Arrived in Tahiti
Sat 23 Jun 2012 07:21
Today was one of the most unpleasant sailing days on the trip, and we're very glad we made it safely to Tahiti. The boat was hit hard by waves many times and water washed over the whole deck. A few times the boat heeled over so hard that the boom was dragging through the water. But Gudrun always righted herself quickly and got hardly pushed of course. If it wasn't for her great ability to go upwind we wouldn't have made it here on one tack.
We arrived with slack water but two hours past sunset. I avoid arriving in a new place at night whenever possible, but this time we didn't have many choices. Hove to we would have drifted past Tahiti, and I also wanted to get out of the rough conditions. In daylight we would have aimed for Pass de Papeete, and then tried to find a nice spot in one of the small boat anchorages. But that would have meant navigating a busy entrance and 6nm of channel at night, and we heard that the anchorages and marinas are full of boats for the Pacific Puddlejump Rallye which starts tomorrow.
Pass de Taunoa, just east of Pass de Papeete, and it's anchorage looked like it would be less busy and we aimed for that. Once we were past Pointe Venus the wind dropped from 30kn to 10kn, and the sea became flat. Going through the pass was easy, and as expected we didn't find any boats in the large but deep (20m) anchorage.
We dropped anchor, then programmed the anchor alarm, and celebrated our arrival with a Vodka Orange. Yay! Tomorrow morning we'll move out again and try to find a spot at Marina Taine, or in one of the anchorages in front of it. There are a few things to do and it's easier to work on the boat in the marina.