Westbound Crossing of the South Pacific Ocean from Tahiti to Torres Strait on board Moonwave
For most people or cruisers a “pacific crossing” is the passage from Panama or Galápagos Islands to French Polynesia. Especially the passage from Galapagos to Marqueses is the longest distance without Safe Harbour or islands in the middle to stop. Once arrived in the islands of French Polynesia, there are plenty of island groups on the way westbound to Australia or New Zealand. Island hopping in the South Pacific is long distance sailing compared to the Caribbeans but around 600 nm normally gets you to the next paradise. Did I say “normally”, because 2020 is not a normal year and most of the island groups are closed for visitors and cruisers. French Polynesia was open and we had a great stay there from Mid July to beginning of Oct. See “Tahiti/Moorea ”
The plan is/was to get to the Indian Ocean to continue the trip westbound. And I must say, without being able to stop anywhere, the second part of crossing the Pacific Ocean is a bit longer than the first half. See Darwin to Gaugin for info regarding our passage to Nuku Hiva as well some info about previous ocean passages on board Moonwave [Crossings – Atlantic vs. Pacific].
We left Tahiti westbound towards Port Morseby in Papua New Guine, just east of the famous Torres Straight. As it’s again only the two of us on board, we choose a northerly route with light winds. This added some extra miles but it kept us in comfortable wind range. Lot’s of jibing and zig zagging downwind. We were missing our Spinnaker which unfortunately was not operational when sailing along in 10 to 12 knots of breeze. But Moonwave glides along very nicely even in light winds. We had a couple of days with big squalls in the Intertropical Convergence Zone and some big swells but all went fine on board.
Moonwave behaved great during the trip and we had no major failures on board and we are still always amazed on how well she sails in light winds. Most of the time faster than the true wind speed.
We had a quick pitstop in Port Morseby to get some fresh food, a night of sleep at the anchor. This allowed us to resource for the second part of the trip. We didn’t clear in, didn’t meet anyone and were not allowed ashore. One more country on our list to come back to visit later on. The shore line of Papua New Guine looked amazing.
On our trip across the Pacific, we passed close to some amazing looking islands and atolls – we definitively want to come back to discover some of them. But for now, the Indian Ocean is calling us !!!
Here are some more pictures of what views to expect when sailing along for almost 4500 nautical miles in the South Pacific? Enjoy the pictures from onboard…