Fish Slayers


P1000319It’s been way too long since we’ve had fishing photos on this blog.

Carol speared a fish with a simple pole spear last year but this year we have a borrowed spear gun aboard and he has become a fish slaying machine.

We only kill what we can eat (of course) and we have a wee freezer (remember the freezer in a dorm room fridge? not far off.) so we are careful about what we take. There is a type of fish poisoning in this area and so you have to check carefully with locals to find out island-by-island what is safe to eat. Sometimes one fish is safe on the North side of an island but bad on the South side and sometimes the locals make their own mistakes as previously safe fish becomes poisonous over time.

P1000357With that in mind, we’ve been happily hunting. And I say we, because I have recently joined the ranks of women who spear fish. Woohoo!!

Having had more free diving practice this year I was excited to try loading and shooting the spear gun and even more excited when my first shot garnered a perfect eating-sized marbled grouper just off of our boat. We cooked it immediately on the beach over a coconut husk fire and the thrill of the kill made it more delicious.

I’m interested in trying more hunting although only in areas where the sharks are less frisky. Our friends spear even in the sharky areas and I’m definitely not ready for that.



Kiting the Tuamotus Teaser


Kiting in the Tuamotus, French Polynesia

I was considering titling this “why you should sail to the S Pacific”.

We are planning a longer post about kiting in the Tuamotus. We have strapped the gopro camera to the kite, to the kite strings, to our board. We have used our waterproof camera to take eye level shots up close while standing in the water. Eventually I will put all of that together into a series, but for now I will occasionally post a favorite photo.

Life does not suck for Team Giddyup.

Logbook: Moving SE in the Tuamotus


P1000283 (As usual, this blog is behind our actual movements. In this case, more than a month behind because we’ve been out of internet range for 5 weeks so far and are using a cell phone data stick from a friend to post this. Also as usual, you can find our actual position by checking our map located somewhere in the navigation bar on top.)

When we left the haul out facility in Apataki we had a little over a week of light northeasterly wind and we took advantage of that to move quickly (well, at least quickly for cruisers) all of the way to Tahanea.

Why book it to the SE? Well we have kind of a complicated plan for the first part of this season. The yellow line is our current movements and the red dot is our current position roughly.

We have an entire season (roughly until October) in the Tuamotus. Right now we are traveling with two other boats that only have a few months in the Tuamotus and their plan was to get to carte_zones_mar_crop_routeTahanea, make a u-turn and work there way back to a few atolls before having to leave. We also have an upcoming reunion with SV Bella Star  and we wanted to be somewhere spectacular when they arrived and show them some great places while they are in the Tuamotus. By moving with our buddy boats we can meet Bella Star in Tahanea and then move back to Fakarava.

P1000273 The light NE winds made for an in lagoon flat water asymm spinnaker run from the N to S of Fakarava. What a treat.

We did a touch and go, single night anchorage in Fakarava. It was very difficult to leave that place because it is one of our favorites but we knew we were coming back and that moving to Tahanea in the current weather window would be fantastic sailing and it was.

While we were in Fakarava we squeezed in one drift snorkel in the pass. As usual, amazing visibility, great coral, tons of fish and SHARKY! We saw our first lemon shark (requin citron en francais) and it was nearly 8 feet long. No pictures, we were too nervous until it left the scene.


Plastic Reduction



We usually use the ad money generated from this site for something extravagant and/or unnecessary – fancy dinner, drinks out, booze for the boat. This time we decided to use the money for something that we would not normally budget but that would be good for our local environment.

It doesn’t take long for a sailor to become up close and personal with the impact of plastic. Plastic in the water, plastic on the beaches. It sucks, right? Hard to get away from plastic totally but we all do what we feel we can.

One thing that most people have reduced is their use of plastic bags. Fabric grocery bags are easy and practical on the boat, problem solved.

What is a new addition to our vessel, thanks to the google ad money, are purpose built mesh fruit/veggie bags. *love them* Here they are pictures above full of veg from Fakarava. Each bag is big enough to hold 4 cucumbers or a couple of bundles of leeks and is easily bleach/washable when it gets dirty.

Thank you!

2012 Repairs in Paradise


IMG_6938 (1280x853)In one year of cruising in Mexico and the South Pacific, over 2012, what broke?

Sun damage on thread: The number of times we have repaired sunbrella stitching on our two headsails: 3. The number of times we have repaired the sunbrella stitching on our mainsail cover: 2. The number of times I have repaired stitching on our aging dodger: 2.

The impact of popping and rolling: One lower furler bearing. Probably contributed to the sacrificial suncover stitching going on the headsails as well. We also had some old thin attachment points on our running back stays (to the block and tackle) split through. We replaced them with real (new) shackles.

The impact of salt water: After burying our nose in the waves for two windward passages our windlass was so crusted with salt that it became unusable. While trying to use the unusable windlass I caused the chain to skip the gypsy while freeing it and dumped all of our chain overboard (still connected to the boat of course). Our relatively new chain has some rust as does our anchor.

General wear and tear: We have had minor chafe on several halyards (nothing has chafed through). We need to re-do some of the furniture tabbing which we will do this coming hurricane season.

Unusual breakages: Our spool valve broke on our watermaker. Also, our cockpit microphone stopped working (still trouble shooting).

In general I consider this a fairly normal or even light amount of breakage on a boat that has been used continuously for a year, covering a lot of open ocean miles.

Logbook: Rotoava, Fakarava



IMAG0194This is not our first stop at Rotoava. We were here briefly last year for supplies. It is one of the major villages in this area of the Tuamotus and so a good place to get whatever it is you need and the odds are good we’ll see this town again.

We timed our visit with the arrival of the Cobia, the interisland freighter that brings supplies and people throughout the Tuamotus. With its arrival came fresh fruit and vegetables and so in addition to the dried goods, gasoline, laundry, internet, post office, cell phone recharge, ATM* errands we were also able to load up on fresh goods.

Not much to say other than we find the village quite friendly. And also that we enjoy the ice cream at a tiny shop just South of the concrete quai or just North of the new wooden dinghy pont (dock). 150CFP for a double cornet.

*There is now an ATM at the post office. Big news for Tuamotus travelers!


Click on the dollar and buy Livia and Carol a cold frosty one:


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