Underway to Gambier Islands

The wind was due to pick up. It had been light NE for two days which we enjoyed to the maximum in the dreamy paradise of Oeno Atoll. Now the N wind would strengthen in anticipation of a series of small fronts heading to our latitude. So it was time to go!

We were still at anchor in Oeno when I awoke at 4am with the wind blowing moderately from the NW. This would mean a bumpy and slow “close haul” to Gambier. Oh no!

Luckily, by 8am when we raised anchor it had veered back to the N at 10 knots, and we were delighted to raise the reacher and mainsail and get under way at 4 knots of boat speed, in smooth seas and partly sunny skies. Nice!

Sabrina got inspired and began a culinary extravaganza in the galley. From the chickpeas she had begun soaking the previous day, she made from scratch falafels and humus, shelling each chick pea with Buddha-like patience to ensure smoothness in the humus. She also made pita bread and fresh yogurt. We chopped the gigantic cucumbers from Pitcairn Island, and voila! A delicious falafel feast was had that night.

Along with a glass of sauvignon blanc, motivated by Mr. Payne, we were eating in true style. We felt blessed as Aldebaran sailed smoothly under the starry night, once again stretching her legs, heading straight to our destination. The passage from Oeno Atoll to Gambier Islands is 250 nautical miles, which we could do in two nights usually. However, given the uncertainty of the conditions, we expected to complete this transit in three nights…. at which time we would reach our first truly sheltered anchorage in 30 days… and finally arrive in French Polynesia.

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