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Old 12-01-2014, 18:39   #1
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Has anyone sailed through the islands from Australia to Tahiti

Hi there,
We're looking at various options of getting our boat from Sydney to Tahiti.
Plan A was sail via NZ and then Rapa Iti but we've heard of a few people that have waited for windows in the trades and hopped across.

Is this really a viable option?

Sarky remarks need not be posted, thanks!
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Old 12-01-2014, 19:11   #2
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Re: Has anyone sailed through the islands from Australia to Tahiti

I dont think the wibdows in the trades are that long.

Evans Starzinger is your man on this form who has dont that trip, or nearly it all, i think he went to Hawaii from NZ.

I dont think its a fun trip. Down in the westerlies till you can turn north. Talk a warm woman with you.
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Old 12-01-2014, 19:15   #3
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Re: Has anyone sailed through the islands from Australia to Tahiti

Thanks Mark. Yes we've been told that again and again as we were with sailing to Lord Howe. We had a horrid time attempting to get to Lord Howe and now my warm woman wants to post the boat to Tahiti!
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Old 13-01-2014, 03:03   #4
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Re: Has anyone sailed through the islands from Australia to Tahiti

Tambourine Man,

The vessel New Morning, a Holman & Pye 2 tonner did that trip with two children aboard in 1990, we met them in Bora Bora. We heard no complaints.

If you can live with being hard on the wind for a long time, possibly slowing down the boat a bit for sleeping at night, it shouldn't be too bad. If your good lady is prone to seasickness, see that she finds medicine that helps her. If she doesn't want to make the trip, let her go by air and you take crew. It's rather a long voyage, but doable.

Some folks go from Australia to NZ, then on to the Australs then north to Tahiti. It is usually a rough passage, but lots of people do it, and it does take advantage of the westerlies. It's a little hard to get the strength of them right, though.

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Old 20-01-2014, 18:18   #5
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Re: Has anyone sailed through the islands from Australia to Tahiti

Is it possible to take a longer way and go via Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands etc.

I know anything is possible I was more asking whether the shorter hops wudl make this more feasible.

Would it all be on the wind?
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Old 26-02-2014, 16:21   #6
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Re: Has anyone sailed through the islands from Australia to Tahiti

We are making the trip from Brisbane to Fiji this year in May. The plan is to sail Brisbane to Santo, Vanuatu with refuge / weather stops behind the coral islets, then down the Vanuatu Island chain and depart Tanna for Fiji. We will need a reasonable weather window for the Vanuatu to Fiji leg in order to make some SE miles before heading in a more ENE direction against or across the SE trades. Our boat goes reasonably well to windward and even better with slightly cracked sheets. We do not expect it to be a comfortable trip.
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Old 27-02-2014, 15:01   #7
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Re: Has anyone sailed through the islands from Australia to Tahiti

JBH,

If you're referring to Chesterfield reef, it is under the control of the French, and they used to patrol it and evict the yachties that did not have their permission to stop there. In recent years, they have not done this, having more trouble with fishermen who poach in this reserve area. They still have the power, though.

FWIW, we find it is easier to stay in our ocean going sleep regime than lose it by stopping, unless there is weather or other good reason to stop, between Brissie and Vanuatu on the outbound leg. Also, FWIW, Customs will check you out from Southport, and that will give you a slightly better angle on the approach.

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Old 27-02-2014, 15:11   #8
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Re: Has anyone sailed through the islands from Australia to Tahiti

Thx Ann for the tip.

We are attempting to get permission to stop at Chesterfield and Huon from Official channels as this will keep all parties happy. Do you know of anyone that has been successful in obtaining this?

The Brisbane departure point is more of a convenience for us as we have friends willing to help with provisioning and last minute jobs based out of Manly. The reefs stops are the reason for taking this route as we intend on diving at each of the locations subject to approvals. Any experience or advice is greatly appreciated.

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Old 21-03-2014, 01:41   #9
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Re: Has anyone sailed through the islands from Australia to Tahiti

We went with the Brisbane-Vanuatu rally, and had permission to stop at Huon reef. Dr Alan Profke ran the rally, and he organised getting permission. It might be worth giving him a call to find out what was involved.
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Old 21-03-2014, 02:06   #10
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Re: Has anyone sailed through the islands from Australia to Tahiti

Thanks Alan,

I sent a message just this morning to them via the sailing vanuatu website. Hopefully I get a response.
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Old 16-06-2014, 15:55   #11
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Re: Has anyone sailed through the islands from Australia to Tahiti

As an update we completed our passage from Brisbane to Fiji via Vanuatu on the 2nd June (2 weeks in Vanuatu). The Brisbane to Chesterfield leg was 50% cracked sheets and 50% on the nose. From Chesterfield to Vanuatu was 20% cracked sheets and 80% on the nose. The last 4 days were 20 knots and rain. Wind varied from 5 knots to 38 knots. The final leg from Vanuatu to Fiji was 100% on the nose and we completed the passage in 3.5 days, but we do go well to windward. The breeze was a consistent 15 to 25 knots from the SE and essentially we were on stb tack of 90% of the time. From my observations the windows between the trades are not very big. Perhaps 24 to 36 hours or so.

By the way we had some work done by Port Vila Boat yard and the work and price was top quality. I can recommend business and the new owners were fantastic with helping us get the job done quickly.
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Old 16-06-2014, 17:31   #12
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Re: Has anyone sailed through the islands from Australia to Tahiti

Good report. Lots of great diving in Fiji, between Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Also nice around Astrolabe (but do your sevusevus first!)


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