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Puddle Jumpers Reach Marquesas

During much of the year every anchorage in the Marquesas is pretty sleepy. But this month the clearance ports at Hiva Oa and Nuku Hiva are abuzz with activity, as Pacific Puddle Jumpers from many nations complete their passages from Mexico, Panama, Ecuador and the U.S. Rob Lambert and Elisabeth Lehmberg of the Alameda-based Swan 41 Proximity checked in with us after their finishing their 24-day crossing from Banderas Bay, Mexico:

South Pacific cruisers will tell you that making landfall beneath the towering volcanic peaks of the Marquesas is an awe-inspiring experience.

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"Although the seas got lumpy after about four days out — and stayed lumpy! — we had a wonderful time. It was truly an incredible experience. . . We were unprepared for the friendly reception by the Marquesians. We walk into town, and often, a pick up or car stops and a nice voice says, ‘Hop in’, unsolicited.

"Since Atuona is a check-in point, the little anchorage here is a zoo, with way too many boats that need to get in. So, even though we find Atuona absolutely delightful, we will leave on Tuesday for an island just to the south of us where we can relax a bit more. . . Tonight, we are having cocktails on a neighboring boat and celebrating our friend’s new Marquesian tatoo! We’re not really into tatts, but the Marquesian tatts are certainly the most attractive we have seen.

In Mexico, Elisabeth and Rob were already smiling at the thought of doing the Puddle Jump. But now that they completed the 3,000-mile passage, they’re really beaming.

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"We are happy, says Rob. "We have crossed nearly 3,000 miles of open ocean. We have crossed the equator, and have been hit in the face by a flying fish. We have some stories to tell!" Look for a recap of this year’s Pacific Puddle Jump crossing in an upcoming edition of Latitude 38, along with a report on this year’s Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous, slated for June 18-20.

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