16. Uphill All the Way – Hawaii to Tahiti

February 17th – March 14th 2021

After 25 grueling days sailing up wind we have arrived in French Polynesia. It was a challenging passage with a bit of everything; thunderous squalls, flat calm glossy seas and sustained 40+ knots of wind. We caught two yellowtail tuna, celebrated our first equator crossing and Austin cracked open a fish shaped piñata on his birthday. All the details are in our daily passage updates on the tracking map, including an engine that wouldn’t start.

Arriving in French Polynesia was an amazing feeling! We feel especially lucky because when we arrived, we found out that we were the last sailing vessel to get pre approval for a 90-day visa. As of right now vessels are only being granted 4 days to reprovision and move on.

Last year we were in La Cruz dreaming of French Polynesia and our landfall in the Marquesas. This year our intended path looks a bit different as we will be going backwards (against the wind) from the “typical” Trade-Wind route. Starting in Tahiti (The Society Islands) we will be winding our way East through the Tuamotu Archipelago and will finish in the Marquesas. Our plan is to stay as remote as possible throughout this trip in French Polynesian, much like last winter when we were in the Sea of Cortez Mexico. While we have a few days in the marina we are cleaning, fixing things and resting up before we jump over the Tuamotus. We will continue to update our tracking page but it may be a while before we get Wi-Fi again.

Squally seas towards the beginning of the passage
We were both seasick during the first few days of the passage with not much energy and had a hard time keeping food down.
This weather is no fun!
We got hit with a wave in the cockpit with so much water that it inflated Elise’s lifejacket and set off her man overboard alarm
Austin hand steering in 40+ knots of wind
Hard to beat a sunset at sea
Catching up on sleep during the day
Starting to get our sea legs after a week of windy conditions
The ocean clouds make for quite the sunsets
Austin on night watch
Playing Criblets to pass the time
Lots of time for podcasts and reading (once the weather allowed)
Goofy glasses for Neptune to celebrate our first Equator crossing. We are shellbacks now!
Celebrating Austin’s birthday at sea
Our big catch of the passage!
Filling the freezer with Yellowfin Tuna!
Motoring in flat calm seas after fixing the engine
Land Ho!
Its a good day when you wake up and can see land during the sunset!
Huts over the water on the way to the marina
Boats anchored inside the reef that protects the island if Tahiti

6 thoughts on “16. Uphill All the Way – Hawaii to Tahiti”

  1. So good to hear from you – We were just talking about you on Saturday when we had our first race on Pangaea.
    Be safe – Have fun and enjoy the cruising life!!!
    Hugs – Beth



  2. Thanks for the update – congrats on your uphill passage! I bet it’s great to finally drop the hook in sheltered water. Best wishes and good luck on your cruising adventures.

    Lothar & Cindy


  3. Dear Shellbacks – Congratulations! So glad you have arrived safely after a gruelling passage. Love the pics – I can almost feel the warmth and taste the tuna! Love Mac and Wendy


  4. Dear Intrepid Passagemakers,


    While you were assuredly alone out there, especially when things turned ‘sideways’, from this angle it seemed to me that we were along for the ride but from the comfort and safety of our armchairs and ergonomic seats at the desk. Thanks for sharing your vast adventure with us.

    And congrats on persevering and taming the fuel system beast.

    You earned and ‘own this’ !

    Nice to know that you are “enjoying the ride”

    One of your fans, Dan Crookes


  5. You did it! Tahiti! And what a journey. Congratulations! Hat’s off to ingenuity and thinking on your feet! My favorite Predictwind log was when you fixed the engine — using a “baby booger sucker!” Before then, I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how such a challenge could be overcome – in the middle of the ocean, far from any marine supply store, and completely out of the reach of the long arm of Amazon. I am looking forward to reading more as you travel through the archipelago and make your way to the Marquesas. Your adventure is the stuff of a great book;)


  6. Whew, so glad you have made your dreams come true! What an amazing adventure. Love the photos.
    Bravo ! Great Aunt Lori


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