Cruising from Tahiti to Tonga on Lady K

French Polynesia - Posted On

On the 5th August, we are back on the Lady K in marina Taina. This time, six people are on board.

Adrian is 25, Californian (USA), experienced race sailor and like very much the outdoor adventure like tramping in the bushes of the lost islands in the Marquesas.

Fabrizio is 28, Brazilian, experienced sailor as well, he travels the Pacific hitchhiking boats with his girlfriend Shirley, right now on another boat. He talks five languages fluently and seven in total. He has been a couple of time sailing in the Antarctic, and once was with Mike Horn himself. He definitely likes off-the-beaten-tracks experiences.

We already know Toby and Ayla, captain and first mate of the boat. With Nadège and I, the crew list is now set.

As we take a full first day to set Lady K ready to leave, we decide to stay overnight to leave prime hour in the morning.

Aside us arrives in the evening a massive motor yacht, Big Fish. That one is very impressive; I don’t think I have ever seen such luxury before. The owner’s family is on board, maybe six people attended by six or seven crews. I wonder how people can possess so much money in the world. I mean morally talking? I can’t help but finding it a bit disgusting. What exactly did these people to deserve such things? What is the meaning of this? How can the society decently accept this?

We leave on the 6th August, morning, weather is absolutely nice and wind is quite light and eastward. We are 10 knots motoring for a few hours, and then we set the sails passing Moorea.


At this very time, we hear a massive explosion far south at sea and a big mushroom of smoke rises up in the air. Short ago, there were three ships and two only are now left. We guess they dumped an old ship down the water... Impressive!

Watchings are set in a way we are on duty three hours on and six hours off. We are on team of two people to make it double safe.

I get half-time Adrian, half-time Ayla as teammates. She tells me stories about when she had been invited by the owner of Virgin on his island, sailing a Hoby Cat with him and other guests. Such things happen when working as crew in the superyacht world I guess!

Once every four days, we are ‘cleaning fairies’, meaning making lunch and cleaning the boat.

First days are hard as we have to get re-used to the boat’s constant moves. Making lunch is a nightmare; Newton’s laws are not respected at all on a boat!

There is plenty of time off left to watch movies and reading books. On Lady K there is no such things as restrictions on fresh water or electricity, there is plenty on board. We have a water maker and a generator running very often anyway. It’s not such a zero environmental footprint, but this is the way it is. I get addicted to watching movies lying in my bed slowly moved by the movement of the boat.

Every day I take some time off to do some basic stretching and gymnastic. Without doing this, the body hurts for not doing anything physical.

Day Two, the autopilot stops functioning. We have to steer manually. At last I get to do something useful. Of course we usually help here and there but with such responsibilities as his; Toby prefers that as non-professional sailors, we avoid doing critical things. But this time, steering has to be done.

Nadège gets her very first class of steering. Sea is rough, wind is strong, this is not the very best moment to learn. Next to a few minutes Toby prefers not that Nadège does that, seeing how much the boat goes up and down the wind....

Day four, morning, Adrian gets a fish at the tip of the line. In less than a few minutes itis prepared and packed down the fridge.

We have now every sails out, meaning mizzaine sail, mizzaine jib, main sail, staysail, génois, and even the spinnaker. Great sailing, Lady K is beautiful like that! This is the first time I sail with the spinnaker.

When we arrive at Tonga Island, Vava’u, this is night and we are still asleep with Nadège. I wake up with a weird vision of the land nearby and a great ‘V’ of fire upon it. This is probably a fire made for agriculture purposes. The brain takes some time to readapt to seeing something new.

I do my watch while we stop close to the island waiting for the daylight to enter in the harbour.

Our first tour in the harbour’s bay, I notice the ‘Kamoké’, the family boat I hesitated so much to go with in Tahiti. Shouting ‘Hello’ I see Pascal who tells me we are welcome on board if we can make the paperwork today, they leave... at noon!

As we have no real plan in Tonga and I really like their philosophy, we decide to go with them. This was probably the fastest s/v hitchhike of the galaxy!