Tahiti – Maupiti (PYF)
For many cruisers French Polynesia is a dream destination. It’s easy to understand why: the islands are fabulously beautiful, the people are friendly, and life follows a relaxed pace. Some sailors can’t get enough of it and spend years cruising here. We too enjoy the islands, yet also feel a desire to move on to continue our search for inspiring solutions that can bring an ecologically sound and socially just society closer. In addition, we realize that we have been sailing for over four years and our around-the-world trip is not even half-way, geographically speaking. We do miss our family and friends in Europe, so we would like to keep moving in that direction. But with so many borders closed due to covid, the question is: are we even allowed to continue our journey?
What Are Our Options?
After months of waiting for spare boat parts, we finally receive them in Tahiti in October. It means that we can lift our anchor and set sail again, but where to? All countries west of Tahiti, such as the Cook Islands, Samoa, and Tonga do not allow yachts to enter. At the same time, hurricane season in the South Pacific is approaching, with December often cited as its official start. A nagging voice in our head asks: “What’s the plan?”. Still hopeful that we will be admitted there, we decide that sailing to New Zealand is Plan A. “We will need to do a lot of maintenance on Lucipara 2 there, which contributes to the Kiwi economy” Ivar assesses. “That might get us accepted.”
But what if our application is rejected, or we don’t hear anything at all? After weighing our options we decide that Plan B is to stay in French Polynesia for another season. As we have not explored the Marquesas archipelago yet and no hurricane has ever been recorded there, that’s where we would spend the next season. The one question that remains is: how long do we wait before we choose Plan B?