leaving the Society Islands

We lingered in French Polynesia to see some islands that we’d heard were can’t-miss, and because we did, we got to meet someone who was a huge source of inspiration to me even before I bought Windfola! I am so honored that I got to spend time with Liz Clark (www.swellvoyage.com), and she was not only so encouraging and inspiring, but she gave me so much support via everything a sailor lady needs—a hot shower, delicious plant-based meals, jugs of water, loads of fresh fruit, clean laundry in a real washing machine, and lots and lots of time on super fast wifi. WOW. I can’t even begin to put my gratitude into words… and I am excited to pay it all forward someday to another sailor woman.

Cyclone season starts in just a few days, and it’s imperative that we move west quickly now. The trade winds are finally filling in again, so we plan to depart French Polynesia tomorrow, and then sail fast toward Palmerston in the Cook Islands, Niue (if weather permits), and then on to Minerva Reef to wait for a weather window to Opua, New Zealand. We aren’t permitted to make landfall in NZ before the 23rd of November due to complex biosecurity requirements for importing Zia, but I want to get as close as possible so we can patiently wait out a safe moment to make that last jump.

I’m still feeling nervous about the legs ahead. We have 2100 nautical miles to cover in 28 days. It’s totally doable, but we need the weather to be cooperative. So please put out good vibes to Mother Earth to give us perfect weather conditions.

After we leave French Polynesia, I won’t be able to update my website or social media, but I will use my satellite connection to send regular photos and stories to our subscribers. If you want to hear from us while we’re out there on the ocean and in remote places, please consider becoming a supporter for our circumnavigation. We can only complete this dream if you journey along with us!

xo & fair winds,
elana, zia, and s/v windfola ⛵️💕27 October, 2019; Society Islands, French Polynesia

leaving Mo'orea

All good things must come to an end… and that’s exactly what’s happening to my visa tomorrow. I’m clearing out now for my departure for the Cook Islands, and if all goes according to plan, my first stop will be Palmerston Island (which has a very interesting history). Time and weather permitting, we’ll head to Niue, and then on to anchor in a reef in the middle of the ocean while we wait for a weather window to New Zealand. Cyclone season technically begins on the first of November, and I imagine we will make landfall in NZ in early- to mid-November. I’m pretty nervous about the next six weeks of sailing, since we have a lot of distance to cover and weather is notoriously tricky between the tropics and New Zealand.

After we leave French Polynesia, I won’t be able to update my website or social media, but I will use my satellite connection to send regular photos and stories to our subscribers. If you want to hear from us while we’re out there on the ocean and in remote places, please consider becoming a supporter for our circumnavigation. We can only complete this dream if you journey along with us!

xo & fair winds,
elana, zia, and s/v windfola ⛵️💕 30 September, 2019; Mo’orea, Society Islands, French Polynesia

Mo'orea, in photos

I’m so glad that we spent most of this month on Mo’orea. We’ve had many fun adventures, caught up with all of our neglected correspondence and digital chores, and finally repaired the framing around my starboard water tank. I miss the friends that sailed on ahead of us, but I’ve met new boats and local friends, and I know I’ll catch up with old friends in New Zealand during the cyclone season. :)

Mo’orea is a beautiful island, and I definitely recommend visiting. It’s easily accessible from the main French Polynesian airport in Tahiti via ferry, and has all that Polynesian charm at less than half the price of a stay on Bora Bora.

Day 25: Arriving to our First Destination!!!

[This was originally published to our subscribers during our passage from San Diego to the Marquesas.]

landfalltears
landfalltears

WE MADE IT!!!!! ✨🌈🌴

Once the anchor was down, I couldn’t stop crying. Between the swell and the shifting wind angles, today was incredibly challenging sailing. The relief of making it safely was—is—overwhelming.

I feel many things, but most of all, I feel humility and deep gratitude. I’m honored and humbled by your support and enthusiasm, and I have loved sharing this journey with you! 

It does feel like we—all of us—made it today. 💕

 

with excitement for what’s ahead of all of us,

elana, zia, and SV windfola