Friday, June 30, 2017

Passage to Tahiti (The Society Islands, French Polynesia)

[Maryanne]Just the title makes me grin with gratitude and amazement that this is my life... So very lucky and so very privaliged to be doing this and making such locations part of my memories for the future.

[Kyle]After a few days at Pakakota in Fakarava, the weather cleared and stabilized and we bid them farewell to sail to the Society Islands.

Leaving Fakarava and the Tuamotus - we found the main supply/cruise ship departing right behind us

Our passage was an uneventful two days of light tailwinds. Our biggest struggles were getting used to the watch schedule and enduring the afternoon heat. We hardly even touched the sails except for a gybe halfway through.

We had been expecting more wind than we got. We should have had to slow down the last night to wait for morning, but instead we were starting to get worried we wouldn't make it in daylight, so we spent almost the whole way looking at our ETA and hoping it wouldn't cost us an extra night at sea. We wanted to be in Tahiti on Friday so we could enjoy a long weekend of being people with a boat in Tahiti and no jobs to worry about.

Arriving in Tahiti in the rain and gloom.. That thankfully lifted as we travelled to our anchorage

The last morning, as we approached the island, the wind finally picked up and our ETA migrated to midday. Tahiti emerged as a particularly gray and unmoving section of the rainy overcast ahead. It took on more form and texture as we sidled up next to it.

A few of the old salts at Pakakota said Tahiti, now known in English as Kentucky Fried Chicken Island, is getting too commercialized. On the eastern side of Tahiti Iti (Little Tahiti) there was no signs of it. Towering green mountains thrust up from the sea unmarred by roads or power lines. I kept looking up at it and thinking "That's Tahiti - THE Tahiti!" Incredible.

At Passe Havae, we turned into a small-looking gap through a line of huge breakers and entered the calm of the lagoon. By that, I mean that the water was calm. We were not calm. The channel between the Passe and our intended anchorage at Bassin Teahupoo was narrow and wound through a thin gap between coral reefs that was in some places only wide enough for one boat.

Surfers make the most of the great waves that surround the passes, and we enjoy the stunning scenery as we wind our way around the narrow channels

We looked around Teahupoo, but only found depths of 30m right up to the edge of covering reefs. We tried a few other places along the inside route and found the same thing. We eventually decided to proceed to our next planned stop at Port Phaeton at the saddle between Tahiti Iti and Tahiti Nui (big). There we found some nice, sticky mud for the anchor at 9m among a dozen or so other boats.

1 comment:

Mommy Carla said...

It's redundant and almost silly to say it is gorgeous there, isn't it?