This morning Zack and Guillaume and I went snorkeling on the reef next to our anchorage. It was farther away than we thought. But it was a good day for a swim. The fish were friendly enough in a fish way. I hope they keep in touch.
Up anchor and exit Maroe Bay. The wind is 12 kts SE and we head North on spinnaker only. Nice run for Guillaume’s drone. Kinda spooky launching and landing that spendy thing on a moving boat. Glad I wasn’t driving it. But he likely got some good footage for his documentary.
We turn west at the north end of Huahine’s reef. And the wind stays behind us. Odd. Then we turn south along the west shore. And the wind pretty much stayed behind us again. Very unusual but favorably. We’ll take it.
Anchorage off Fare village is crowded. And there is a 1 kt current that flows through it. Which means all the boat’s hang on their anchor heading the same way. Without current boats swing around in the wind and might bump each other. So a bit of current makes a crowded anchorage easier to deal with.
It’s been raining off and on since we got here. Which means poor Spill the Wine has some soggy spots under the odd window that might have been left open. Example last night we attended happy hour at a pub onshore. Clear skies when we went in. But shortly after we arrived that changed in a big wet way. I dinghyed back to the boat presto and closed up my damp boat. I enjoyed the rest of the squall in the cockpit before rejoining my cre201w. We had big plans to roast a chicken on the egg. But we ran out of steam and dinner turned into chips and salsa. Real salsa. I have not seen real salsa since I left Mexico.
Bastille Day! Marking the revolutionary French Revolution! Surely there will be a big festival in Fare Village to mark the day. And there was a big festival. But it had to do with Heiva. This is a month long local custom that has lots of dancing singing javelin tossing canoe racing celebrating Polynesian culture. French culture not so much. 🙂
Guillaume runs into Robin and Fiona. He had traveled with before. Nice folks so we move up the coast and arrange to have dinner with them. Lamb chops on the egg. Some singing and playing. Fiona takes photos of the big green egg on the stern. I ask her why and she explains that her mother had been bugging her and Robin to put one on their boat before they left Florida. I’m not making this stuff up. Fiona’s mother is not well and I want to meet her!
Today we moved up to TaHaa the adjacent island. 25 kts in the lagoon between the islands. But being a lagoon, minimal wave action. Great sailing. We moved up the western side of TaHaa and took a mooring ball in a cove with a pearl Farm. They gave us a brilliant tour of their operation and we helped them close at sundown. Their docks have a nice view to the west. Rib steaks on the egg for dinner. Nancy and I are enjoying Zack and Guillaume. They have good appetites!
Time to move on to BoraBora. 25 mile crossing. Big seas and 20 to 25 kts behind us. That goes well if you like stuff flying around the boat. Actually goes just fine other than that. Nobody gets ill. Approaching Bora Bora is dramatic. It has this radically vertical peak right in the center of it that resembles Mt Doom from Lord of the Rings. 25 to 30 kts blows through the anchor field when we arrive. We plant our anchor successfully but end up a bit too close to another boat. We are pulling it back up to re-anchor and a neighbor tells us there is a mooring ball available. In this kind of wind a mooring sounds pretty attractive so we nab it.
Town is pretty close and so is the grocery. Well stocked for sure. That will be handy when it is time to leave for the Cook islands.
We get Zack packed for tomorrow. He is flying back to Papeete to meet his family when they arrive from Seattle. He was great crew and gets invited back. Time to rotate crew again. Guillaume is staying on board. Nancy flies to Rarotonga in the Cook islands on the 22nd. Huub will join Spill The Wine the evening of the 23rd.
After Zack departed this morning we visited the Gendarmarie and checked out of French Polynesia effective the 24th. Lots of paperwork. Boring! Seriously my least favorite part of this adventure. I’m still waiting on a separate clearance that comes from the French Polynesian Harbor control.
A boat full of musical types just anchored next to us. Tonight should be good!
Some of you might remember that STW’s VHF radio was failing. So Zack brought down another one. Well the new one exhibited the same unfortunate powering off erratically and refusing to power up symptoms. Guess it was not the radio. Further investigation required. The radio lives inside the boat at the navigation table. There is a remote handheld unit at the helm station in the cockpit. Turns out disconnecting the remote resolves all problems. So a problem in the remote wiring. I remake a suspect splice in the line. No help. Then I decide to disconnect a plug in the line. And it shows severe corrosion due to water penetration. Cut the plug out. Track down the 10 wires to their corresponding pins. And no, the wire colors are not the same on both sides of the plug. That would be too easy. Make connections permanent with shrink wrap insulation. Silicon caulk. Rescue tape. I think I’m waterproof now. And it works again. Anybody need a Standard Horizon Matrix 2150? Turns out I have an extra one.