Three Masts Under The Sea
Sailing in the 21st century is an adventure no doubt. But every time I use my iPad touch screen to adjust our auto pilot, I shake my head in mockery for all the sailors of centuries past. Navigating through the Society Islands a hundred years ago was a completely different voyage from the one we’re on today.
We’re sailing from Taha’a to the neighboring island of Raiatea like it’s a trip to the grocery store. A short journey that doesn’t require much preparation or thought. With up to date digital charts, satellite connected weather files and an electric winch (we accidentally wrote “wench”, hence the funny comments below) to raise the mainsail…it’s all a snap really. We know what to expect and have little anchor emojis on our charts, so we know where to drop the hook. All of which has come into existence during my lifetime.
It’s incredible. Technology advances us and provides shortcuts to adventures that once took a lifetime to prepare for.
Why is this on my mind? Because we’re on our way to dive a 120-year-old shipwreck and it gets me to thinking about the past vs the present.
Plus, now that I have planted these thoughts in your head too, you’ll get a bigger kick out of this video.
Hop on board as we use our portable air compressor to fill our dive tanks, sink to the sea floor, explore a sunken ship, wander about a boat yard in search of pump for our watermaker and marvel at how we make any water source safe to drink. It’s sailing in the 21st century. Lewis and Clark would be so jelly.
Did you find yourself thinking about what sailing and life in general would have been here in the year 1900? It’s what I was thinking about at 90 feet down. Ok, that and possible sea monsters lurking in the murk.
To be completely honest, I have a hard time imagining this massive 165 foot sailboat inside the lagoon today, much less over one hundred years ago!
The Curiosity Dive Shop
There are so many reasons we love having our own little floating, traveling dive shop aboard s/v Curiosity. Convenience is of course a big one but it goes beyond that. Repairs and maintenance underwater, being able to SCUBA dive in remote locations where dive shops don’t exist and being able to dive on our own schedule are just a few. You’ve already seen where we keep our compressor and a quick version of how we fill our tanks and head out for a dive. So, for my curious diving buddies…I put together this post on our full dive setup: gonewiththewynns.com/diving-from-sailboat
Purifying Sketchy Water
The water we filled up at the dock with was labeled non potable. Meaning it was not purified to drinking water standards. No problem for us! We have an LED UV purification system that turns any water into squeaky clean and safe drinking water. We had no idea at the time just how much of a lifesaver this would be. It’s called an Acuva and we have more information about it here along with a discount code if you are interested: gonewiththewynns.com/product/water-purification
If you want the full scoop on our water storage/purification system aboard s/v Curiosity, we have a post and video dedicated to just the subject: gonewiththewynns.com/boat-life-squeaky-clean-water
We love our watermaker and really love that it’s a simple enough system that we can repair it ourselves when things break (because they always do). Some watermakers are far more automated than ours but can only be serviced and repaired by approved service centers. While it’s never fun to have broken bits, knowing we can fix them on our own eases the blow.
We explain which water pump went bad and why here: gonewiththewynns.com/epic-encounters-endless-repairs
Info on our Watermaker and a discount/bonus code: gonewiththewynns.com/product/watermaker
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Taha’a to Raiatea, French Polynesia
- Nautical Miles Sailed: 9
- Anchorage: Pte. Tenape
- Date: December 2018
I just found you both a couple of weeks ago and have been binge watching every day and night since – let’s just say I’m obsessed. Love all that you do and all that I get to see and enjoy. Love your hats Nikki – this one in the beginning of this episode is my favorite. You also must have a million and one swimsuits cuz I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the same one twice (yet) and someday I would love to see your collection of sunglasses 😎 (I’m super jealous). And a 👋🏼 To Jason, Cleo and Singa 🤩🤗 Be safe
Question about diving with just the two of you from a sailboat. What choices do you make in selecting dive sites? Some of the clearest water and most beautiful diving, in my experience, is located at relatively high current areas. That works great for drift diving but would strike me as extremely dangerous without a non-diver on the surface to man the tender and even then there are risks. One upon a time I was on a dive liveaboard in the Truk atoll. After wreck diving for two weeks I was burned out and persuaded the captain to let me take a guide and a tender crew to see fresh coral outside of the atoll. Our first dive went fine, but the current reversed during our second dive and we went the opposite direction than the tender was expecting for the duration of the dive. When the guide and I surfaced we could barely make out the tender as a speck on the horizon and he couldn’t see us at all down in the water (yikes, no safety sausage). The guide freaked out and was clearly panicked. I finally timed a swell to land on top of the coral reef and stood up so the tender caught sight of use on one of his circles (shortly before I’m sure he was ready to give up and seek recovery assistance) — lucky to be alive, me thinks.
Anyway, am enjoying looking over your content which I have just now discovered. Be well and be safe!
Oh wow – scary! The Wynns are very cautious and do a lot of research into sites that are safe for just the 2 of them. They save the riskier stuff for when they find fellow cruisers that are also divers and they can all dive together.
I grew up in South Florida, and spent my life at the beach. When I married a boater, we spent many wonderful hours snorkeling and skin diving around the numerous wrecks in the Keys and off the southeast Fla. coast. Now I’m re-living the life through your adventures. I’ve been following the both of you ever since you RV’d through Knoxville, TN. You’ve certainly gone far since then! Love your cats and your videos! Best wishes
Having lived in Florida while I was growing up and then married a board, we di lots of snorkeling and skin diving around the numerous wrecks off the Keys and off the coast of West Palm Beach. Your adventures are so fun and beautiful to watch! I’ve been a huge fan ever since you RV’d your eway into Knoxville, TN, and were interviewed on the local news. You’ve gone a long way since then, my friends! See you next time.
