Tahaa, Bora Bora to Suwarrow

David & Susan's Adventures
David & Susan Simpson
Wed 7 Sep 2016 23:46
We spent a great 12 days on a mooring in Tahaa, just opposite the Coral Gardens. We snorkelled the Coral Gardens on 7 of those days and it was really good each time. The fish quantity and variety was amazing and the coral was also extensive.
We left for Bora Bora on Monday 22nd August and had a really good 25nm sail across. As we approached Bora Bora a Catamaran in front of us suddenly turned left and we noticed the spout from a whale. We carried on and were then treated to 3 more whales fairly close to us and this time we stopped as they were directly on our route. One of the whales swam behind us quite a bit and then started to smash its tail onto the surface of the water, it was quite a show!
We picked up a mooring at the Bora Bora ‘Yacht Club’ and were told it was $20 per night. The next day we moved to a mooring at Maikai ‘Marina’ and then cycled back to the Yacht Club to pay for the mooring. I had taken a picture of the mooring as it was in a very perilous state and I wanted to make a complaint. The Yacht Club owner then clarified that they did not actually own the moorings and couldn’t maintain them, but that there was no charge if you didn’t use the facilities of the Yacht Club, i.e. showers and Garbage ($20 per night!!!). So there was no cost for us, but an unhappy feeling of a fraud going on for those who don’t challenge charges.
We had a nice cycle round the West side of Bora Bora and enjoyed some socialising at the Marina bar, where there was a reasonable happy hour. Susan arranged a 2 tank dive with Topdive and enjoyed a really good dive with the huge Manta Ray (photos to follow when we have internet). We also took a couple of trips round the top of Bora Bora and down to the SE corner anchorage. The Snorkelling on the Coral Gardens there was pretty good, but not as great as the Tahaa site.
We had a problem with an engine water leak, which we think was one of the pipes to the hot water tank, so I installed 2 new ball valves, so I could cut out the loop to the water tank.
We left Bora Bora on Monday 5th September, bound for Suwarrow, about 700 miles and expected to take 5-6 days. After 25 miles I noticed that the engine water level had dropped again, so we decided to head for Maupiti Atol, which is a small island just south of our position. As we approached Maupiti the engine water temperature alarm went off and we had to shut off the engine. We discussed heading back to Bora Boar as the entrance to Maupiti is not possible without an engine. I opened up the engine, once it had cooled a bit and found a burst pipe, which I quickly fixed and we were then able to divert to Maupiti. The entrance was pretty exciting with over 3 knots of tide against us and substantial waves, however it wasn’t a great problem and we made it in to anchor for the night and have a stiff dram to settle the nerves.
On Tuesday morning I made some more adjustments to the engine water pipes and we were able to head off by 9.0 am. We are back on track for Suwarrow and are pretty confident the engine is ok. We have been sailing almost all the way so far, but have had the engine on for sail changes and it’s fine. We also had a bit of excitement in the afternoon when the spinnaker pole, with the inner genoa poled out, departed from the mast and swung about rather dangerously. Fortunately I had spare bits to fix the problem and managed to do this before it got too dark. We are sailing along with our twin headsails doing 5-6 knots, with clear sky and the sun is shining. So spirits are high.