Location: Underway to Tahiti

The last time I wrote a blog, we were sailing back to Panama with one blade missing from our prop. This blog feels very different as we make steady progress towards Tahiti with only a couple of weeks left on board the boat together. The wind has died out, so we are motoring, but also, that is allowing us to do 200 nm a day, which should bring us to Tahiti within the next week (assuming we have exhausted our bad luck this trip). Last week the crew elected student leaders to take over the roles of Captain, Chief Mate…etc. The students have been doing an amazing job so far, but I also hope they get some wind so they can put all the sail-handling skills they have learned on this trip to use. The best thing about having other people in those roles is now, whenever anyone asks me when we will arrive, I can refer them to our navigator Ted. It is nice being able to do a student-led passage as long as this one will be. Normally they are the last passage of the trip, and sometimes that passage can only be a short one, say 24 hours between a couple of Caribbean islands. It is really cool to be able to challenge the students to take us 2000 nm through the Tuamoto group and into French Polynesia. I’m proud of what this group has accomplished so far and how 30 strangers have turned into such an amazing team.

It feels so sad to have this trip come to an end, but I am also really looking forward to seeing my dad when we arrive in Fiji. The worst part about living on a boat full-time and doing this job is the distance it puts between us and our friends and family. My dad, Alastair, is the person who took me sailing when I was six months old in a car chair tied to the mast. He is the reason I am able to do this today, and I have always wanted to be able to show him everything we do on board and what has become my home. I joined the boat when COVID meant that any international travel was impossible, so this is the first time in almost three years any family will be able to visit. Dad, I’m so excited to be seeing you soon and for you to take up your new role on board as trainee crew.

I look forward to trying to convince you to wear a PFD and you telling me to put up more sail. Thank you for teaching me to sail so long ago and making me fall in love with the ocean.