Oyster 885 GT Babiana Marquesas Islands

14th April, 18:00 UTC:

Oyster 885 Babiana, Marquesas Islands

OYSTER WORLD RALLY LIVE 2024-25

DISTANCE TRAVELLED

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Oyster World Rally 2028 29 Circumnavigation of the world sailing adventure 1

18.06.2024

Entries open for the Oyster World Rally 2028-29. Embark on the sailing adventure of a lifetime

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2024-25 RALLY

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12:00 PM 12th April The Marquesas Islands

The majority of the fleet have arrived in Nuku Hiva and group check ins have been taking place over the last few days.

Some boats are off exploring the bays of Nuku Hiva, others went for a walk from Hapatoni Bay to Vaitahu Bay to have lunch all together. Everyone has been greeted warmly by the local people who are very charming and welcoming.

12:00 PM 4th April South Pacific Ocean

The first yachts have arrived into Nuku Hiva, the largest island in the Marquesas. Oyster 595 JaZoFi were the first boat to make landfall in the Marquesas, with 575 Ahlam and 595 Mastegot close behind. Ahlam were dolphin escorted into the islands and welcomed on board JaZoFi with champagne to celebrate!

They will spend a couple of weeks here before heading south to the Tuamotu Islands.

12:00 PM 1st April South Pacific Ocean

The majority of the fleet are well into their crossing to French Polynesia, settling into life at sea and enjoying Easter weekend celebrations, with homemade hot cross buns by JaZoFi, Rock Lobster and Aurora.

12:00 PM 28th March South Pacific Ocean

The first rally boats are nearing the halfway mark of their 3000nm sail from the Galapagos to the Marquesas Islands. Being the longest passage on the Rally, most of the time they won’t be in sight of another rally yacht. To help everyone stay safe and to pass on vital information, the rally operates an SSB Radio Net, where one yacht communicates twice a day with the rest of fleet via SSB radio. 

7:00 AM 25th March South Pacific Ocean

The majority of the fleet have now left the Galapagos on the longest ocean delivery of the Oyster World Rally - 3000nm and roughly 3 weeks to the Marquesas Islands. Yachts provisioned from local services, refuelled and were boarded up by eight inspectors to complete the strict clearance process ensuring no Galapagos species left the islands.

12:00 PM 13th March Galápagos Islands

The fleet are now spread across the three main islands of Isabela, San Cristóbal and Santa Cruz. Many have now began their trip with a naturalist guide on board into protected areas of the Galápagos National Park. They have been diving, touring volcanoes and getting up close to the many incredible and unique species in Galápagos.

12:00 PM 8th March Galápagos Islands

The majority of the fleet have arrived in the Galápagos and have been cleared in. While most of the boats remain at anchor in San Cristobal to take some time to explore the island and relax, the first few boats have started on their trip around the Galápagos National Park. 

Highlights so far have been diving at the famous Kicker Rock and seeing lots of wildlife including hammerhead sharks, manta rays, sea lions, fish and turtles.

12:00 PM 5th March

The support team and first of the rally boats have now arrived in San Cristóbal in the Galápagos Islands. Each boat underwent a clear process that takes about 30 minutes, by eight different officials, organised by our agent Antonio Moreano at SeaMasters.

12:00 PM 2nd March

The fleet had time out on the Pacific side in La Playita and Flamenco Marinas, and took the opportunity to visit the vast Panamanian hypermarkets to stock up on food and provisions as the next supermarkets are not until Tahiti, some 3 months and 4000nm away. The Galápagos Islands have some strict food importation regulations, so no fresh meat can be taken in nor fruits and most pulses.

They also saw many racoons, sloths, iguanas, ant eaters and vultures, a true animal haven!

The last parts of the puzzle to organise for Galápagos includes diving on the yachts hulls to make sure that they are clean to enter the Marine reserve and also Fumigation, to make sure the interior of the yachts are free of any bugs or pests.

12:00 PM 26th February Panama Canal

Over 2 years in the planning, the Oyster World Rally fleet 2024-25 have transited from the Atlantic to Pacific Oceans through the Panama Canal. Normally, transit times for the Oyster fleet are set and timings of the lock operations are known well in advance and we can therefore carefully plan the timetable of events in Panama, to get the yachts ready for their onward journey to Galapagos. Not this year! 9 months ago we received notice that the Panama Canal was running at 50% capacity due to a drought in Panama and surrounding countries and that our transit booking had been cancelled.

