Mahina Expeditions offers offshore sail-training expeditions, offshore cruising seminars and boat purchase consultation.

Mahina Expeditions offers offshore sail-training expeditions, offshore cruising seminars and boat purchase consultation.

Sailing Through Paradise: Hilo, Hawaii to Rangiroa, Tuamotus
Leg #4, June 1997

EQUATOR FRIVOLITY, REINFORCED TRADEWINDS, TUAMOTUS

- Here we come!

July 5, 1997 0800
12 24' S, 147 27'W, Log 5728, Sea 84.6F
Closehauled in 25-30 kts of E winds, charging along at 7.5 - 8.0 kts.
ETA Rangiroa, Tuamotus (155 mi) 22 hrs, or 0600 July 6.
24 hr runs: 163, 150, 147, 144, 126, 148

Mahina Tiare crossed the equator at exactly noon on June 30, then hove to for a traditional Line Crossing Ceremony where pollwogs became shellbacks after being read the history of the ceremony, given rubber animal noses, forced to eat cold green oatmeal and jump into the ocean after a group photo, to be posted here soon. They then had the unique opportunity to swim back across the equator in 12,000' of water!


"Pollywogs to Shellbacks" equator crossing ceremony.

The following afternoon we hooked a large skipjack tuna and the crew was determined that THIS fish was not going to escape as the last four strikes had, so I quickly headed Mahina Tiare into the wind dropping our boat speed from 7.5 to 3 kts and Rick pulled the fish straight in and over the lifelines without waiting for the gaff hook. This fish didn't know what was happening and when Rick popped the fish head first into our fish-cleaning bucket, he asked Fiji to hang on to the tail so the fish wouldn't flip out. Fiji grabbed him and the fish started shaking and jumping so hard that young Fiji who can't weigh over 140 lbs started shaking and vibrating by the tremendous energy of the tuna. He then started laughing so hard he cried and Joe moved in with his pocketknife to dispatch the still vibrating fish. Three tasty meals of tuna followed...

The trades steadily increased south of the equator until we have had three days of 25-35kt winds and very confused seas, 12' - 15'. Our crew really have their sea legs now and are glad that they have had the heavy weather ocean experience each was looking for. Mahina Tiare III behaves like a lady, or maybe a cross between a lady and a frieght train. Amanda and I are surprised at the difference 7' of waterline and 10,000 lbs additional displacement have made. Mahina Tiare II would be 1 to 1.5 knots slower and a lot less comfortable in these choppy reinforced trades conditions. Needless to say our crew is excited about Rangiroa. We have a list of learning related goals (everyone go up mast, practice coral piloting and anchoring, learning to deal with the strong currents of the passes) but the lure of scuba diving or snorkeling with hundreds of sharks in crystal clear water persists, fed by Randy's discovery of an entire section on diving in Rangiroa in his Lonely Planet Tahiti Guide.

Next entry from beautiful Rangiroa lagoon where hopefully the water will be calm and I won't be trying to type and keep from careening out of the nav station at the same time!

To The Next Log Entry:
Log #6 - 7/10/97

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