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Travel notebook

Transpacifique – Semaine 4

Just like the previous weeks, the fourth and last big week went well. When we wrote the last weekly, the wind was picking up, which was a good omen for our arrival. Unfortunately, the wind was not with us all week, far from it. 

We start this last section with a lot of wind and a big swell. Strong point, we are making good progress, weakness : it's sporty to steer; you can't have everything. Some waves are so big that the boat lies down at more than 45°: crazy! We also saw dolphins jumping in the afternoon. Our friends seem to appreciate our presence and are not afraid to swim near the boat.

The next day, the conditions have not calmed down. We always have wind on the beam (about 18 to 20 knots) so we are making good progress. So much so that we are making 150 minute days. That's 50 minutes more than our average in the Atlantic! With this speed, we should reach the Marquesas in 7-9 days! We still have less than 900NM to cover and today is the day when we pass under the 1000NM mark. We do not see any boat, and this, since the second day of navigation for my part. We are alone in this ocean.

Alone, not really. We always communicate with our families. We are happy with the feedback on the articles and to know that they please the people who discover our trip. That was also the goal: to make you dream through our stories. More and more people are following us and the stories bring the community together. Sometimes I don't feel like writing but I never regret. It's easier to write at sea: every day I have time to sit down, something almost impossible on land.

After such a good start to the week, we had to remember that all good things must come to an end. Everything is still going well on the boat, but the wind has weakened and turned. We are now downwind so we are not going as fast. We have to pitch the genoa to prevent it from fanning and flapping.

In fact, we use a sort of large beam, the spinnaker pole, which we attach to the mainsail mast and to the genoa at the other end to tension the sail. With this configuration, the genoa is moved to the side of the boat, to the front, which makes it unbalanced. Thus, the boat rolls from starboard to port, helped by a cross swell from behind... And if the boat rolls, we also in our beds. But it doesn't matter because we are coming soon.

Also, I almost took a flying fish in my head. Emilien and Lucas have already experienced this painful experience and I had the right to a warning. The fish came so close that its fin touched my face! Overall, we regularly have flying fish that land on the boat and therefore, they sometimes play kamikazes with us. The worst thing is that these attacks are from two kinds : physical and olfactory because these fish smell really strong ! 

Apart from these small animations, not much is happening on the Noddi, we are moving more slowly than usual and the weather conditions are really calming down. As a result, it was time to act. 

The batteries were low. The fridge was in off mode at night. This happens when you pull too much on the batteries during the day, so we put ourselves in energy saving mode. Then we had to give the solar panels a little boost: there was only one solution, run the engine to get the alternator to do its job. For those of you who have been following along, you will remember that our good old Perkins diesel was on the fritz, but that it shouldn't be a big deal. So it was time to check it out and start the engine again! 

At the beginning of the afternoon, we spent 2h30 with Emilien to repurge the diesel circuits, to empty again the decanter bowls, to check that the engine was not seized... There was still a lot of water in the tanks and the operation was long. 

Finally, after a snack break, we tried to restart it: but without success Even with the start-pilote. Of the blow, rebelote, we repurge the circuit which still had a little air in. One repeats the starting: bingo ! The engine starts but immediately stalls. So, for the third and last time, we repurpose the circuit and restart the engine. This time, it comes to life! The good old Perkins is running smoothly! What a joy. We shout with joy at this moment: the engine is repaired, the batteries are recharged and the arrival in the Marquesas will be facilitated. We still have to empty the decanter bowls regularly to avoid putting water back in the engine. We were less than 500NM from the finish, the wind was picking up and everything seemed to line up for us.

The last three days of the crossing were spent without a hitch. Despite a capricious wind that did not want to move us forward, or at least not in the right direction, we had to be patient. We were so excited to arrive! We didn't have many fresh vegetables left, the conditions weren't perfect, but just the idea of arriving soon filled us with joy. And, as a sign of hope, we saw our first sailboat! It was behind us and moving more towards 300° than us.

D-Day, we know that we will arrive at night. This is not normally a problem, but on that day there were a lot of wind. 

We are in the night of May 9 to 10 and Lucas is at the helm. He will be the first to see the land. Then Emilien during his watch and finally me. It is there, on our starboard side. Majestic, Hiva Oa stretches out all along its length and the immense dark mass disturbs the immensity of the ocean. After 30 days in the middle of the water, the show seems unreal.

The island is almost not lit which reinforces its wild side. The shapes that appear on the starry sky are steep and we can imagine a primary, unexplored land.

We lowered all the sails and turned on the engine. First small victory since it starts unhindered. Then, we take the course towards our supposed arrival, a cove which is used as an anchorage for the sailboats arriving from the Pacific. This one is not lit at all, so we decide not to go too deep into it because the chart indicates that the maneuver is complicated. 

As soon as we enter the creek, the smell of the land embraces us. The earth, the flowers, the vegetation, the seaweed... We feel everything! We had probably forgotten how everything smelled so good and so strong. After a month without smells, our senses are on fire. For me, the best moment of the crossing.

It is thus in this olfactory explosion that we maneuver the boat and that we put the anchor. That's it, we made it, we are in the Marquesas Islands! After 30 days of sailing, we drop anchor in the bay of Hiva Oa, one of the islands of the archipelago. Moment of intense joy, at 4:30 am, we savor our victory. We hear the waves breaking on a seawall, the cliffs are all around us.

