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Lifting The Lid On A Pacific Ocean Crossing

For those who have dreamt of crossing an ocean but wanted to know what it’s actually like on board, we’ve asked a few of the World ARC sailors to share their experiences while on their recent Pacific Ocean passage. And what exactly do they do while at sea for two to three weeks?

Jayne Ogilvie, on Dilema, a Moody 54 really enjoyed her Pacific Ocean crossing. She says, “Despite it being the longest passage on the World ARC circuit, it was far from dull. The starry skies were an endless source of dreamy pattern making with meteor showers and the occasional bit of spectacular space debris to jazz it up further. We marvelled at the stunning colours of the sunrise and sunsets. Then there’s the sea; at times it was mesmerising, at others angry.


“It wasn’t the smoothest trip. The tradewinds took a while to arrive, and we didn’t get the long gentle wave pattern. The sunshine was broken by cloudy skies and occasional squalls but it was all still very remarkable. We put the fishing lines out and caught dorado, tuna and nearly a shark.”

Commenting on how they spent their time she says, “We played annoying games, ate well, read loads, crocheted impractical things (like beanies and blankets), wrote a lot, celebrated regularly (first 1000 miles, half-way, birthdays, and even the Six Nations win)! We were also overwhelmed by the generosity and support of the other sailors; any problems or concerns and the fleet was right there to boost or advise.”

Jayne and her husband, Tom, were joined on the Pacific Ocean crossing by son Harri, and two friends, Bill and Amanda. Dilema (GBR) arrived into Hiva Oa in the Marquesas Islands after an 18 day passage, sailing 3015 nautical miles from Santa Cruz, Galapagos.


Nina & Michael Kneller from Switzerland were onboard Serendipity IV, a Hallberg-Rassy 43. Michael says, “The crossing was not always smooth sailing. We started in the Galapagos with hardly any wind, then once through the ITCZ, there were many squalls and the wind picked up, but it wasn’t quite as stable as we hoped. We spent days and nights changing sails and adjusting them constantly. As double-handed crew, this quickly drained our energy, and we found ourselves asking ‘what are we doing here?’

"But we always tried to keep in mind that after every squall, every challenge and sleepless night, there came a time we could enjoy a beautiful day of sailing. Then we would relax, fill up our batteries, think of the beauty of our destination, and know exactly why we were doing this.”

Serendipity IV arrived into Hiva Oa in the Marquesas Islands after an 18 day passage, sailing 3029 nautical miles from Santa Cruz, Galapagos.


With just over 380-nautical miles left to sail on their Pacific crossing, we have an update at sea from Wimsey, a Malo 46 hailing from the UK, who has three crew on board, including skipper, Sophia, her partner Andrew, and their Australian friend, Michelle.

“The really good thing about this long passage is that it has finally given us the time to develop as a sailing team," said Sophia, explaining that until now she and Andrew have not spent much time sailing together, with one or the other of them needing to take responsibility for their farm while the other prepped the boat.
And the other best thing according to Sophia is cushions. ‘We’ve been on boats that insist on doing it hard (and cheap). It’s not really suited to a long passage, especially on our older and less padded bottoms! So, hooray for decent cockpit cushions!

“We’ve had our share of hardware challenges on this leg; the 24v batteries suddenly stopped holding their charge, which has had many a consequence, one being the loss of our frozen and refrigerated food, but nothing a can or two of beans won’t fix! And then there’s the water maker that decided to deliver at minimum capacity. But we adapt and move forward.

“By design, we are not a racing boat, making our passage a little longer than most. But we are happy to average 5.5 kts, which for a heavy-boned lady like Wimsey is a fine speed. And it allows us more time to enjoy the journey.”

Michelle and Sophia did the same passage, as part of World ARC 2020-21, which was unfortunately halted just before Hiva Oa when the global covid pandemic resulted in most ports across the Pacific being closed. Michelle says, “I have been keeping a lid on my expectations of French Polynesia, given what happened the last time, but now we’re almost there and all seems to be well, I am very excited.”

And the World ARC yellow shirt team are on the ground in Hiva Oa waiting to welcome them in – and the remaining six boats still en route. We wish them fair winds and following seas. 



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