Jason and Nikki Wynn sailing the dangerous archipelago

Setting Sail For The Dangerous Archipelago, Goodbye Marquesas

We’re setting sail for the Tuamotus and I’m giddy like an eight-year-old chasing down the ice cream truck (yes, I really did do that once).

The Marquesas have been incredible (aside from the crazy rash) but I’m itching (pun intended) to see the famous French Polynesia atolls.

The Tuamotus are known as the dangerous archipelago.  The looming coral reef and narrow passes, if timed poorly, can more closely resemble rafting a class five rapid than sailing.  We’ve read some harrowing reports of nasty three meter standing waves meeting a six-knot current that are not to be tangoed with.

Doesn’t exactly give tadpoles like us the warm and fuzzies.  But, the idea of sailing and swimming inside what is essentially a sunken volcano kinda blows my mind. Curiosity trumps hesitation any day for me.  Plus, our fellow cruisers have left impeccably detailed notes on how to calculate the tides and how to approach each atoll.  (Thank you Noonsite!)

Our first Tuamotu is less than 500 nautical miles away, which is only a few days!  But, as we were sailing away from the Marquesas, it hit me just how much planning goes into this salty way of life.  So, I decided to take the opportunity to share how we planned this passage.

Alright, I’ll stop yapping so we can go sailing…hit the play button!

Just in case you were wondering, the sunset continued to get more dramatic.  Our charts don’t show an island out that way, but I’m fairly certain someone was throwing the biggest bonfire the world has ever seen.  That or the clouds caught on fire.  Either way, I am both impressed and afraid.

sunset on fire sailing the south pacific

Hey there sexy sailor man!

jason wynn running jack lines on sv curiosity

Look mom, we’re running jack lines and we promise we’ll use them at night, during a storm or if the seas get big.  Safety third first.

Thank You!

Sharing our lives and what we learn along the way is possible because of viewers like you.  Thank You! We’re here because of and for you.  If you like what you see, there are lots of FREE ways you can show your support.


In The Galley

Entertainment at Sea

Camera Gear

Sailing Specific Gear

AWESOME tunes for vids:  Artists Used In This Video:  Katrina Stone, Giants and Pilgrims


To see our full map with interactive pins, click here:

map of where we sailed in the marquesas

  • Dates: June 21, 2018
  • Passage: Day 1, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas to Manihi, Tuamotu

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (28)

  • Michael

    Again, another great video. I really enjoyed it. This one gave us the reality of trip planning and navigating. (Love the latest tech.)

    I am gratified to find you running the jack lines. Always be careful not to have too much safety line length or you won’t reach the boat to pull yourself out. Remember, the person sleeping in the cabin won’t hear you call for help. And if the other did hear you, panic can cause two people lost in the drink by compounded accident.

    God bless you.

  • Terry Doudican

    Great video. Always fun to watch your adventures.

  • kevin

    Another great video as usual . But another fantastic tune picked out by Jason I guess , but a wonderful tune and very apt :} Kevin

  • Chris -N- Danielle ChrisDoesWhat

    Have a safe trip, enjoy the journey and have a great time once at your new destination.

  • Scott

    Glad to see the jacklines. But there is a level between clipping in and zero protection. I never saw a PFD despite clambering around the boat, camera angles over the bow, and Jason hanging at the stern to set the preventer. And someone was looking into the camera, which increases risk. Not wearing them in the cockpit I kinda understand. Well, no, not really. Inflatables are like wearing nearly nothing, and then you can scramble immediately wherever needed. You discovered the jungle can make life miserable if you don’t wear sleeves, yet you ignore the opean ocean’s potential. So thumbs down on this and all videos without you using protection.

  • Alan Solomon

    In the video the blue water, the boat and ocean environment, the easy schedule, the cats, the cooking and other things motivate me to get out of Dodge once in-awhile.

    Thank you, Safety First and Happy Days,

  • Michael G. Collins

    Nikki, I started following you during your RV days, time has flown You two are doing a super job of allowing so many others live your dream in a virtual sort of way. You are both more important by far than any movie star could be…atleast to those of us who sail. Thank you and keep up the good times.
    By the way, I missed the episode where you were deciding upon and finallly purchased the Leopard. Is this episode still available on You Tube. What was the number?

    • Curious Minion

      All the videos are still available. If you go to the sailing page on the blog, click on the tab “sailboat shopping” and you’ll get all videos related to shopping and buying Curiosity. There is also a search bar available at the bottom of every blog page.

  • Thomas Fuller

    Sorry, but I’m kind of a grammar nerd (being a teacher and all!).

    Your intro should read “Gone With the Wynns” Presents…

    “Gone With the Wynns” is actually the title of your video series and it’s singular, so the verb “Presents” should end in s. I think you see the plural “Wynns” and think that for the verb to agree, there should be no s on it.

