Sunday, July 16, 2017

24 hour sail to Huahine

[Kyle]The sail to Huahine was in moderate and variable winds. This had us making use of the full set of sail combinations including our spinnaker – giving our guests Geoffrey and Sarah a good start to learning the ropes. The new moon and the chance to be out of sight of land made for some excellent southern sky stargazing (with excellent Milky way and southern cross). The guests kept Maryanne company for a while, but didn’t make it through to my midnight watch. Knowing we would arrive right after sunrise, Maryanne relieved my watch at 4am, instead of the usual six to allow me to get a little extra sleep in before our arrival at Huahine.

pictures – coconut opening lessons aboard

The sun rose behind the island as we were sailing up the western shore. By the time we entered the pass, just south of the main town of Fare, everyone was awake and eagerly anticipating our arrival. Once in the pass we started the engines and wove our way through the channel to the southern end of the island and Avea Bay by Hotel Mahana.

As we motored, we were getting an intermittent engine alarm. Each time, it was too brief for us to even notice which associated light was showing. By the time we approached the anchorage on low engine power, the warning became more steady. It was the water alarm from the starboard drive. This alarm is designed to detect a failure of the seal and implies there is currently water in the engine compartment. There was no water. Once we anchored, we sent our guests off to shore to explore while Maryanne and I attempted to diagnose and fix whatever was tripping the alarm (under their bed). We could not find any reason for the alarm, no short, nothing, but after taking everything apart and putting it all back again, the buzzing stopped. We assumed a poor connection had been fixed in the process.

Note: We later learned that just a couple of days later, a fellow 2017 Pacific cruiser, Tanda Malaika, had just gone aground just outside Huahine near the same pass we had used. They lost their boat, but all aboard were safely rescued by the amazing French Navy and the helicopter rescue team. Their blog post tells the dramatic story

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