Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
Run from Bora Bora - 28 miles since this morning 07.30hrs
Whereas my last blog posting mentioned that we would be heading for Suwarrow, a lack of wind is forcing us to go straight to Niue or even Tonga. Suwarrow is an atoll, where Tom Neale lived by himself for some twenty years and wrote a book about his experiences. He was taken off when near to death through illness. Some of the World ARC participants have read the book and will be going there to check it out. However, the weather forecast for that sea area is poor with lots of rain and no wind. Some other participants are also going straight to Niue.
Since our time in Raiatea, where Julia took some amazing shots and videos of the Tahiti Pearl Regatta Race from the press boat, we have visited Tahaa, an island opposite Raiatea, visiting a pearl farm and a vanilla farm, and Bora Bora, probably the most attractive island in French Polynesia. We took a trip round the island in a fast speedboat stopping here and there to observe the marine life in pale blue waters and snorkel around. We would have liked staying there longer, but time was running out as we have to be in Niue in the third week of May. So, early this morning we motored out of the lagoon that surrounds the island and through the pass out to sea to start the 1200 mile run to Niue. If we had good winds, we should do it in 10 days, but we are under engine because of a lack of wind. As soon as we were through the pass, however, we discovered our autopilot was not functioning. Hand steering is no pleasure and, unfortunately, there is insufficient expertise in French Polynesia to have it checked. The first place is likely to be Fiji or Australia. So we are praying for some wind so that we may use the Hydrovane.