For the truly adventurous sailor the Western Pacific Islands are an almost irrestistable temptation. Your thoughts turn to warm south sea islands where the trade winds are forever blowing and the only sound is surf breaking on a warm white sand beach. When you can no longer resist the call of the islands chart your course south and west to adventure.
If you listen closely you can almost hear the magical sounds of the tinikling dancers and the happy voices at an island feast. Overhead the palm fronds click as they sway gently in the trade winds. The the evening sun is setting as the fishermen guide their boats into the harbor and the sweet smell of an island feast tugs at your nostrils. Warm laughter and the sounds of soft voices singing is music to your ears.
From the Marshal Islands west to Luzon and south to Samoa, Fiji and the Carolines adventure awaits. So update your charts, swing your compass and set sail to the south seas. Follow the wake of explorers, James Cook, Ferdinand Magellan, and Van Diemen as you search ever onward for what lies just over the horizon.
Make port in Papeetee and marvel at black lip oysters and beautiful black pearls. See the jagged peaks of Moorea and the white sand beaches of Bora Bora. Get together with other sailors for a gam and a barbacue at the local marina. Compare notes and mark up charts for the next leg of your voyage.
As you sail ever further westward you will want more charts. Consider buying the smaller size charts for open ocean work. They are easier to use below decks where space is at a premium. Consider some chart books and be sure to have along any pilot books you like.
West and south from Hawaii spare parts are incredibly hard to buy. I would advise taking along spares for some vital equipment. They are a lot cheaper in the US than Tahiti or the Carolines. A list of phone numbers and email addresses for parts in California, Hawaii, and Australia would be nice to keep handy.
When charting a passage to the Pacific Islands you will want to take full advantage of the trade winds and ocean currents. For the most part you will be following the old well traveled sailing ship routes. But remember one thing. Some of the trade wind routes might be a beat to windward not suitable for any vessel under two or three hundred tons.
The old lumber schooner route from Los Angeles or San Diego to Sydney, Australia is an excellent passage. It is downhill all the way and has plenty of good island stops. Samoa, Fiji, and lots of other islands are on the direct route to Australia. And at the right time of year, the weather is excellent. On a recent voayage from Sydney to Tahiti, and Hawaii I did not see any weather that would have been a problem for a well found cruising sailboat.
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