March 28, 2018

The idea of sailing the South Pacific always starts with the arrival in the Marquesas.

Like the Crosby, Stills, Nash song Southern Cross,” sailing a reach before the following sun” is pretty much spot on.  I happily signed off the passage and spent a month back home, catching up and enjoying? the last gasps of winter. Sadly, while I was home, our dear cousin, Dr. Frank Essis, died suddenly at just 44 years old.  He was not just a relative, but a friend and avid sailor who helped us on several passages, gave us a crash course in surgery and was excited to follow our progress. He and his family planned to join us in Fiji in July.  His passing reminds us how lucky we are to be following our dream.

Although the cloud of the sad news was with them, as the passage was already underway, Steve, Dan and Phil had the classic Coconut Milk Run, other than a chafed halyard and sail in the water fire drill just a day out from landfall.  Happily, sixteen days and a 12 hours later, Alora was safe at anchor in Hiva Oa, the most eastward of the Marquesas and first in Class A again!

Flying back to meet the boat was no easy task, PHL to LAX, then Air Tahiti to Pape’ete and another three hours BACK east to Nuka Hiva.  I wonder if maybe the passage would have been easier!


A quick tour of Nuka Hiva including a waterfall hike, traditional dance show and romantic dinner was all we had time for before off to the Tuamotus.  That’s what I get for jumping ship!



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