We have a new address here in French Polynesia. Instead of telling people to find us “on the light green ketch called Llyr,” we now give directions to the “dark blue sloop named Kayanos.”
Last night we schlepped our shit over to Ben and Sarah’s 42-foot sailboat. Somehow our belongings managed to undergo mitosis aboard Llyr and doubled in size. We transported one backpack each to one pack + 3 bags + 2 sacks of fruit each via dinghy in the wet, dark Marquesan night. Good thing we only went about 200 yards.
Why move, you ask? Because transitions are part of our adventure. Because Llyr is on a tight schedule for getting to Tahiti and we’d like to spend as long as possible exploring the underwater world in the Tuamotus, a series of coral atoll islands that circle world-class lagoons. Because Ben and Sarah offered us space, and we thought it’d be fun to go with folks younger than us.
Rob and I learned a ton about electronics, provisioning, and how to care for steel boats during our time aboard Llyr. We had a blast with the Steele-McCutchen clan, and look forward to seeing them in many bays and ports along the way.
How’d we find our new digs? By chatting with folks in the small town of Taiohae and “knocking on hatches” as we scooted around the bay in a dinghy. In this case, we made friends with John and Sue aboard Wizard, who pointed us toward Kayanos. It’s a fairly small community of sailboats hopping Pacific islands, and we’ve already made friends with boats we keep seeing in different ports.
Ben and Sarah are both in their mid-20s, and grew up outside of Anchorage, Alaska. Ben bought Kayanos with his buddy in San Diego, and spent a year fixing her up in preparation for the voyage across the Pacific. He’s a climber and a surfer and an excellent sailor. Kayanos is a 1970s racing boat, about as opposite a vessel from Llyr as you can get. Instead of radar, roller furlers and SSB, we have hanked-on sails, a solar panel and paper charts. She speeds along at 7-8 knots easily, and rarely requires a motor.
We’re looking forward to learning more about Kayanos and her crew for the next few weeks. The plan: head to the northeast corner of Nuku Hiva to check out the secluded Anaho Bay, and then set off Monday or Tuesday for the ~4 day passage to the Tuamotu archipelago. We hope to visit 3-4 atolls in the Tuamotus over the following 2 weeks, where we’ll snorkel and dive with sharks, rays, and a huge diversity of fish. It’s gonna be awesome.