.


Our local guide promised us a lovely downwind sail to the tuamotos. We spent 3 days cursing her as we smashed into the wind and waves all the way to Makemo.  We were running a little late due to Raymarine issues… our newly installed vhf had messed with the chart plotters. Luckily all that was required (after a few calls to Paul and Gav) was to pull out the sea talk cable. Unfortunately  we then had to go all guns blazing to get to the pass into Makemo on time.   Pulling more sail out is not something I would normally do at night but we managed to average 8 knots and get there just in time for high water.


Once in the pass I went up the spreaders as we made our way to the anchourage.  With the sun behind me I could easily see the coral heads and they were quite pretty from above; turquoise blue and sparkly 🙂  Our ancourage was literally a sandy beach with some palm trees. Sadly because of my now infected toe I couldn’t enjoy the beach bbqs or the beautiful clear blue waters but after seeing everyone’s bug bites and some baby sharks in the water I didn’t mind so much.

Nuka hiva.

We had a great sail racing talabal across to Nuka hiva. A huge bay full of oysters awaited us and a small but sweet town with a few wifi cafes and bars,  post office , hospital and local craft centre.  My favourite was a little snack bar that ran bbqs and had decent enough wifi to call home. 🙂

The locals put on a day of activities;  they showed us their local dances,  gave us food to try and showed us how to make seed necklaces. In the evening their local dance group performed for us and blew us all away. Sadly the food was a bit exotic but it was great fun to meet up with the rest of the rally.

The next day was spent unblocking toilets which on a fragile stomach from last night’s drinking was not too welcome! Amazingly for me and james , we got some help off Ian who insisted on doing the whole procedure. After which his nurse/wife Sindy looked inspected and cleaned up my smashed toe from the day before.

Hugh took me to the hospital the next day and I was seriously impressed by it.  Clean, modern and quick; I just walked in got a ticket and was seen within 5 minutes.  10 minutes later and I was hobbling along to the pharmacy with a list of drugs and bandages. Luckily some of the locals gave me a lift because it turns out walking 2 km with a smashed foot isn’t much fun!

After a pleasent stay in the soggy Marquesas (Andy described it as a warm lake district) we were all looking forward to heading off to the Tuamotos.

Hiva Oa

Hiva Oa has a small breakwater which you can anchor inside if the ferry is not there. Luckily for us it was bank holiday weekend so we managed a few days in the bay before we had to move on.

Here we were reunited with Tiggy of Miss Tiggy. After 3 weeks apart this was very exciting and we were all pleased to have her back!

About half an hours walk around the mountains there is a village with a lovely mix of Polynesian and French influence.  However before we could explore we had to check into the local gendarme.  20 plus yacht crew in a tiny office where the officers only English was “I don’t speak english” followed by a chuckle was certainly an unusal sight here.  The gendarme found it so funny he took several selfies and probably won’t forget us for a while!


Once checked in we could finally roam free. Sadly the post office closed before we got there so we had to wait to get local sims ( this became a long running theme..) but the supermarket wasn’t.  The owner gave us fresh lychees and we got excited about the French food. We spent the rest of the afternoon planning out our stay in the Marquesas by the beautiful pool in the hotel in the mountains.  To be reunited with everyone back home via wifi was much appreciated.


Indeed had Marie Jo the washing lady not lost my favourite teeshirt,  I would only have found memories of Hiva Oa. Dam you Marie Jo.

Ou Pou

After an excitable struggle with the crusing shoot, we arrived along the coast of Ou pou with a pod of dolphins. More spectacular cliffs and another impressive bay.  The anchourage itself was a bit tight with only just enough room for ourselves and the other 4 oysters already there. We had a group dinner in a local pension on the hillside. No menu, just a shown of hands for several options. My steak and breadfruit chips were delicious.

The next morning we walked up to the cross on the hill and were rewarded with stunning views of the bay and village. After a group breakfast we wandered around the small but neat village, complete with not one but two football pitches.  Sadly we had to get to Nuka Hiva for the oyster party or we could have happily stayed longer.


The big crossing 2

Day 7 ish.

Decided to put the twin headsail up. .. 2 hour battle with lines and sails, we were smashing it with 8.5 knots plus.

Day 8.

