The yachts of World ARC 2020/21 continue to steadily make landfall in Nuku Hiva and Tahiti, with their arrivals coordinated by the La Direction polynésienne des affaires maritimes (DPAM) together with JRCC Tahiti.
A total of seventeen yachts have reached port: Cloud Shadow, Deo Juvante, Influencer, Jan, Laura IV, Maximilian, Sapphire II of London, Saorsa, and Sea Lover are in Nuku Hiva, due to be joined shortly by Aurora. Following a brief stop to re-provision, Libeccio are now making their way to the US state of Hawaii with around 1300NM to go; Milanto has stopped on the island of Hiva Oa. Four rally boats have now arrived in Pape’eti on the island of Tahiti, the capital of French Polynesia. Next Step is due to arrive there today (29 March); Marja II, Starling, Hanna, and Domini are due in on 30 March; Island Wanderer, Celtic Star, Amazing Grace, Remedy and Amari on 31st. All rally boats will have made landfall in either Nuku Hiva or Tahiti by 1st April, other than Milanto in Hiva Oa, and Libeccio.
Saturday 28th March saw the last scheduled passenger flight, operated by United Airlines, depart for San Francisco, with a number of WARC participants aboard. A group of eight crew had joined a privately charted flight from Nuka Hiva which was granted special authority to fly between the islands to help repatriate people from there, with a connection onto the United Airlines flight. Crews have some unusual routes onwards from San Francisco to reach their final destinations in the USA, Australia and Europe. A total of 27 crew have now flown home, leaving close to sixty who are keen to take future flights as they become available. World Cruising Club continues to liaise with the French Polynesia High Commission for flight opportunities as they arise.
For yachts still at sea, health and spirits are good as they make their way to the islands. Conditions are “warm and windless” as reported by Next Step, and menus are becoming creative using the selection of tinned food on board.
Numerous authorities, agents and the World Cruising Club team continue to work together to coordinate the arrival of all the yachts under the challenging circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic. Detailed updates are being provided to the boats at sea with the provision of suitable mooring facilities and the repatriation of crews the ongoing focus for all involved.