Tahiti/Bora Bora -Paradise Found!
This is captain Diana's first ever attempt at a blog post, so bare with me. First-we are in Bora Bora. Seldom do we have one of those OMG moments where we want to pinch ourselves, but this is one of them. WE ARE IN BORA BORA AND WE SAILED FROM SEATTLE!!!
Now to backtrack over the past 2 weeks, fortunately I have taken a few notes because it seems like months ago that we were in Tahiti. Co-captain Anne and I have been on our own since Robin left. On the day she left, while anchored in Papeete Bay, we were treated to an unexpected cultural event. We awoke to 100+ 6-person outrigger boats arriving in the bay for a qualifying race. We had to re-anchor to move away from the race course and got a front row seat to the start and finish line. Very fun to watch this 2 hour race!
The next day we moved to Papeete Marina where we would be closer to town and where we could get provisions. We spent 5 days there getting parts, provisioning and meeting up with other boaters. We had dinner with the crew of Agatha, and Dereve, and our new friend Nick. Nick is from Australia and is waiting for his wife to arrive and sort of adopted us and wanted to help us out in any way that he could. He tried for days to fix our electric outboard motor, brought us new hinges for our toilet seat that had broken and even carried back lots of parts for us from the marine store in his new dolly cart. We loved Nick and the other boaters that support us. The boating community really is inspiring and we feel looked after. On our final evening in Papeete we went to the 1st of a 3-day Puddle Jump Rendevous event There, we met other boaters, many who had crossed from Panama and we were entertained by Polynesian dancers (including fire-dancers) and drummers. The event moved to Mo'orea the next morning. The crew from Derive who we have known since MX joined us for the trip over. Chris (owner of Derive) arranged for us to participate in the PJ outrigger race. Very fun, and we now have a greater appreciation for the skill and athleticism of the local outriggers! At least 2 boats flipped! Our guests took a ferry back to Papeete the next day. We had drinks with our new friends on SV 2K from Norway-now we want to go to the fiords of Norway!
Anne and I are now preparing for our first overnight crossing alone, to Raiatea. We left the next morning; the seas started out calm but quickly became choppy and confused. We were both a tiny bit seasick, but arrived in Raiatea to sunshine and we felt happy to be in another new destination. We grabbed a mooring ball near the town of Uturoa and took a nap. That afternoon we were treated to beautiful Polynesian music and drumming coming from onshore just off our boat as the locals practiced for the Heiva Festival. It really was incredible music! Raiatea is beautiful but the strange part is that there are NO restaurants in town, only a pastry/coffee shop. There were a few food trucks that opened in the afternoon and a Chinese restaurant that was out of business. We had arranged an apt with Richard, a mechanic who we actually met in Papeete. The islands get so bombarded by boaters for just a few months of the year that finding a mechanic or getting a haul out is difficult. Richard was awsome-he fixed our seacock that was connected to our 2nd holding tank (we now have 2 working toilets!!) and fixed our green running light that had failed due to corrosion and a few other items. Finally we are near the end of our repair list -or NOT (read on). After a few days, we left for the Isl of Tahaa. A major storm was and still is approaching with 40 knot winds and 15 ft seas predicted so we needed to position ourselves to cross ahead of the storm for Bora Bora where we are picking up our friends Heather and Rick. As we left our mooring ball I noticed that our wind instrument was not working and when I looked up, something was dangling from on-top of the mast. A new repair list was emerging. Then, when we arrived at Tahaa, we prepared to anchor. The chain on the windless started to jump until eventually the anchoring system failed. Manually anchoring or using our back-up anchor was not an option in 90 ft of depth and with winds building and a reef close by. This was the first time that Anne started to freak out and I was the calm one, usually the opposite is true. The ANGLES ON THE BOW (our saying during this trip) came through for us again. We reached out to Pakele Loa, a SV from Sausalito CA who we have met a few times prior. There was a mooring ball near them but it was missing the lines to attach to. Tim from Pakele Loa got in his dingy and was able to retrieve the lines and throw them up to us. We were safe for the night-Angels on the Bow! We left the next morning for Bora Bora where anchoring is prohibited and where there are mooring balls. And -we were planning to meet up with SV 2K from Norway. Kjell from 2K offered to look at our windless and give us his opinion - again Angels on the Bow.
Our 30 km crossing to Bora Bora was a little rough but we arrived ahead of the storm and are currently hunkered down on a mooring ball next to 2K and next to the Bora Bora Yacht Club -the safest possible spot should the winds hit. Right now the weather is sunny-warm with a light breeze. The 59 knot winds that were predicted for Fiji only materialize to 22 knots. Will see what happens here and keep you posted.
Sent from my iPhone
Sent from my iPhone