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World Traveler
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody,

I'm new to sailing and will be sailing from Vancouver Island to New Zealand via the Marquesas, Tuamotus, Societies, Samoa, Fiji and Tonga, as 1st mate, departing in May. On board will be the captain, myself and my partner and we will be travelling in a 2004 Beneteau 473 (49ft sloop).

We are currently making preparations and I would like to hear from people who have made pacific crossings before who may have tips for us. The captain has experience sailing in the Carribean and up the west cost of the north America between San Diego and Alaska, but not made a pacific crossing before.

I read that many of the anchorages in the Pacific are deeper than those of the Carribean...can anyone comment on this? Our boat has a beam of just under 5m I think...recommendations on anchor rode length? Anchor selection? Spare anchor requirements? (I'm currently reading about anchoring in case you hadn't guessed)

Any provisioning tips? I know food is expensive on many of the islands. We are thinking lots of rice, pasta, tortillas, a bread maker, canned stuff, fresh fish.

The boat will be hauled out soon for general inspection, painting and zinc change etc. New life jackets, lifelines,sail repair kit, epirb,handheld gps, and medical kit for trip. garnim is shipping the map chips. buying paper charts also.
Small portable gen set (1800watts) obaord to run ac while in port if batteries run down for some reason. Plan on having 180 gallon of deisel on board ( 1200nm range) and 20 gal. gas (80 hrs gen operation) at departure.

I would really appreciate any advice or direction to good resources as this will be my first long passage on a sail boat.

Thanks for you help!
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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We had 200 feet of chain attached to lots of rope but would have liked to have had 250 or 300. The only place you mention that has good and cheap shopping is Fiji, Suva in particular. There is an absolutely incredible hypermarche in Papeete, and a good market, but not cheap. We did not go to Tonga so no comment there.
 

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here is a link to a provisioning list that was done for the Vic Maui race

http://www.vicmaui.org/resources/vic-maui_provisions.xls

Something I like are Zatarain products; easy one pot dishes - just add some protein like chicken or sausage.

UHT milk.

You might also use the ISAF offshore racing requirements (Offshore Special Regs | Documents & Rules | ISAF | World Sailing | Official Website : Offshore Special Regs Index) to get some ideas about what to include:

emergency rudder
SSB
Sat phone
Weatherfax / grib

breadmaker?
 

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Yes a lot of the anchorages are deep.
We only had 150 ft chain (50 m) and 150 fot rode (50m) and needed more. I now have 330 feet chain.
Rope rode is no good as theres too much coral and it can get cut.

Provisioning: There are some long passages and local provisioning exists, of course, but don't count on it being all that crash hot.
If you have a large freezer that can run the whole time then you are in a different realm than we were... we didn't even have refrigeration on passage!
Take as much frozen meat as you can.
The trick is to be able to make a meal thats similar in content to other meals but tastes different, or has a different texture. Really work on bringing "flavours" that change a meals taste. Lots of dried herbs, spices, pre-produced and the ingredients themselves. Weird stuff too like Wasabi sauce in case you catch a nice fish.

Cooking can be a great way to enjoy a passage so instead of doing the easiest meals try to be inventive and take time cooking. A good way to do that is have the ON watch person cook. Thousands of miles across the Pacific gives many hours, days and weeks, and theres not much to see at sea. So the on watch person can use his 4 hour watch planning and preparing an extravaganza.

Few cruising boats remember deserts. Have a look at what is good to store and great to eat... like Jell-O Instant Puddings... mix with a pint of milk and whip with a fork, pour into glasses, refrigerate till dinner, then shave a bit of chocolate block with a knife over the top, add a dollop of cream and you have a desert good enough for a restaurant!

One desert some friends invented: Canned Blueberries. Drain can, put juice only into saucepan and reduce liquid to small amount. Add berries, heat, serve with whipped UHT cream. Mmmmmm

To survive on boat food for a 30 day passage you need to be inventive, creative, resourceful and have time... it all leads to daily fun :)

BTW The 473 is a great boat!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies everyone.

Does anyone know about the availabilty of fuel in Nuku Hiva. Reliable supply?

I'm wanting to do some diving in Nuku Hiva. Anyone dived the headlands at Taiohae Bay? T0o exposed to get out there in a small dhingy?
 

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I'm about to do my first long passage, to Japan, from San Diego, via Hawaii and Guam. Like the advice about the watch person - if possible - also using that time to cook.
 

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I'm about to do my first long passage, to Japan, from San Diego, via Hawaii and Guam. Like the advice about the watch person - if possible - also using that time to cook.
I am not sure what you are asking. :confused:
 

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Any provisioning tips? I know food is expensive on many of the islands. We are thinking lots of rice, pasta, tortillas, a bread maker, canned stuff, fresh fish.
I know you asked for comments from people who have made that passage, and I haven't, but hopefully you won't mind a comment about provisioning from me anyway.

I'm not saying you are doing this, but I have noticed that a lot of people who are thinking about going out cruising talk about provisioning as if the food they eat will be completely different once they push away from the dock ... there is food they eat now, and the food they'll be eating then, like they'll be totally changing the way they eat once they leave.

