From Raivavae to Tubuai, Austral Islands
We got up this morning to blue skies, flat water and just a gentle breeze – the first time in what has seemed like months. We went about our pre-journey chores and went ashore, I was left outside the post office to download blogs and the skipper went to log us out at the police station. He came back telling me Andy (the boss) had shook his hand warmly and wished us “good seas”. Back on Beez with filled rolls for lunch from the festival ‘mall’. Baby Beez stowed and ready to go, leaving time was anything from twelve until four. At half two all was ready and as a parting farewell we watched a squall come over the mountains – this time accompanied by a beautiful rainbow. Fifteen minutes later all as before so engine on, anchor up and off at three.
Passing the final red before we turned out to sea.
No sooner than we had got the main up in sixty feet of water, than a squall cloaked the island. We had one gust to thirty five knots then a calm eighteen, perfect for the one hundred and eight miles overnight to Tubuai, the capital of the Austral Islands.
Off we went on water that was kind and as smooth as you find in any book you read about ‘the peaceful ocean’. We actually saw a local fisherman out enjoying the last of the afternoon sun.
We had a real mix overnight with frequent lulls and big winds but the sea stayed calm, what a nice change. I got up to a first look at Tubuai.
We followed a very similar track to the ones into Mangareva and Raivavae.
This time we were in very deep water right up until we made our turn, seemingly against the far shore.
A feeling of deja vu.
A local boat waved enthusiastically and the afternoon sun lit the hill.
The biggest difference with Tubuai is the flat area before the elevation.
We had leading marks to line up, usually they are set one low or a little higher and one up on a hill, as we neared this pair it was funny to see both of them at sea level.
Loads of clean, well maintained buoys, except for the old reef marker and a depth below us of fifteen feet all the way in.
The main village.
We carried on passing the wharf and anchored opposite the dock building in ten feet of water.
ALL IN ALL WHAT A WONDERFUL CHANGE IN CONDITIONS
THE GENTLEST SAIL SINCE THE GALAPAGOS