"...parce que je suis heureux en mer et peut-être pour sauver mon ame..." - Bernard Moitessier
In November 2014, we sailed Tamata out of Newport, Rhode Island (Kate's hometown) toward Kalbarri, Western Australia (Matt's hometown). We would be taking the long way, transiting the Panama Canal and threading our way through the islands of the South Pacific over the course of the next year.
To us, life on the ocean is not a contrast to life in the "real world". Our trip is neither an escape nor an extended vacation. We value self-sufficiency and authenticity, and strive to maintain a strong connection with the natural world. Making Tamata our home has ensured that those values are part of our every day life. When we're not sailing or working on the boat, we're probably catching dinner, free diving, surfing, hiking, or learning yet another way to prepare fish.
May 2016: Our original plan was to arrive in Sydney in time for New Years 2015. We didn't make it. Our year in the Pacific had passed too quickly and felt incomplete so in November 2015 we left Tonga to spend cyclone season in New Zealand. After an extended yard period on the North Island, we turned around and sailed back east 2,000 miles to French Polynesia's southernmost islands, the Austral Islands.
January 2017: We are preparing to leave Sydney Harbour for Fremantle, Western Australia.
Which way is The Long Way?
The title of this blog is a reference to Bernard Moitessier's book, La Longue Route. Moitessier became famous during the 1968 British Sunday Times Golden Globe circumnavigation race. He entered the solo, non-stop, round the world race with a very good shot at winning. After nearly seven months at sea he had rounded all three Southern Ocean capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin, and Horn) and was heading north in the Atlantic Ocean on his last leg. There he dropped out of the race altogether and instead continued on to Tahiti - rounding the Cape of Good Hope a second time and tackling both the Indian and half the Pacific Oceans again. With no way of communicating his decision directly with anyone back in England, he used a slingshot to deliver his message onto the deck of a passing freighter. The only explanation he gave was: "...because I am happy at sea, and maybe to save my soul." Later, he named his boat Tamata - "try it!", or "why not?" in French Polynesian dialects.
Feel free to contact us with questions, comments, or to say hi. We may be reached at: sytamata [at] gmail [dot] com