We have been on passage from Tahiti for eight days and over 1100 miles. We have been through multiple squalls, days of zero wind and some days of wonderful sailing. We are less than 30 miles from Niue, a tiny island nation about 250 miles east of Tonga. About an hour ago we were hit with a severe squall that we didn’t see coming. It was a squall hidden within a rainstorm that hammered 30+mph winds directly onto our nose. The sails slammed about violently as we struggled to furl them in. The result was significant damage to our genoa. There is about an eight foot tear along the seam on the leach. There are no sail repair facilities in Niue and it is unclear if there are facilities in Tonga. We are going to be forced to limp along under main sail only from Niue to Tonga and maybe all the way to Fiji which is some 600 miles away. We are looking forward to arriving in Niue in the next few hours and getting some much needed rest. Standby for updates.

The picture is from an earlier squall a few days ago. That’s our bow plowing into the oncoming swell. The squall we were hit with this morning was considerably worse.

12 thoughts on “DAMAGE!!!!

  1. Dabney

    Zoinks! Where was Pippa during all of this mayhem? Hoping for smooth seas, a good wind and the rest and repairs you need. Ruth Ann shared your website with me. I’ll be eagerly following your adventures ❤


    1. Pippa is in Nashville with Fiona’s sister. She loves running on beaches and riding on the paddleboard or the dinghy but she doesn’t like being underway on Matilda.


  2. Oh no… our thoughts and prayers are with you… we really are at the mercy of the wind and sea gods. We had a similar experience… a squall of 35+ totally out of the blue. All sails were out and we now have split on the leech of our main sail… this sailing business is harder than it looks!


  3. Alex

    Wow, the sudden strong squall is a danger to all sailors, I’m glad no one was hurt.
    In my windsurfing days decades ago I would be out ripping around the coast of Maine and Cape Cod, and when there was no wind I would mend my sails. I used mint dental floss and one rugged slightly rusty needle to repair the sails. I remember seeing that green floss in one sail lasted many years. So, you probably have floss aboard, do you also have a good sized needle?
    Another reason why you should always travel with a San Marino trained Boy Scout…


  4. Brad

    As I recall, 30 miles in heavy seas can be hell! As long as you didn’t leave the bow line in the water to get wrapped around the propeller, I think you’ll make it to Niue safely!
    Best of luck with the sail and safe travels!!

    Liked by 1 person

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