Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Tahiti, Moorea and now with intentions of going to Bora Bora

Greetings!

What a glorious full moon tonight! We are on passage from Mo'orea to Bora-Bora, a distance of about 140 nm, so we are grateful for the extra light. We have had some minor cloud cover, but most of the night (thus far) has been in light winds. When we have a trip like this to do, we generally leave in the morning to give us the most daylight for our arrival the following day, and this is what we did leaving Mo'orea this morning (we weighed anchor at 0800 under a clear blue sky). [We worried the winds would be too light as the gribs and the French Polynesia reports did not agree. For most of the passage we have been doing a nice easy 6.5 to 7.2 kts along the rhumb line. Only at some time past midnight did the winds ease and veer so make our progress a bit slower and rollier]

I hope you have been enjoying all the photos Max has posted this week :) If a picture is worth 1000 words, he has provided a book! The hardest part was choosing amongst the 1000s of photos we have taken. As for me, it is nice to be back at the keyboard, offering you my 1000 words!

Papeete was a busy time/place. Even though we were across the dock from our Belgian friends (Nautilusatsea), we hardly saw them. In fact, part way through the week, we agreed that we wouldn't even try to see each other in the marina, and we would reconnect in Mo'orea!

With the Carrefour close by, we did our 3-4 month provisioning the night before we left. After Victoria and I got back from town (where we bought Benjamin's snazzy new booster seat) we headed to the Carrefour. About 3/4 of the way through my list, we found out that the store was closing in 20 min (it might look like a big Loblaws, but it doesn't keep the same hours!). We also found out that the cooler section is closed 15 min ahead of the rest of the store. Yikes! We ended up with lots of cans and dry goods (30x500g boxes of oats, 30x1kg bags of flour, dozens of bags of rice & pasta, etc), but little fridge or freezer stuff -- we will try for this in Bora Bora.

Our guide book points out that the sea between Tahiti and Mo'orea can be "confused" and confused it was! This was the longest 2-hour passage we have done. The groceries were safe (stored in duffels so we could stow them in slow time upon arrival), but everything else we owned was part of a chorus of clanging and banging as the boat rolled back and forth 15 deg in either direction [and occasionally more as both toerails were dipped in the water at various points]. Were we ever glad to arrive!

There are several anchorages in Mo'orea; the one we chose (Opunohu) was the site of the filming of the "Mutiny of the Bounty" with Mel Gibson. Spectacular hardly does the scenery justice. We had hotels on either side of us, but unlike Mexico, where the beach would have been lined with highrises, these resorts consisted of low buildings and little huts on the water: they were really nice and blended in beautifully. Unfortunately with resorts come jet skis; these were not so nice, and did not blend in so beautifully! Oh well, the folks who were driving us crazy are probably already back at work!

We had a bit of a reunion when we arrived: Briso was already there and Nautilus arrived the next day (while we were celebrating the marriage of friends from "Qi" (chee) on the beach). Although it was a bit more crowded than some of the beaches/anchorages we have enjoyed (I counted 20 other boats when we left this morning [which is why we like to anchor in the deep away from the majority of the boats]), it was a lovely place for a holiday ("the ultimate" in honeymoon destinations, to quote the girl I met while swimming with stingrays & sharks yesterday). As for us, we visited with friends on the beach, hiked to the Belvedere (view point from which we could see both Opunou and Cooks Bay ... up by road, back by slippery forest trail ... about 6 hrs hiking), swam (twice) with stingrays, and enjoyed the beautiful view. [I also had a chance to do a sports dive with Hans where I got to play with the turtle that you see pictures of in one of the previous blog posts.] We even spent a day at one of the hotels, eating lunch and swimming in their pool. Lovely. [All of these excursions required the use of our RHIB which has been very reliable since its "problems" in San Diego. However, part the way on the windy trip to the sting rays it kept sputtering and dieing. Not ideal with the reefs on both sides. I managed to keep it running by squeezing the fuel priming bulb so we returned to Fluenta safely. After taking care of the usual culprits with small gas engine - spark plugs and a carburetor cleaning - I noticed that the fuel filter housing was leaking. An easy fix for once and the engine most probably appreciated the new spark plugs and a cleaner carburetor. Johnathan and I also took the time to do another hull cleaning in anticiptation of this passage. Max].

That pretty much catches us up. My watch is over, and the morning (pass entrance & navigating) will come all too soon.
Love to all,
Elizabeth
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At 2014/08/12 2:49 AM (utc) Fluenta's position was 16°54.80'S 150°35.81'W

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