Thanks for sharing these wonderful images. And that sunset… BE.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.
Cecil Maxine Kirk
Would like to hear about George and Julie.
George and Julie joined us for the sail to Cook Islands. So you will see them in those videos. 🙂
Cecil Maxine Kirk
I am so sorry you have decided to drowned out the natural sounds of the sea, the wind, the waves, etc. with canned music. This is not good for me and I truly hope it stops soon. It is so not needed. Otherwise I was just loving every moment of your lives. I’m Maxine and live near Austin Texas.
Hey Maxine, music has always been a part of our videos. Sorry to hear you don’t enjoy it.
Where was Singa this video?
Hey was at the helm early in the video.
I’ve watched your channel since you started shopping for your catamaran. Your videos are beautiful and you both seem very very smart, but why don’t you just elevate your pump up another one and a half feet and you’ll get your .65 PSI out of the cheap 2.9 PSI pump and have your 3.5 PSI.
I am looking forward to seeing how you work it out
Ha ha. This is a creative idea but I think there are some pretty big caveats. I had to look up the weight of a cubic inch of water and indeed using an 18 inch height calculation works out very well for an intake hose that has 1sq inch of surface area. By my calculation that’s a hose that has an internal diameter of 1.13 inches which is quite a large hose. And then there’s the issue of how the pump is used. If it is already being used to draw the saline source water up from the ocean, for example, raising the height is only going to make the problem worse, not better. So the pump would need to be located below the holding tank of saline water for this to work. But overall, my bet is that the actual tube diameter used would be too small to make this a particularly viable solution.
One other question that I have is whether 3.5psi is really the minimum operational spec for the filter or the nominal requirement? A 2.9psi pump might work well enough to keep one going for a while if it just results in a lower output flow rate rather than the entire system not functioning….
You don”t have to go back 100 years to have sailed with the conditions of that ship wreck. We sailed that same area in 1975 with the same equipment – sexton and compass. It is great that you have all that technology to help make your experience so much safer. Thanks for allowing us to enjoy your adventure.
Hi Jason and Nikki
Its a shame that if you had internet you could contact the Manufacture and see if there was one available where you are, shipping might be costly, but you would have it fairly quickly, Just a thought. Another amazing video with you two every adventure you two have we get to ride along shotgun style. Love the extra picture of you two in the water, makes me envious . Wish I was there, i’m not . Hope you get your water pump issue solved shortly. Calm winds and sunny skies, stay safe please!
Well, that was just like a soap opera! We’re still left with a cliff hanger about the Watermaker! (Tune in next week, will our adventurers find the parts they need?!)
Is fresh water not available at the marinas on Taha’a or Raiatea? Or cost prohibitive?
Great episode as always.
Awesome water, great scenery. In your video the shipwreck seems so encrusted. 120 years of ocean water and sea life does a great job disguising a ship from one thing to another. The water is pretty murky 90 feet down. Lots of life to be had.
I can totally see myself there. It is great to watch you guys. Your lives are busy and only filled with new people, places and things. You are not bogged down by anything whatsoever but, ship repairs and weather. Satisfying on many levels and a great plan to live by one day at a time.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. We were a few months behind you. Dove the Nordby in early March and no one in our dive group thought to bring a camera. Now I can show the rest of the crew what they missed. A little spooky yes but I thought the neglected over water bungalows next to the dive site were even more spooky. Not a place I would want to be after dark. I was amazed to be at 90′ in just my bathing suit and not even slightly chilled. FP rocks!
Thanks also for the other post about your dive gear. It was interesting to hear that Bauer suggested that gas was better than electric power when you are traveling in remote locations. I would have guessed it was the other way around. That is valuable information. It was also interesting to see in the video that you don’t have the compressor mounted somewhere and you hoist it up with a halyard when you need it. Again, something I would not have thought of.
Can’t wait for next week!
Love you guys outstanding pic of the ocean. Keep it up your doing great
Hi Guys, love living vicariously through you and your videos! Not sure exactly what your purification pump issues are but if it is just pressure you might consider running two pumps in tandem, that should come pretty close to doubling the output…that’s what we used to do on fire trucks back in the Stone Age anyway…
OMG….Nikki…..a typo? I’m so used to perfection on this site that I was totally taken aback……lol. Maybe you wrote this after a “sundowner” or two. And were Lewis and Clark supposed to be jealous or jelly? Inquiring minds want to know. Great videos as always you two and I look forward to the next.
Thank you Again! From Moline,Il.
When you said you had an electric ” Wench ” what flashed into my head was you had special ordered
one of those lifelike female robots from Japan and dressed her up as a 17th Century Tavern serving wench
and she was helping you to raise the mainsail.
Haha…it took a few seconds for my brain to consider there was a possibility you meant you were
using an electric ” winch ” to raise your mainsail.
Do you need to time your ascent from scubaing from a 90 foot depth? Still some very colorful sea life in the murky water.
You never want to ascend too quickly from any depth, but from 90′ it’s usually recommended that you stop at 15′ deep for what’s called a “safety stop”. Just an added precaution.
ANOTHER PERFECT SUNDAY WATCHING YOUR VIDEOS….THANKS
LOL and Columbus might have “found” India. 🙂 I grow more and more envious with each video!
Dan & Zena
Dear Nikki & Jason,
We really appreciate you sharing your journey. You are so authentic & funny. Best wishes to you both always. Looking forward to all your videos.
Dan & Zena
Thank you for your comments attached to Jason & your emails.They are really informative &thoughtful.
I think that is ‘winch’, not ‘wench’.