Blog 42. Toau and on to Tahiti. 17 32.43S 149 34.23W
Tue 3 May 2016 00:21
Saturday 23 to Monday 25 April. After a final snorkel and scrub of the improving but still dirty hull and waterline, we up anchored at about 16.30 and set off on a SW course for Port du Phaeton, motor sailing in a Force 2 ENE wind. Plan was to arrive early in the morning after two nights at sea and spend the rest of the day exploring Port du Phaeton, and head for Papeete the following day. At about 01.00 am the wind got up enough to sail goose winged, but died again before dawn. There was very little wind and the GRIB files showed a shift to north west winds. This would mean a beat from Tahiti Iti up to Papeete to meet the aeroplane so we changed the plan, a little late in the day, to keep north and head for Papeete or Taunoa. A couple of hours of great sailing on a much better point of sail was followed by 3 perfectly bloody hours of torrential rain and winds of every direction varying from 5 to 30 knots. With a well reefed main and rolled up Genoa, Alcedo took it all in her stride. Unfortunately the Skipper's wife was not so tough and had to go below to change into dry clothes and full oilskins before being able to finish the watch in order to avoid catching pneumonia. By the time the Ship's Boy came on watch, the rain was diminishing and the wind settled to give us good speed in the right direction. By 02.00 we were being headed and by 04.00 it was a dead beat for the last 15 miles. Bridget had a nasty burn on her thigh after an incident with a hot cup of tea and spent most of the night cooling it with ice packs. All in all not our most pleasurable sail of the trip! However, the day proved sunny, the view of Tahiti fabulous and after shaking out all the reefs and unrolling the Genoa, we ended up motoring past Papeete and going in through Passe Taapuna in good conditions and with Blue Summit just behind us. We picked up one of the Marina Taina buoys and set off for the excellent Carrefour. This was real french retail therapy with wonderful, cheeses, pâtes, bread and salad ingredients. Then it was supper at Casa Bianca and some much needed sleep.
Tuesday 26/4. A visit to the fuel berth first thing, as Marina Taina is the only place in Tahiti where there is a fuel dock, so no walking with fuel cans required. Plus there was no one else there, a good move even if the staff were in no hurry. Then a motor up the channel inside the reef, calling up traffic control before the end of the runway to make sure no planes were landing. Having just seen one land, we could understand why they needed to make sure there are no tall masts in the way and another plane landed very soon after we cleared the end of the runway, giving us quite a wake up call. Papeeta Marina is not far beyond the runway, although to be fair, we did not hear the planes from the marina, but the traffic was pretty dire as the pontoons are a walkway away from the busy dual carriageway. Shame, because it is otherwise well placed and pretty empty except when the WARC are there and not expensive as marinas go. Evening meal was at the Vaiete Square Roulottes, a wonderful collection of mobile restaurant vans, where you can get an excellent meal for the equivalent of £10 to £12 within easy walking distance of the marina. Turn left out of the gate and find the car park.
Tomorrow is Tessa and Bridget's last day, so we are going to hire a car, do the nearest waterfall walk and drive round the Island.
Wednesday 27/4. Tessa and Bridget's last day. We hired a car and headed for the
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