Blog 46. Raiatea and goodbye French Poynesia. 16.43.79S 151.26.56W

David Batten
Mon 16 May 2016 05:54
Wednesday 11 May. We were lucky with the weather in the morning, when we snorkelled near the Passe Toahotu, as last night's rain had cleared and there was some sun. Aliena joined us, and there were a few other boats anchored in the shallows off the reef. Plenty of sand and not many coral heads, but quite a lot of the coral was damaged by anchors or the weather. Then it was Motor to Raiatea, leaving Grand Bank central to starboard and following Alena and Chilli B. We were lucky to be able to tie up to the quay reserved for the charter boats on Wednesdays and Saturdays after it was vacated by a Dream Yacht Charter catamaran, as the weather deteriorated and we had a lot of SE winds, making the usual space on the quay untenable. Other WARC boats had a few very uncomfortable nights at anchor or were moored some distance away off the other marinas.

Thursday we hired a car to see the Island as we did not have time to do it by boat. We particularly wanted to see the Marae Taputapuatea complex, the most important Marae in French Ploynesia, which was impressive and somewhat spoilt by the continuing rain, a main feature of our visit so far. Evening was a WARC supper in La Cubana Restaurant, better than we expected, the usual great, sensuous display of traditional dancing followed by a dancing free for all, much enjoyed by the keen dancers amongst the WARC members. Sadly, not everyone was able to attend because of the high winds and it must have been a horrible dinghy ride in wind and rain.

Friday was Skippers' briefing, shopping for and stowing provisions, which was mainly fruit, chocolate, pate and cheese before we leave the French influence and there being not much in the way of vegetables. Oh and more rain.

Tomorrow we set off for Suwarrow. We are going to go early as we have to leave the Quay by 8.00 and we do not want to hang around until 10.00 for another start with some newly imposed rules about no engines, sails up etc in the confines of the reefs when we have no intention of racing.


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