Tahiti! 17 35.11S 149 36.97W

Mike and Liz Downing
Sat 3 Jul 2010 07:50
Arrived off the entrance to Papeete (the capital of French Polynesia) at first light this morning - the timing was near perfect and we sailed through a perfect rainbow as we approached the harbour entrance. It took about 38 hours to sail the 228 miles and it's difficult to believe that we're actually here at last. Tahiti is a major milestone, being well over half way to New Zealand/Australia and the only large town in the South Pacific islands for re-provisioning (a proper 24-hour supermarket we believe) and getting things fixed. All the boats here (and there are quite a lot) have things to fix and maintain - it's the nature of the cruising life as the boats and gear are put under considerable stress and strain to get here. We haven't ventured ashore yet, but expect things will be expensive - just hope they are a bit cheaper than the Marquesas! The wind shifted to north east late yesterday evening, so it was a dead down wind sail. The outer genoa was already poled out (set the pole up before leaving Toau), so the second pole went up and with both genoas poled out and well reefed we made around 6 kts all through the night. It's now quite chilly at night when at sea and we wear jackets and shorts, rather than T-shirts and shorts! The sea never really settled down and remained lumpy until in the lee of the island. So one of our jobs will be to go through the boat and put everything that moved when we rolled, back in its correct place again! We're planning to be in or around Tahiti for 3 weeks or so as Michael's sister and cousin are coming out next week to stay a couple of weeks on the boat. With the consistently high winds we've been getting, we've moved into the marina to make it easier to get on and off the boat, easier to fix our fuel pipe problem, and easier to leave the boat unattended all day while we explore ashore. It's the first time we've been tied up alongside since February so had to dig deep to find all the ropes and fenders and things once again.

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