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Salhelm1 small.jpg (7029 bytes)UPDATE - TALLSHIP SOREN LARSEN RETURNS IN 2004 TO EASTER ISLAND - PITCAIRN - MARQUESAS & TAHITI
2 April - 21 May - See more here

 

25 April.  First Mate Sally Anderson's Web Log report from Easter Island onwards. This is written at sea a couple of weeks before they arrived at Tahiti, as they sail towards the Marquesas. In this second instalment Sally reviews their time at Pitcairn and onwards to the Marquesas:

........."Tues 3rd April
Wind ENE, force two, backing to the NNW. We’re atop a high moving through.

1230 Land Ho! Cpt Jim gets the tot of rum. Henderson Island ahead. Henderson is part of the Pitcairn Islands. Jim shades.jpg (8900 bytes)(Editors note: past VCrew may note with interest that Capt Jim has an uncanny knack for being first to spot land on the distant horizon, eg St Helena, Azcores, Aitutaki, North Cape, Easter Island etc etc, We feel this is undoubtedly due to his unerring Master's eye, unparalleled squarerig experience and generally salty demeanour - and not because he has primery access to the chart and DR position calculations, as some may be suggesting...)
The islands are a British Dependency and four islands make up the group. Ducie Island lies nearly 300 nm East from Pitcairn, Henderson about 100nm ENE, and Oeno Island is situated 75nm NNW of Pitcairn. Oeno and Ducie are low lying atolls and Pitcairn a volcanic island while Henderson is a Makatea Island, meaning an old coral atoll that has been uplifted so exposing the coral rock high above the sea.

hender4.jpg (8524 bytes)We arrive off the Northern side around 1400, we have permission only to land here at the Northern beach as the island is a World Heritage Site. Unfortunately the swell makes for an unsafe landing. Underway 1630, motorsailing with light Northerlys.

Wed 4th April
At 0630 a SE wind fills in, Main Engine off. The wind continues to freshen and all aboard are happy we are now sailing for our arrival at Pitcairn. The wind is now a good force five and Soren is making 6 knots easily. Great sailing. Jim chats again to Pitcairn on the radio, we all listen in and it sounds as though they are about as excited as we are at our arrival. We make a date for afternoon tea. It’s a beautiful island, volcanic with lofty, almost vertical cliffs and lush, dense vegetation. The swell is still heavy and impressive as it smashes against the rocks at the base of the cliffs.
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It is hard to believe it was here over two centuries ago that Fletcher Christian and eight other mutineers arrived on HMS Bounty, and their colony still survives.

We nearly sail onto the anchorage, but the wind backs unfavourably. We anchor off Adamstown in Bounty Bay. It’s quite stirring being here, at this fairytale refuge, exciting and rather curious.

The rest of the day is rather hectic. Before we know it one of the large aluminium long boats is underway and alongside with over half the population aboard!! Total Population is 43. The atmosphere is incredible, it’s like a long lost family reunion. Everyone's chatting and introducing themselves, the kids are climbing out on the jiboom, lots of fruit is received as gifts, including breadfruit (rather ironic!) and there’s cuppas and scones for everyone. VC Irish Geoff(Saunders) even receives two letters.pit3.jpg (7062 bytes)

The swell isn’t easing off and it is decided to bring the longboat back alongside to pick up our VC and the islanders. The Pitcairners are famous for their boathandling skills, the landing at Bounty Bay is protected by a small seawall and it takes great skill to manoeuvre the longboats between the swells to the landing. There is no safe haven at Pitcairn so this is the only way ashore.

Once ashore, our VC are split up to stay with different families. Everyone has some wonderful stories and experiences from their time ashore and attached are accounts from VC Mary, Irish Geoff and Young Geoff.

PC Rob and Troy where lucky enough to join the crew of one of the longboats to meet a container ship collectingpit2.jpg (4819 bytes) mail and empty gas bottles on the Thursday night. Conditions where rough with a good thirty knots blowing and still the heavy swell. On the Thursday PCrew Nick and Troy visited the school and enjoyed an afternoon of sport and blah blah blah. The school has one teacher and seven students.

We stay all of Thursday and Thursday night and Friday and leave late Friday afternoon, sooner than expected due to the conditions at the anchorage. pit5.jpg (12414 bytes)The longboat ride out on Friday, to drop PC and VC back aboard was hair-raising to say the least and the transfer just as exciting. Unfortunately the conditions wouldn’t allow for a final get-together aboard and our 3 cheers (and a long one, and a short one) would have to do. It was sad to leave, but what an amazing experience we have had to visit here, definitely the highlight of the trip for me.

Fri 6th April
Weighed anchor and set sail at 1730, wind is ESE and fresh, course
330 degrees compass. VC Pieter and Kirsten have been putting a lot of effort into their own website, a photographic journal of the voyage, using their digital camera. The address is www.peitermol.com

Sat 7th April
Wind E’ly, force 5, sighted Oeno Island. This is where the Pitcairners pack up and head for their holidays. We don’t stop.

