Duet Completes Her Pacific Crossing

Duet’s Journey So Far
Duet has arrived safely in Australia, thereby completing her crossing of the Pacific Ocean, which began almost two years ago in Mexico.  The planning began long before that, but we actually left terra firma on March 17th, 2017.  We arrived in Brisbane January 9, 2019, having traveled some 8,492 nautical miles (10,200 statute miles) from our departure port in Mexico.  During this journey we spent 46 nights at sea, the longest leg was from Mexico to the Marquesas, which took 17 days.  

We added 1,402 hours to Duet’s mighty Lugger 6108 main engine, and 3,142 hours to her resolute Northern Lights generator.  The generator provided us with water, air conditioning, laundry and other comforts of home in many remote anchorages during our journey.  It also gave us power at the dock, when we needed more juice than Ron’s carefully designed foreign shore power system could deliver.  During this journey we burned 7,570 gallons of diesel, of which about 2,350 went into the generator and the remaining 5,220 kept the main chugging reliably along.  Overall, the main averaged 1.63NMPG or 3.72GPH.  The generator averages .75GPH.  

We spent about two thirds of our time on the anchor and the balance in marinas. The marinas made a nice break from the hook, and visa versa.  We didn’t do as much land touring as we would have liked, and there were plenty of places we bypassed that we wished we’d had time to visit.  The Pacific is vast, so getting from one place to another takes time.  There is also the cyclone season to consider.  Once west of French Polynesia, leaving the danger zone requires a journey of at least 1,000 miles each way.  There are areas to shelter inside the cyclone belt, but none is perfect, so it’s a personal call on what to do.  

To further complicate matters, we were only aboard the boat part time, as Ron is still working. The best way to do this trip is to live aboard and have unlimited time to complete the journey.  We chose not to do it that way, knowing there would be additional costs and logistical issues associated with leaving the boat alone while we returned home for periods of time.  Despite all the complexity, this was an incredible adventure and we are so very glad that we went when we did.  

The best decision we made was to spend a year in French Polynesia.  The plan had been to continue to New Zealand in the fall of 2017, but we nixed that almost as soon as we arrived in the Marquesas.  There were some difficulties to remaining, most notably getting a long stay visa, but it was definitely worth it.

We also changed our western destination to Australia, rather than New Zealand.  This decision was rooted in a desire to avoid the difficult weather on the NZ run, but it turned out that getting to Australia wasn’t as easy as it looked.  We had hoped for a year of cruising once we arrived here, but work commitments have prevented that.  Duet will ship home from Brisbane in the next few weeks.  She will rest in San Diego, getting some well deserved TLC, before our next adventure.

We wish everyone a healthy and happy 2019.

Nancy and Ron
Duet, Nordhavn 50#15
Lying Brisbane, Australia

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