Each lock operation along the canal takes up to 197 million litres of water with just 60% reuse, this means that with each lock, a lot of water slips into the oceans and not back into Gatun Lake, the body of water which facilitates the lock operations. With Gatun Lake being 50% lower than normal, this means the canal cannot run at 100% capacity. In turn this has meant huge queues at both ends of the canal, with some larger vessels having to pay a high premium to keep to schedules, such as cruise ships and container vessels.

Yachts are not the top priority for the Panama Canal as in relative terms they are very small and therefore create an insignificant income. It was only 10 days before the fleet arrived in Shelter Bay Marina, that we knew what the expected plan of transit would be for the Rally fleet, so it has been a tricky time.

However, after just 1 day after arriving, Oyster 565 Babe was the first of the fleet to go through the canal, leaving Shelter Bay at 3.30am to move to the anchorage to accept their Canal Advisor (Pilot) and get underway. Transits either take a whole day, leaving early and arriving in the Pacific at teatime, or are split over 2 days, anchoring overnight in Gatun Lake. This seems all to depend upon the availability of the Advisors and Pilots.

Babe transited with another yacht, tied together to form a ‘nest’ and worked together to hold station in each lock before passing under the Bridge of Americas, the gateway to the Pacific. Each yacht has to have a minimum of five people aboard – four to attend to the lines, and one to skipper the vessel. The Rally fleet have had to share the locks with cruise liners, freighters, oil tankers, container ships as well as tugs, passenger ferries and general cargo ships.

After Babe, the rest of the fleet transited within 10 days, some together some on their own. Everyone completed a successful transit and made it safely to Flamenco and La Playita Marina on the Pacific side.

7:00 AM 15th February Panama

The Oyster World Rally fleet have now all arrived at Shelter Bay Marina, at the top of the Panama Canal, to a wonderful welcome from the marina staff and the manager, Juan Jo Boschetti. The fleet have a busy programme whilst in Shelter Bay awaiting their canal transit, including visits to the Canal locks, a Jungle tour to see the Embera tribe and Rum Tasting.

A briefing by Rally Director Allie Smith on Monday covered all the formalities and processes whilst transiting the canal. The schedule for the fleet to transit the canal was only formalised a few days ago due to the canal experiencing operating difficulties due to the drought, meaning the lock system has been running at just half capacity. The Oyster World rally fleet have had to be extremely flexible, waiting for their turn to head down to the Pacific.

The jungle tour to the village of the Embera Tribe was a highlight for the crews so far. The fleet reached the village by heading upriver in a dugout canoe! They spent time with the locals, learning about their culture and way of life, with dancing, music and visits to family homes. Everyone then enjoyed a traditional Panamanian lunch whilst having henna tattoos and watching the amazing wildlife.

This morning the fleet attended a briefing with Stephanie Betz, our French Polynesian expert who has flown in from Tahiti especially to give advice and top tips about exploring the wonderful French Polynesia and specifically the Marquesas Islands.

3:00 PM 7th February San Blas Islands

The fleet are having the best time exploring the amazing San Blas Islands. Enjoying a barbecue on Big Dog Island with lobster and freshly caught sailfish, surfing in Chichime Island, snorkelling with tropical fish, walking along white sandy beaches, taking the tender to the partly uninhabited islands.

10:00 AM 1st February San Blas

Most of the fleet have left the Caribbean islands and are heading west to Panama. Many have stopped to enjoy the idyllic San Blas Islands, an archipelago consisting of 360 islands north of Panama, on their way to the Panama Canal.

12:00 PM 29th January Bonaire

The fleet have spent time in the rich waters of Bonaire, enjoying the pristine underwater environment which has made it an award winning diving destination. There are more than 85 dive sites, with more than 350 fish species and 57 soft and stony coral species to explore.

Many boats are now back on the move again, crossing to the west of the Caribbean Sea, heading for either Cartegena, Colombia or the beautiful San Blas Islands.

9:00 AM 19th January Caribbean Sea

Since the rally started the fleet have ventured to Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, the BVI's, Bonaire and Curaçao to name a few!

9:00 AM 16th January Caribbean Sea

There are essentially three routes to Panama. North via the BVI, South via the Caribbean, or South West via the ABC Islands. What we can see today is the fleet taking those three routes and as the week progresses we will see the fleet make their way to San Blas & Panama.

1:00 PM 14th January Antigua

21 Oysters have crossed the line and started their Oyster World Rally! His excellency Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda fired the cannon from Fort Charlotte and wished the fleet on their way.

The fleet will meet again in Panama for their transit through the canal in mid February. Keep posted on the Rally Live page for regular updates on the fleet's progress.

