Top white email2x Email us Top white webcam2x Webcam Top white search2x Basket Login

Richard and Sally Ambler were awarded the Commodore's trophy for cruising the Pacific on their Oyster 49

1395635 orig
Published 17:59 on 3 Apr 2024

Sally and Richard Ambler were awarded the Commodore's trophy for cruising the Pacific on their Oyster 49. This is awarded for boating activities outside Seaview by a member or a member of staff. 

Sally and Richard Ambler bought their Oyster 49 unseen in July 2021 in the middle of lockdown from a fellow RTYC member who had got marooned in Tahiti on a circumnavigation. They couldn't get to the boat until Christmas that year. They had sailed in the Pacific before but not as skipper/owner and not in French Polynesia. 

They describe it as probably the most delightful unspoilt cruising ground in the world with friendly people. 300,000 people live in an area the size of Europe with 100 islands covering 2000 kilometres. 

However, learning to navigate  French Polynesia is a steep learning curve. The passes into the atolls are narrow and the water can flow at 8 knots with vicious standing waves. In between the atolls the depths can be 4,000 metres yet the atolls can be only 10 metres with many uncharted bommies (coral heads) only discernible in good light. Technology isn't much use so the "mark one eyeball" and good polarised sunglasses are key.

The weather is beautiful with no cyclones, but rapid squalls can catch out the unwary. One time when they thought they had a problem with their propeller shaft (it was in fact only a loose rope cutter) and had to enter a pass under much reduced sail in 30 knots at night. But at least they had Navionics to guide them whereas Captain Cook entered this very pass at night on a lee shore with no certain knowledge there was a navigable pass there at all! 

The number of wrecked yachts on the coral reefs was a sobering sight marking the end of someone's dream.

The rewards for the challenges include snorkelling above the "wall of sharks" in the Fakarava South Pass where BBC's Blue Planet was filmed or in beautiful coral gardens, anchoring in beautiful, remote spots and total relaxation. 

Congratulations to both of them!

1395641 1300x 1395637 1300x 1395643 1300x
© 2024 Sea View Yacht Club powered by Sailing Club Manager