Novice sailor Katie Flynn undoubtedly knew in advance that her crewmates aboard the Vancouver-based Beneteau First 40 Hydroquest were planning an equator-crossing celebration while en route to French Polynesia. What she didn’t know, though, was that her boyfriend, Ben Curry, was going to propose marriage as part of those festivities. We haven’t heard when the young couple will actually get hitched, but it seems to us they’re already experiencing a world-class honeymoon, having made landfall in French Polynesia’s remote Marquesas islands last week after a fast crossing from Banderas Bay, Mexico.
Upon arrival, Cap’n Will Curry, Ben’s brother, wrote: "After 19 days at sea and 2,700 nautical miles (as a crow flies) we have made landfall. We are currently anchored in Taiohae Bay on the island of Nuka Hiva which is stunningly beautiful. It has a ‘Jurassic Park’ feel to it that words can’t describe." On their best day they logged 180 miles — a new boat record — and they generally had more wind than many boats typically experience: "Multiple days of 25-knot winds in both the southeast and northeast trades."
As you may have read in our profile of Will and his lovely wife Sarah, which appears in the current edition of Latitude 38 (Puddle Jump Profiles, Pt. I), they’ve been talking about bluewater voyaging together since their first date six years ago — when they were 26 and 24 respectively.
We also heard from Tom Van Dyke of the San Francisco-based Searunner 31 tri En Pointe, who doublehanded to Nuku Hiva in 28 days with an adventurous Mexican gal named Tulia who is eager to see the world. Little did Tom and Tulia know before arriving at Taiohae Bay that a fleet of luxurious Oyster yachts would be there also. Despite the disparity in levels of comfort, it goes to show any decent boat will get you to the same spectacular anchorages. Check out the welcome they all received.
Look for another set of Puddle Jumper profiles in the May edition of Latitude 38, and a recap later this summer on the 200-boat fleet’s crossing.