The next day, after a very short night (under the blow of the excitement, it was difficult to really sleep) we discover the landscape which is offered to us. We are in paradise! We see the Polynesian houses with colored tin roofs, they are placed on steep and green hills. We also discover a fauna and a flora that we had never seen before. Large black birds with a red protuberance under the head fly above us. In front of the Noddi, especially, we see a movie set: an immense green cirque, made of cliffs falling into the ocean. The top of the mountainous formation is in the clouds and the cliffs seem never to stop climbing. In the distance, we see what looks like banana trees. 

Everything around us is wild, beautiful and primitive. We knew that these islands were among the most beautiful places in the world but we didn't expect this. 

We move the boat of about thirty meters to get us out of a trap and, finally, we inflate the dinghy to go ashore. We leave to discover Hiva Oa!

Our thoughts are also naturally with Mr. Cuilleret, designer of our beautiful sailboat. His name: Noddi obviously suggests that this man has imagined it to get here, so it is with great humility that we renew our thanks, with a thought for the man and the work.

Daily coordinates: 

17 Comments
  • Hortense
    May 23, 2022Reply

    J’ai découvert votre projet il n’y a pas longtemps et vous faites rêver mon âme de navigatrice ! J’ai dévoré vos articles et regardé toutes vos vidéos, et on a l’impression de vivre cette expérience avec vous, c’est juste incroyable ! Bon vent les gars et kiffer bien la terre ferme !

    • JYBE
      June 11, 2022Reply

      Merci bien Hortense, ça nous fait chaud au cœur. Nous avons prévu de publier beaucoup de choses dans les jours qui viennent. Restez attentive !

  • Jean-Luc et Florence
    May 22, 2022Reply

    Bonjour les jeunes, bravo pour les traversées océaniques, ca fait envie !

    Je suis content que la Noddi ait fait ces preuves, je me souviens de la première visite où vous l’aviez scruté avec intéret ! Dire qu’il allait partir à la casse !

    Bonjour de la Ciotat !

    • JYBE
      June 11, 2022Reply

      Bonjour à vous ! Quel plaisir de vous lire, en effet le bateau tient toutes ses promesses et aujourd’hui nous parcourons le globe avec lui ! Que de chemin parcouru !

  • sebastien
    May 15, 2022Reply

    Encore un super article de léo , toujours aussi agréable à lire 🙂
    bravo à vous 3

    • JYBE
      June 11, 2022Reply

      Merci Sébastien !

  • Daniel et Jeanne Marie
    May 14, 2022Reply

    Quelle belle aventure, merci pour ce récit Léo, nous avons ressenti avec vous les odeurs,
    admiré les couleurs, vibré avec vous pour la capture de ce magnifique poisson, suivi avec vous en pensées votre traversée avec ses hauts et ses bas…..
    Profitez en bien, on attend les photos !

    • JYBE
      June 11, 2022Reply

      Daniel et Jeanne Marie, très heureux que ce récit vous fasse voyager ! Très bientôt de belles images sur notre chaîne Youtube

  • Mireille dumeou
    May 14, 2022Reply

    Magnifique écriture . J ai l impression de voir l immensité de l océan et votre arrivée aux Marquises. Je voyais la végétation et les couleurs. Bravo les gars vous êtes admirables.

    • JYBE
      June 11, 2022Reply

      Un grand merci pour ce chaleureux commentaire Mireille, de nombreux contenus arrivent dans les prochains jours.

  • Carpentier Claude/Nicole
    May 13, 2022Reply

    C’est toujours avec grand plaisir et impatience de recevoir le compte rendu de votre aventure et surtout de te lire mon Léo et ressentir toutes ces émotions que tu nous fait partager. Bravo les garçons et profité de ce joli endroit paradisiaque que sont les Marquises.

  • Stéphanie
    May 12, 2022Reply

    Bravo pour ce magnifique article; j’ai l’impression, en le lisant, de ressentir toutes vos émotions ! J’ai adoré !

  • Motard
    May 12, 2022Reply

    Bravo pour ce magnifique article; j’ai l’impression, en le lisant, de ressentir toutes vos émotions ! J’ai adoré !

  • Sandrine
    May 12, 2022Reply

    Quel article captivant!! Comme tous les autres d’ailleurs! Mais celui-ci, cette magnifique description des lieux et de vos émotions après cette si longue traversée, a une tout autre saveur pour ta petite mamounette… Merci mon grand et bravo à vous 3! Profitez de ces moments uniques et revenez-nous avec autant de photos et de souvenirs à raconter que possible.

  • Monique
    May 12, 2022Reply

    Superbe article, bravo Léo et bravo à vous trois. Cette traversée, vous nous l’avez fait vivre presque en live! Félicitations ! Vous avez mérité de vous reposer et de prendre le temps de visiter ces îles de rêve.

  • Christian
    May 12, 2022Reply

    Chapeau les garçons, vous êtes des « chefs aventuriers ». Vos récits nous font vibrer. Qu’est-ce que je vous envie !

  • Danièle Ruibet
    May 12, 2022Reply

    Ça fait vraiment rêver ! Quelle chance de pouvoir découvrir cet Eden ! Mais quel courage justement d’y être arrivés ! Magnifique récit de Léo 👍 ! Je vous kiffe les gars! !!!!

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