Gambier storm tactic… Coco de Mer

I introduced you to our friends on the catamaran Coco de Mer, on a recent post. While enroute from Easter Island to Gambier (1000nm), they copped an early season storm on their path.

Here’s Coco de Mer’s experience from their satellite updates (also see

“Yesterday was a very relaxing day… we have all heard of the calm before the storm, well we got to experience it… glass and smooth is the best way to describe the ocean state. Coco’s wake was the only ripple in the ocean. ”

After getting becalmed somewhere east of Pitcairn, they got flying with strong East winds, heading west to Gambier.

“So we have been strategizing because a low pressure system is moving through to our south which will throw some wind and waves our way. Really starting tomorrow mid day we expect to see some effect of this. Current weather models show it about 250 miles south of us, so quite a ways. It’s going to make for a rough ride never the less and we are watching it closely.”

The wind then clocked from the East to strong North before eventually switching to due West- which was the direction they were going.

“We have been bashing the front of our Boat into waves all night and taking a royal shaking up. We were able to sail until around 3am then the wind shifted hard directly opposite where we would prefer to go, Gambier. So being as how we are needing to arrive by end of day Saturday, we have been motoring since then. Our data shows we got the same conditions here for the next 24 hours then maybe a small improvement as the winds start to shift south.”

Coco de Mer passed very close to Pitcairn but elected not to stop, instead proceeding direct to the more protected waters of Gambier, in anticipation of the next front coming.

“Well our 24 hour hell period just ended and literally was exactly 24 hours starting at 3am yesterday and ending promptly at 3am today. Presently we have excellent conditions of calm seas and 15kts of sailable wind.”

“Yesterday was probably the roughest ride I have ever had on board Coco. We were taking a disorganized 10-15 foot waves on the bow direct hits. Wind was on the bow direct at about 28-30kts. And we are totally shaken up and tired of motoring.”

“We all were lethargic all day, deciding not to endure the difficult task of standing or walking. Despite this a few among us must have wanted some exercise as there were some sprints made to the rail of the boat followed by some intense abdominal exercises. The men of coco are close to our 6 pack abs. ”

After the worse of it passed, the weather moderated and Coco de Mer motored into Gambier.

“The men of coco are officially anchored in Gambier among 11 other boats. The islands are gorgeous we are surrounded by about 7 that rise sharply out of the water. They feel deserted compared to Galapagos and Rapa Nui. We are tucked in nice and snug behind a reef to get ready for the big winds coming in tomorrow for a few days.”

The third front was coming soon and Coco de Mer was in the waters of the lagoon safely, we were glad to hear… they now get a well earned rest!

We have about 5 other cruiser friends we met in Galapagos whom we communicate with daily via satellite – checking in, giving condition updates & current position and most of all providing moral support as we all traverse the Pacific. Reading these emails aloud over 4pm tea time has been a favorite ritual of ours.

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