Join Date: Nov 2006
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my girlfriend and I crossed from Galapagos to New zealand in 2005 on our 36 ft Westerly Conway. Galapagos to Marquesas was a very pleasant crossing. Society Islands to Tonga was a squally one with nasty little lows on the weather chart that look like nothing but are surprisingly stormy. Tonga -New Zealand was of another category. In twelfe days we were hit by 3 low pressure systems (they travel at 40 knots here). The second one brought us 5 hours of over 60 kts winds and about 20 hours in the normal region of the 30-40 knots. That was the nastier but relatively brief. We met a californian chap that was cruising on his 26 ft and made the same crossings we made that year. So, if you will crew on a 45 ft, you shouldn't have safety problems, provided that the skipper is reasonably experienced and is sailing consevatively. But do not forget that if you break a stay or similar (very possible on such a long delivery, as we broke three of them but had spares), the crossings will get MUCH longer. I would say that ayway the bigger risk in all the business will sure be the relationships with the other crew members.
As for the stops: don't miss Isabela in Galapagos, Fatu Hiva in Marquesas, at least one atoll in Tuamotu, and at least one of the nicest Society Islands such as Bora Bora or Moorea. Prices in French Polynesia seem to be very expensive, but all the basics are very cheap as they are subventioned by the government (flour, sugar, rice, pasta, emmenthal cheese, tomato sauce etc). And if you like to hiking in the forest you will be able to come back with your backpack full of fresh fruits (bananas, papayas, limes etc).