Sun 8th April
Doesn’t feel like a Sunday as we’ve run out of eggs! On leaving Pitcairn we have discovered some of the beer we purchased is good old Aussie VB! Makes ya homesick!

Mon 9th April
Light winds, 1700 start Main Engine. 2000 wind fills in from SE, Main Engine off.
VC Bill Ferguson has surprised us all with his singing! Tonight we have a sea shanties night, led by the talented Terri. VC Bill, from Scotland, takes the stage for a solo and surprises us all with his amazing voice.

Tues 10th April
Wind backs to the East, now a good force four. We still haven’t sighted a ship. The only one sighted since Panama was the poor old fishing vessel that lost its chopper right before our eyes! A rather dramatic sighting for the only one. This was the leg from Cocos Island to the Galapagos. We have crossed three main shipping routes as well. The great circle (the shortest distance between two points on a sphere) track from Auckland to Panama passes very close to Pitcairn and the routes from Sydney and Southern Australia pass just south of Easter Island.

Wed 11th April
Strong Easterly winds still prevail.
Jim’s afternoon lecture covers Polynesian Navigation and we all decide to give it a go starting tomorrow to the Marquesas. Another successful day-workers dinner. The dress up theme being souvenirs?, and a beautiful chicken based dish is appreciated by all.

Thur 12th April
At 0800 hours the ships magnetic compass is covered up?
Polynesian Navigation, it’s a fascinating challenge.
The three main skills involved in this traditional style of navigation were
1.Steering a course at sea:
This included relating swell directions, prevailing winds the bearings of the sun and certain stars to the course desired. Jim has worked out the hourly bearings of the sun and required stars and we relate these bearings to our course with the aid of a dummy card atop the compass, otherwise known as a Pelorus, where ahead or "0" relates to our course.

2. Maintaining a running fix of ones position by dead reckoning:
This is an estimation only of the ships position, based on speed through the water and the course steered which we correct for leeway. This is in relation to a fixed point, such as a point of origin, or island sighted on the way.

3. Making an island landfall:
We just hope to see it, but the indigenous form of navigation included cloud formations over high islands, swell formations, the reflection of atoll lagoon colours in the clouds, bird life, reefs; as deep reefs can change the colour of the sea and shallow reefs can effect the sea state. Also deep water bio-luminesence which flashes in the water, apparently lies along the direction of the land.

So if your reading this you know we’ve made it!!

This afternoon we also conduct a fire drill. The wind veers from ENE to ESE and is abating.

Fri 13th April
Good Friday.
I wonder what the Polynesians did when it was overcast? Dilemma solved. Terri saves the day with her freshly baked hot cross buns!!
Wind backs to NE and is light. By the afternoon though the sky has cleared and the wind is strong, a good force six, Soren making 6 knots.

Sat 14th April
Strong NE’ers all night, wind veers to the East and eases in the day.

Daphne.-Photo Bob Lewis (14437 bytes)Sun 15th April
0930 Sighted Fatu Hiva, the southern most island in the Marquesas.
Phew!!
Daphne and Mary organise an Easter Egg treasure hunt. Four separate trails of clues, one for each watch. Clues found all over the ship, way aloft and even one in the heads! We anchor on the western side in the Bay of Virgins, reputed to be one of the most spectacular bays in Polynesia. It’s stunning. A dip before sunset off the ship and then Pina Colades followed by dinner on deck and a few more drinks.

Over the next week we plan to visit four of the islands in the Marquesas.
Hiva Oa; the main southern island, Tahuata; where Cook first landed, Ua Pou and then Nuku Hiva; the main island.

And we hope to make at least one stop at the Tuamotu Islands before arriving in Tahiti."

To be continued...... Click here for Part one of this Weblog report Easter Island - Henderson.

Below are links to Sally Anderson's Web Log reports from the Galapagos to Easter island:
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Part 1 tells of their passage from Panama to Cocos island - 7/12th Feb. Click here.

Part 2 covers from Cocos Island to the Galapagos - 13/18th Feb.  Click here: 

Part 3 recounts their journey between Galapagos and Easter Island, and their experiment in traditional navigation methods,   22 - 28th Feb:

Part 4: Continues the passage to their arrival at Easter Island, 1st-19th March: Click here.

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VOYAGE CREW RETURNING HOME:  Scan and email or post your pictures of your voyage! If you have an account of your trip or a special moment then let us a know. Your tales can be included in the Voyage Log!

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14 Easter Island -Pitcairn
13 Sally's reports,
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10 Galapagos
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Paul Huisking reflects on his
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See pictures of the Curacao - Panama voyage at V. Crew Bob Lewis' own webpage

 

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See pics from John Homes and Alan Murphy of the Grenada-Curacao leg.
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UK Refit 1:
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