5:00 PM 13th January Antigua

Crews have made their final preparations ahead of the start tomorrow and been briefed in the skippers meeting.

3:00 PM 12th January Antigua

Today the fleet took part in a Weather Briefing on current weather patterns and what to expect on their very first Rally passage from Antigua to Panama.

12:00 PM 11th January Antigua

The fleet have been briefed by our Galapagos agent about formalities, weather, geology and history. They also met renowned yachting photographer Rick Tomlinson, the first ever On-Board Reporter on the Oyster World Rally. We're thrilled to have Rick joining the fleet for their voyage of a lifetime, and can't wait to see the amazing shots he'll capture along the way!

12:00 PM 10th January Antigua

Today part of the fleet joined a Cooking Class with Nicole Arthurton Dennis, learning how to cook fresh, local seafood and create a delicious three-course Caribbean lunch. 

Owners, crews and Rally team got together for a special evening at Loose Cannon Beach Bar, one of the best spots on the island to watch the iconic Antiguan sunsets.

4:30 PM 9th January Antigua

It’s amazing to see the Oyster World Rally 2024-25 fleet in Nelson’s Dockyard, Oyster’s spiritual home in the Caribbean and the base for the start of the rally. Just five days to go until these 21 Oysters leave for the voyage of a lifetime! 

Oyster’s Technical Support Team are carrying out final checks on the boats ahead of the start and crews have been busy taking part in a number of activities, to include RYA 1-day practical Sea Survival Courses provided by OnDeck Sailing Antigua. Some also attended a Rum Masterclass at Antigua's Academy of Rum and had the chance to design and flavour their own bespoke bottle of rum!

Oyster Yachts in Fatu Hiva
Hapatoni in Tahuata island Oyster Yachts At Anchor
Hapatoni in Tahuata island Sunset
Oyster 885 GT Babiana Pacific Crossing
Crew on board Oyster 885 GT Babiana Pacific Ocean Crossing
Oyster 885 GT Babiana Pacific Crossing On Board Dusk Shot

RALLY LIVE UPDATES

Follow the Oyster World Rally 2024-25 fleet with our Rally Live updates.

2024-25 RALLY

Entry List

@
UK
Distraction
Oyster 53/50 2007
@
UK
Ostara
Oyster 54/15 2011
@
USA
Shanties
Oyster 56/66 2009
@
UK
Tír na nÓg
Oyster 565/07 2021
@
UK
Hermione III
Oyster 565/10 2022
@
UK
Rock Lobster IV
Oyster 565/14 2023
@
Estonia
Larimar
565/15 2023
@
UK
Babe
Oyster 565/17 2023
@
UK
Poco Loco
Oyster 575/23 2014
@
Spain
Ahlam
Oyster 575/32 2015
@
USA
Aurora
Oyster 575/66 2018
@
Spain
Mastegot
Oyster 595/06 2022
@
Australia
JaZoFi
Oyster 595/09 2023
@
UK
Sydney Rock
Oyster 595/10 2023
@
Germany
Altaia
Oyster 655/16 2011
@
USA
Jolie
Oyster 655/17 2010
@
Canada
USA
UK
Skana
Oyster 675/08 2023
@
Ireland
Rí-Rá
Oyster 675/10 2023
@
UK
Mexican Wave
Oyster 745/07 2022
@
Canada
Serafina
Oyster 885/03 2013
@
UK
Babiana
Oyster 885/11 2022
@
UK
Gibraltar
Satori
Oyster 885/12 2023
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The overall experience so far has been amazing. The feeling we had crossing the start was one of joy, satisfaction, and achievement. The Oyster team are fantastic and I commend them all for their work and commitment to the cause.
Lawrie Brice, Oyster 885 Satori II Skipper – Oyster World Rally 2024-25
We're really looking forward to the adventure. We're ready to go, we can't wait to get off the dock now!
Joe & Mary Sowton, Oyster 54 Ostara – Oyster World Rally 2024-25
Go for it!"

"Life’s way too short. Don’t live with regrets. Even if you think you can’t do it, you can do it. With the right preparation, the right boat and the right attitude, you can definitely figure it all out.
Susan White, Oyster 625 Makara – Oyster World Rally 2022-23
We wouldn’t have missed it for the world. It’s absolutely a once in a lifetime opportunity and experience.
Rob and Jeanette Parkinson, Oyster 575 – Oyster World Rally 2017-19
The trick to this Rally is three things: resources, time and health. Those stars have to align and they won’t line up forever. So, if you have a chance to put those three things together, then you’ve got to do it.
Trevor Hill, Oyster 725 Intrepid – Oyster World Rally 2022-23

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