Category Archives: By Jessie

VIDEO Ep. 19: French Polynesia~The Gambier Islands

April 2016 After the challenging 12-day sail from Rapa Nui (Easter Island) to the Gambier Islands, we savored our first taste of French Polynesia. The Gambiers are rarely visited by cruisers because they are off the more popular “Coconut Milk Run” route from the Americas, wherein landfall is typically made in the northern island chain […]
Read More »

Three sparrows, one family, and a dog with a phantom pregnancy

May 2016 One morning while we sipped our coffee off Rikitea, we watched a small boat sail into the anchorage. Three guys scampered about, setting their anchor and launching their rowing dinghy. French citizens are able to remain in French Polynesia indefinitely, so we assumed the crew were from France and had, at most, sailed […]
Read More »

Pearls…the queen of gems and the gem of queens

May 2016 We hoped the overcast morning sky would clear as the day warmed, but even if it didn’t, we would not be deterred by a bit of drear today! We had a field trip planned – we were off to visit the pearl farm we’d learned about during one of our long walks on […]
Read More »

Once upon a floating mountain

May 2016 Trees on this floating mountain (the literal meaning of “Mangareva”) have dug their roots into the very edges of the lagoon, where fertile soil covers volcanic stone and dark coral. Palm and banana fronds stand between bushy pamplemousse trees and waxy-leafed breadfruit branches that stretch beneath towering giants with long, splayed needles, the […]
Read More »

All work and no play…

April & May 2016 Mike and Gill on s/v Romano arrived a few hours ahead of us, and despite the exhausting challenges they dealt with en route, they invited us over for dinner. We mustered the energy to bathe for the first time in nearly two weeks, to pump up Miss Sassy, and to row […]
Read More »

Ep. 18 VIDEO: Mother Nature Takes the Helm

April 2016 Our passage from Rapa Nui (Easter Island) to the Gambiers Islands of French Polynesia was one of extremes. For nearly four days, we soared beneath our genoa alone and made over 6 knots average! On the flipside, we were pummeled by two back-to-back gales that made our last five days challenging and exhausting. […]
Read More »

Twelve days of trials and tribulations on a tempestuous sea

April 2016 Bad things come in threes After 17 tremendous days of hiking and exploring Rapa Nui, day 18 felt like a triple-decker crap sandwich. First, we awoke to a cacophonous grinding echoing through the hull. Our anchor chain was wrapped on a coral bommie on the seafloor, some 80 feet below. Like string between […]
Read More »

A tale of a gale at 25° south

April 2016 Today was the type of day we want our mothers to believe we do not experience out here. The Pacific morphed from its usually inviting blue to a fierce shade of gray, and gale-force winds gnashed at the boat for 10 hours. Sheets of rain lashed our faces and wind whipped the crests […]
Read More »

Ep. 17 VIDEO: Treks, Tours & Tattoos in Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

March & April 2016 Reaching Rapa Nui aboard The Red Thread was an immense accomplishment for us, and given that some boats reach the island only to find swell conditions untenable, we were truly fortunate to enjoy 18 incredible days there in April! Seas collide with the island after thousands of miles of wide open […]
Read More »

Rapa Nui: Moai, misfortune, and a mysterious cult

March & April 2016 After four days of exploring and tackling projects aboard Red Thread (and s/v Prince Diamond) in Rapa Nui’s northernmost anchorage, swell conditions improved, and our small cruising fleet sailed from Anakena to Hanga Roa to officially clear into the country. We buried our 45-pound delta anchor in the sandy seabed 90 […]
Read More »

Rapa Nui: On the heels of Hotu Matu’a

March 2016 At dawn on day 15 out of the Galápagos, the outline of Rapa Nui—Easter Island—etched the horizon and the scent of flora lingered in the air. The craggy outline grew larger as the sun climbed to its zenith and then ducked behind a mass of heavy, leaden clouds. The vista exceeded images we’d […]
Read More »

Ep. 16 VIDEO: Over 2,000 sea miles from Galápagos to Rapa Nui

March 2016 Our passage to from the Galápagos to Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Chile, tried our perseverance like no other passage we’d experienced. The trade winds had more south in them than we’d anticipated, so for most of the passage we close-reached, sailing 55 to 75 degrees off the wind in 18 to 30 knots. […]
Read More »

Two weeks to windward: Our voyage to Rapa Nui

March 2016 If you tilt your chair at an angle of 35° and imagine living for [11 of 14] days with your kitchen dining room and bedroom tilted at that angle, and then suppose that it is all being bumped about like an iron-wheeled cart pulled over boulders, you will get a fair idea how […]
Read More »

Pre-jump jitters: Are we “really” ready?

March 2016 It’s the night before our departure for Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Chile, one of the most remote inhabited islands on earth, and the almost complete absence of anxiety about this passage—which has characterized the past months for me—has evaporated. In the stead of my exuberance is an almost suffocating sense of fear. Are […]
Read More »

Ep. 15 VIDEO: The Galápagos-Part 3: Isla Isabela

March 2016 On Isla Isabela in the Galápagos, we saw our first tropical penguins and spent more time than we care to recall tackling repairs. We experienced one of the most memorable excursions of our entire trip at Los Tunneles. There, we snorkeled with dozens of giant Galápagos’ sea turtles, sharks, and cownose eagle rays […]
Read More »