Turns out eggs can go mouldy.  Suddenly eggy bread doesn’t seem so appealing.

Day 9 ( i think)

Halfway! We celebrated with pineapple juice and pistachio nuts. Far more exciting to us than anyone on land can appreciate!

Day 10.

Sarah noticed a rip in our twin head sails .. after 30 mins with the binoculars we determined it was in fact a rip and not bird shit.  2 hours later it was back up , repaired and helping us cruise along at 8 knots again.  All the while this was happening we had a pod of at least 50 dolphins jumping into the sunset. Absolutely magical.

Day 11.

After a week of rationing out meat , me and Sarah found an extra 3 packs of chicken hiding in the freezer. .. oops!

Day 13
Woken with a face full of water. ..  twice. .  Llyod claims he didn’t know my hatch was there when he threw the bucket. ..

Day 15
We’ve decided our window for boat murder has now passed as we’d now be required to take the body back ashore. Luckily we’re all still getting along!

I’ve lost count of days now but as I sit in the dark waiting for the sun to rise, as we finally approach land I can’t help but be frustrated with this passage. Instead of long rolling waves and consistent trade winds we’ve had a confused sea state, heavy swell and fluky wind directions. The wind has tempted and teased us the whole way… often just not quite enough to sail but just enough to warrant trying. Sail and rig changes have been almost daily.  We’ve been rolled and bashed about for almost 3 weeks now but we’ve remained in high spirits throughout.  The daily ssb net made us feel not quite so alone and to my surprise we’ve actually had to take actions to avoid several boats along the way..

While the wildlife was few, the stars have been amazing and we should be so lucky to have the opportunity to cross such a prestigious ocean. Excitement for the marquesas is high!

The Marquesas

I was lucky enough to be on watch when we first sighted land. At first because there were no lights I thought my eyes might have been deceiving me but no…there was definatlty a land shaped silohaute under the stars.

As day broke it only became more atmospheric with the sun starting to rise as we sailed around the bottom of the island.  The tops of the mountains were surrounded by thick mist and the whole place smelt amazingly of wet grass.


After 3000 miles we timed our arrival with oyster blew which was pretty crazy.  The bay of virgins did not disappoint and without a doubt is the most amazing place I’ve ever landed. If you got a kid to paint a fairy tale land,  fatu hiva wouldn’t be far off.


Once there we were treated to home made pastries for breakfast on metereoryte and then after cleaning the hull ( you would not believe how many critters got a free ride)  we all walked up the hill to a local ladies house for lunch.

Desolait can only be described as the marquesas’ top entrepreneur.  For 20 dollars a head she puts on a buffet lunch of  local dishes….ceviche,  goat in coconut milk, chicken, breadfruit and rice.  All of which she gets off her own land and probably cost her about 20 dollars to put the whole thing on.  She must average at least 5 or 6 yachts a day and has been doing this for 15 years she told me. I’m convinced she has a secret palace on the other half of the island.


The big crossing.

3000 miles is a long time at sea. Before I left I phoned home and spoke to my parents who reminded me of this.  They asked what you do for such a long tine… My mum said I should sing rod Stewart ( we are sailing..) , I said I mostly ponder life and eat Chocolate biscuits.  My dad thinks I should ponder 42. Its day 6 ( i think ) and I’ve now done all of these things.. mum there’s way better songs about sailing than rod Stewart( thank God! ) and dad I’m sorry but 42 is just a number!


I’ve actually spent the last few days thinking about how excited I am for Christmas of all things.  And then thinking of all the things I am looking forward to doing when I get home. To give you an insight here is a little list in no particular order….


Sit on the work top and drink ribena,

Have a bath,

Put toilet paper down the toilet,

24 hour tescos,

Friday night Chinese,

Make cheese scones with granny Billie,

Visit granny Jean at her shop,

Go to the boat with gramps,

Visit James at uni,

Go to wagamamas with Jessie,

Watch TV while mum crotchets and dad eats cheese,

See dad’s new band… Finally!

Have Saturday night takeaway with the cousins,

Go climbing with the boys,

Hike to sycamore gap ,

See the Christmas lights in Norwich with Gav,

Laura’s home wedding,

Eat my weight in popcorn,

Play the jukebox,

Have Sunday dinners .. GRAVY.

The Tyne bridge and the angel of the north .