Adventures of Maia | Suwarrow to Pago Pago passage
An adventure, sailing and cruising throughout the world with Laura, Dick and Ellie.
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Suwarrow to Pago Pago passage

We are on a three to four day voyage from Suwarrow to American Samoa (sailing between islands in the middle of the Pacific, kind of crazy?). We have had a good passage, steady winds have allowed us to sail consistently! We have also had 3-6 ft swell, that has been rocking us around a bit, but causing little havoc. I’ve been feeling good and have not needed any sea sickness medicine. Maybe we are finally getting used to this seafaring lifestyle 🙂

We have had a considerable amount of cloudy weather and some rain squalls. The solar panels have not been able to keep up with our power needs. We ran the engine for about 5 hours today to re-power the batteries. Our thoughts for the future are to supplement our current solar panels with wind power. We hope to purchase and install a wind generator while we are in New Zealand during the austral summer.

We had several frozen meals in our tiny freezer, which worked out perfect. We had yummy lentil soup and a delicious squash curry with coconut milk. We cooked some rice and just warmed up the meals, it has been super simple and delicious while we have been bouncing around. So nice to not be prepping and cooking food in a rocky and rolly galley! We will try to plan similar meals for future passages.

Today we topped up the water tanks with 3 plus hours of water making. It is gratifying that we are able to sail and make water. (It would be really sweet if there was a way without the loud generator). It is nice to know that we are able to be self-sufficient while out at sea.

As our speed was going to be putting our arrival time in Pago Pago at nighttime, we had discussed and decided to keep sailing to Apia, Samoa, about another 12 hours. However, we spoke with sv Sweet Chariot on the radio and they had heard that the harbor was well marked and well lit so it was ok to enter at night. After a short discussion as to whether we arrive in about 5 hours or sail another 17-20 hours, we quickly decided to head into Pago Pago harbor at night.

About this same time we heard our friend Conner, sv Sea Casa on the radio. He was anchored in the harbor and he said to feel free to call him as we got closer. When we were outside the entrance to Pago Pago we contacted him and he said there was space next to him in the anchorage and gave us GPS coordinates.

As we entered the Harbor we called the Port Authority, but received no reply. We continued carefully through the channel, using our B&G chart plotter and Navionics Charts on the Ipad. We had a little trouble not seeing the unlit cans and range markers with city lights around. Gratefully, at 2200 in the pouring down rain we anchored between Sea Casa and Barbarella, thankful to have anchor down and be able to get a full nights sleep.

We arrived in Pago Pago after 3 days – 13 hours, 460 nautical miles!

8 Comments
  • Janet Ritter
    Posted at 19:18h, 24 August Reply

    So exciting to read your blog! Suwarrow Beach Yoga sounds really, really fun! And finding your way to Pago Pago safely on a dark and stormy night! Smooth sailing from Jan and Trey. Hoping the hurricane near Hawaii will not impact Maia’s voyage in any way!

    • Laura Ritter
      Posted at 20:52h, 20 October Reply

      HI Jan & Trey, glad you are enjoying the blog. I’m enjoying writing it! Love, L & D

  • Viola
    Posted at 06:33h, 08 September Reply

    Hi Laura and Dick , looks and sounds like your both doing great! Do you know yet when you’re be heading back to the U.S.?

    • Laura Ritter
      Posted at 20:51h, 20 October Reply

      Hi V, we will be on our way to New Zealand soon. Once we arrive, we will plan out the next 6 months or so. We will see if heading back to the US will fit into our plans. Hugs, L & D

  • Gina Stenberg
    Posted at 12:52h, 11 September Reply

    Finally sat down and read your whole blog. Wow, what a trip. You guys sure have been through a lot. We’ve spent the summer getting new rigging, new main, adjusting the furler and cutting the head sale down. New refrigeration. Looks like we will be ready to head south next August. Wish we were sailing together. Miss you guys. Continued good sailing. Love to you both.

    • Laura Ritter
      Posted at 20:43h, 20 October Reply

      Hi Gina, so exciting you will be heading South in August! Hopefully we can meet up in the next season or two. We miss you also! Sending hugs, L & D

  • Jane Ellis- McNaboe
    Posted at 14:58h, 13 September Reply

    How much solar do you have (watts)? Are you using the Honda generator? Or did you get the other one fixed? We are looking at wind generators too. Trying to find the right mix of power generation is challenging!

    It’s amazing to see how far you have traveled!!

    • Laura Ritter
      Posted at 20:48h, 20 October Reply

      Hi Jane, thanks for staying in touch!

      We have 435 watts of solar. When the sun is high in the sky (mid day, tropics) it produces all we need at anchor. Very occasionally, we have run the Honda generator for charging the batteries. We mainly run the generator to power our 110 volt watermaker.

      We have some friends that love their Watt and Sea water generator. When on passage they have all the power they need and can use the autopilot all they want. We would like to add some sort of wind power, and will be investigating more thoroughly in New Zealand.

      Hugs, Laura and Dick

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