An invasion of Falklands registered yachts

23:09.02S 135:03.30W

Peregrine Morgane Sunset by .

Peregrine and Morgane anchored in Onemea Bay

We now have two cruising yachts from the Falklands in the Gambier Islands. This is probably a first outside of the Falklands and what were the old Falkland Islands Dependencies of South Georgia, the various British sub-Antarctic Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Leiv Poncet arrived aboard his boat “Peregrine” on a solo voyage heading for Alaska. He is hanging around here for a week or so resting up and exploring what is essentially his first tropical destination too and waiting for some favourable winds to take him north across the Equator to Hawaii. Incidentally “Peregrine” and “Morgane” are both from the drawing board of the same designer “Charpentier” and both a design named “Trireme” although “Peregrine” is a Trireme 38 and “Morgane” a Trireme 35.

Early last week we moved from Rikitea on Mangareva Island to an anchorage between the South end of Taravai Island and a smaller island called Agakauitai. The two islands are connected by a coral reef effectively forming a bay sheltered from the North and East. When “Peregrine” and “Morgane” arrived there were already two boats at anchor “Polo Flat” and “Sparrow” a little Contessa 26 sailed by three English (Ros bifs) so all four boats had a Union Jack in the corner of their ensigns making a little enclave among the continental European flags of the other boats cruising here. We had last seen “Polo Flat” tied up to the Micalvi in Puerto Williams over a year ago when we passed through.

We had been snorkelling on the reefs near Rikitea and been impressed with the abundance of fish but that was nothing with what we found here on the reefs fringing the bay and then found that to be nothing compared to the reef connecting the two islands. There the coral was much healthier, the water clearer, and the fish bigger and more abundant. There were giant blue lipped clams in addition to the fish and a few sharks.

BlackTippedReefShark by .
Paula snapped this Black Tipped reef shark

Fruit is abundant here and Matt the owner of “Polo Flat”, a Tasmanian who is house sitting here for a year or so, has been showing us some of the tricks involved in living off the land here, he claims to be no expert but he is a long way ahead of us in terms of local knowledge. We have learnt how to husk coconuts and the correct way to cut a banana tree among other things.

PaulasFirstCoconut by .
Paula looking pleased with herself after her first attempt at husking a coconut
BananasPapayaLemons by .
Bananas, papaya, and lemons

There are some strange concoctions such as a coconut dish with a texture something like yogurt that is made by taking a bowl of minced coconut flesh, squeezing the juice of two mashed up sand crabs onto it, covering it with a leaf and letting it ferment overnight. Something magical happens and the fibre in the coconut breaks down forming a smooth yogurt coconutty substance.

hermit crab
A Hermit crab

There is an old village overgrown in the jungle here. You can see the foundations of some substantial houses, something that looks like drainage ditches lined with stone and a small temple. The whole area is now overgrown with coconut palms and at first sight you would not think that anything except the palms had ever been there.

We’ll probably head back to Rikitea this week for a few days to catch up on emails and grab a few supplies before coming back down this way next weekend for a pig roast where we hope to learn about the Polynesian version of the Curanto (cooking in the ground) that we saw in Chile. I am sure that is a PhD or at least a book on the subject of the distribution of the methods of cooking in the ground across the Pacific – It’s probably already been done.

4 Comments on “An invasion of Falklands registered yachts

  1. Hi Chris, sounds like you are having fun in the tropics. Say Hi to Leiv from us if he is still around. Polo flat sounds interesting, keen to hear more about her voyages, she is a sister ship to Snowpetrel.

    Are you likely to make it to tassie?



    • Hi Ben,

      I’ll ask Matt the skipper of Polo Flat if he has a blog but I don’t think so. He took her to the Antarctic Peninsula a couple of years back. Got knocked about (down) in the Drake on the way back. Has been making his way slowly back west for a while. Has decided to park here for a year or so I think. We may make it to Tassie, not sure yet. Got to get to NZ, find a way to make some money and then do some work on the boat before moving on. Want to come back this way at some point as we are going to miss a lot of it this time around.


      P.S. Did you seem my question on the tender you designed over on your blog

  2. Hi there, just found your blog – all good stuff, looks like you’re having a great time. FI yachts have invaded foreign parts before – back in 2001 we had the FI registered yachts Porvenir with me and Alpha Carinae with Andrez, Ali and Thomas both in Shetland (the UK one) at the same time.

    I’m in Freemantle now, about to leave for South Africa so perhaps will catch you in CT? Cheers Ken

    All th

    • Cheers for that Ken. We didn’t think of you and Alpha Carinae meeting up when we were trying to come up with previous meetings.

      Will be CT from 19 June to end July. Hope to see you there.

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