Aug 05


Tag: routemattholmes @ 2:52 pm

(post-dated: we arrived in Tahiti July 16)

Rangiroa was our last atoll in the Tuamotus; the passage from Rangiroa to Tahiti took a day and a half.  Tahiti is the administrative center for all of French Polynesia, which includes the Marquesas, the Tuamotus, and the Society Islands (Tahiti is in the Societies, along with Bora Bora).

The passage from Rangiroa to Tahiti was tedious.  We were very fortunate to be sailing a beam reach, because the wind conditions were highly variable, from 20-30 knots the whole time.  Usually a squall is temporary–from a minute to an hour–but eventually it goes away and leaves better conditions.  This passage was like being in and out of squalls, back to back, all night long.  Wet, cold, and lots of work.  I was on-call all of the night to trouble-shoot various situations; twice the main got backwinded against the boom-preventer in big shift of heavy wind.  Jon stayed on watch most of the night, and I woke up whenever I was needed, thus we handled the division of work.  The waves were short and steep–every 10 minutes a wave would give the boat a good smack and spray the top of the wave all across the deck and cockpit.  We had a close call where one wave came in through a portlight across the cabin and managed to cover the computer station in spray–I was concerned that my laptop had been ruined, fortunately not.

In Tahiti, we tied up to a mooring just off of the “Tahiti Yacht Club”, north of Papaeete.  For $13/night we got the mooring and hot showers.  The water was opaque, dirty and frequently stinky.  No swimming here!

We used our time in Tahiti to take care of business, the first two priorities to find a new outboard motor and get lots of food at the grocery store.  Additionally we had to take care of the official check-in/out from French Polynesia.  Even though downtown Papaeete is a standard busy trafficky dirty and especially expensive city, it was still fantastic to have the resources available to us (here I’m thinking mainly of restaurants and bars and cafes).  We bought parts, new masks and snorkels, machetes, you know, the usual.  Naturally, we ended up staying longer than anticipated.

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