My point is that there is no reason not to go ahead and eat what you'll be eating on the boat NOW so that you can get used to eating it.

You said you're thinking lots of pasta, rice, tortillas, canned food, etc, ... is that what you eat now ? Do you use a bread machine now ? If not, why not ?

It takes a while to get used to eating food like that, especially if you were used to eating fast food and other convenience foods, you might not like it, or it might make you feel tired, or sick.

Sailing across the Pacific isn't a weekend camping trip where you can stock up on some granola and make it through until you get back home. Again, I'm not saying that's what you're doing, but I am saying that it is worth spending extended amounts of time eating what you're going to be eating on a boat to get used to it, to make sure you like it, and that you can live on it. Consider it a kind of training for life aboard.

Many things look great on a paper menu until you start eating them every day.
 

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I have noticed that a lot of people who are thinking about going out cruising talk about provisioning as if the food they eat will be completely different once they push away from the dock.
Yep. I agree totally. You eat the same as at home.

Forums often have interesting ideas like loading 100 pounds or kilograms of pulses or dried beans on the boat. Well, unless you were a Vego at home those beans will end up overboard!

Look at exactly what you eat now and work out how you can replicate that but storable. the best example is fresh vegetables at home means canned or frozen at sea.

The only change people really make is buying a bottle of some local flavor... In the Pacific Coconut oil is a great one! used for frying or in salads it immparts a little tropical flavour :)

BTW Some people expect to eat a lot more fish. On passage you may catch one or two, but I raely see people going out fishing for supper in the dinghy etc. Some do of course.... some people were great fish eaters at home, great fishermen at home. But if you wern't then you probably wont become a great fish eater cruising.
 

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Yep. I agree totally. You eat the same as at home.

Forums often have interesting ideas like loading 100 pounds or kilograms of pulses or dried beans on the boat. Well, unless you were a Vego at home those beans will end up overboard!

Look at exactly what you eat now and work out how you can replicate that but storable. the best example is fresh vegetables at home means canned or frozen at sea.
I went in the other direction and started with the ingredients I would have on a simple boat and learned to eat an entirely new diet. It took some time but I learned to like beans, rice, etc. :)
 

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Thanks for the replies everyone.

Does anyone know about the availabilty of fuel in Nuku Hiva. Reliable supply?

I'm wanting to do some diving in Nuku Hiva. Anyone dived the headlands at Taiohae Bay? T0o exposed to get out there in a small dhingy?

Best diving will be in the Tuamoto's. Try the pass dive in Fakarava, it will be like flying, huge Napoleon Wrasse's will greet you.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yep, planning to dive Rangiroa and Fakaarava. Carquesas will be very good too and entirely different to the Tuamotus as there are no barrier reefs around the Island.

I would love to hear from anyone who has dived in the Marquesas regarding dive sites. My partner and I want to do as many dives as possible from a 10ft inflatable.

Thanks for the provisioning advice everyone....I don't plan on making any big changes to my diet. I've been living out for a back pack for most of the last 5 years and have a pretty good idea about food.

I was hoping for advice that relates sepcifically to pacific crossing. Anchorage information in the Marquesas, Tuamotus, Societies, Samoa, Fiji. Special requirements?

Points of interest in these places?

Any special advice or equipment suggestions that we may have not thought about?
 

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If you have not already, try that site activecaptain.com and you can take a look at the places you are travelling to. They might have information about anchorages if someone had entered it. I know there is some info there along the gulf coast in my area about anchorages, not sure about Pacific areas but you can check.
 
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Thanks for the tip.. i had a look at activecaptian.com. Nice idea, but unfortunately there isn't much information yet for most of the sites in the pacific.

Can anyone else recommend a good source of information for anchorages and marinas in the pacific?
 

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Thanks for the tip.. i had a look at activecaptian.com. Nice idea, but unfortunately there isn't much information yet for most of the sites in the pacific.

Can anyone else recommend a good source of information for anchorages and marinas in the pacific?
Hiro,

I don't think there is any way around it, the only way to find out what you want to know is to do a lot of research.

Maybe you could start with some charts for the places you want to go ?

From there you could find the specific places you want to go to and then start searching out information about each anchorage, each approach to that anchorage, etc. There is a lot of information out there if you can get specific about what you are looking for. I think it is harder for anyone to answer if you just ask about Fiji, for example, but it would be a lot easier if you knew exactly where in Fiji you want to go.

I guess what I am saying is that whole books are written about some of the general things that you are asking about so it is probably hard even for people who have been there to give you more information.
 

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Jackdale,
Thank you for the helpful list! Was this 8 crew x 16 days? Was this actual used, or allowing for extra (unplanned) days at sea?
Thanks,
Nicola
 

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Jackdale,
Thank you for the helpful list! Was this 8 crew x 16 days? Was this actual used, or allowing for extra (unplanned) days at sea?
Thanks,
Nicola
That was a 8 person race crew in Vic Maui. They usually finish in 12 days.
 
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