    Picky, petty me has watched every video and read every word you’ve written for years! Y’all are great.

    Safe travels.

  • Bob Sprengel

    You guys are still too cavalier about not wearing PFD’s while romping around on deck even in daylight, easy seas and good weather. Remember, there’s only one left on board to do a recovery. Was that part of your training? I walked backwards off a dock by being distracted and tumbled into a lake. Glad I had mine on.

  • YD

    Another great video and thank you sooooo much for sharing !
    I’ve been ‘following’ you guys for a few years now, always thinking: “Wow, how do they do this? How do they live so … free?”
    And it dawned on me tonight… What would I do if I wasn’t afraid? Who would I be if I wasn’t afraid?
    That’s the impact this video (and the rest of them) had on me tonight.
    Where would I go if I wasn’t afraid?

    Thank you…

  • Norman Frenk

    yea! (clap, clap clap!) another fine video – this time, complete with little tomatoes, naps and, I am hoping, a successful sailing journey to the atoll!

  • Robert Dawson

    Glad your feeling better happy sailing. Thanks for sharing. God bless ,Enjoy making memories.

  • Sean Gallegos

    Another great video.. I hope you have a wonderful and safe voyage to your next destination!

  • Deborah Kerr

    Love the scenery and you 2 do such a great job conveying information about the journey! I love that! Can you imagine if you just said “oh now we are going to another island…”. I like to look at my globe and learn about where you are. I can’t wait to see the atolls!! They look very interesting and beautiful from Google maps!! Keep smiling 🙂

  • mary vancompernolle

    Look mom, we’re running jack lines and we promise we’ll use them at night, during a storm or if the seas get big. Safety third first.

    Thanks, Nikki! 🙂

  • mary vancompernolle

    Another beautiful video! 🙂

  • Roger B

    Looking forward to your reaching the atoll. How do you coral cherry tomatoes when sailing the open ocean? Kinda like trying to herd a bunch on ants.

  • Tev Brannan

    But the question I have is, and it’s an important one, What about the kitty litter???? 🙂 Are you still having to do the washing sand thing?

  • Toni

    I love you two ever since you bought your new motor home on gac. I wish you smooth sailing and a prayer for no more rashes (or anything else).
    Kosse texas

  • Tim Bowman

    We just spent two weeks in French Polynesia and the Cook Islands on a cruise ship and it’s our favorite location for an Caribbean or Hawaiian type location. The snorkeling was among the best we experienced especially at Raiatea off the adjoining small island. Enjoy!

  • Wayne Pettengill

    Indeed…. be careful around the Tuamotus. The first thing you will see are the trees. The islands are so low (maybe 8 to 10 feet) that you’ll see tree tops long before you see land. We once “assumed” it was safe to lower the sails and await dawn before we approached one of the islands! Big mistake, we drifted (all 3 of us hit the sack) and were awakened by the surf we were approaching only a couple hundred feet ahead. We survived it, however. And, you are right,…. entry and exit of the lagoons can be rough when the tide is coming in or going out. You can always wait for it to settle before going through the passes. I did 10 of those islands in 1959 and enjoyed them all. Most of them had never been visited by an American boat before us in the 30ft ketch, the PU’ORI.

  • Sid

    I noticed the speed you travel in the latest video. What is curiosity’s best speed? I watch La Vagabonde videos and have seen them reach speed of 22 knots on a run and speeds of 10 to 16 knots on a reach. What is the difference between your boats to make such difference in speeds.

    • Patrick Farmer

      Sid,,, there is a big difference between catamarans. Boats are always a compromise between speed, comfortable living space and overall stability. Curiosity is a Leopard 43 and designed for live aboard cruising life while the OUTREMER 45 is totally designed around performance. While close in size the displacement of each tells a huge story of their differences. Leopard 43’s is 19026 pounds where as the slightly longer Outremer is a scant 13488 pounds. Though I don’t have exact figures of the width of the hulls on either it is a definite that the Leopard has wider hulls with a more comfortable accommodations down below. The Leopard is also a twin Keel while the Outremer has dagger boards that can be used for upwind performance or raised to lessen the drag and increase speed downwind. Sail area would be an other factor in speed. Leopard has a sail area displacement of 29.09 compared to the Outremer’s 33.59. Either way both boats are quite capable for blue water cruising and it just becomes an individual choice what is more important for you as a sailor. Speed, Livability and cost?

      • kevin

        Well done Nikki , one thing we all know about you and Jason is that you will have both looked into this all properly and well thought about .organised and written down …..All the I’s and T’s dotted . Watched them all I know :} Kevin


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