The highs and lows

Thu 13 Jul 2023 01:37
16 42.4S 145 21.6

After absorbing the upcoming repairs we need to make in Tahiti, we felt a bit deflated and lacking in confidence to get back out on the high seas so we stayed another night in Tahanea. The wind settled right down, we had another good winging session (my jibes are coming along) and a great snorkel. Each day we have travelled by tender to a reef just north of our anchorage. We do a snorkel there and then Ben does a downwind paddle/foil back. The snorkelling has been amazing, every day is different. We've seen lots of reef sharks, big rainbow fish and colourful tiny fish milling around the coral.
Last night Beluga, one of the boats we kept bumping into in the Marquesas arrived and came over for a drink. They spotted our jury rig supporting our D1's (should they fail) and said, 'that's exactly what we had to do'. Apparently 40% of the ARC rally had damage to their D1's on the Atlantic crossing. Beluga and another boat they were sailing with also had broken strands, both on rigging only 3 months old. Apparently, they take the most strain because of their relative shortness, so less stretch. It's the tension/untension which you get with the rolling motion that they don't like.
We've managed to order the relevant parts and organise for new D1's when we arrive in Tahiti....with the bonus being that the insurance will cover the rig and the alternator as part of the original claim following the knock down.

We left Tahanea at 6am this morning at slack water in the passage and a favourable forecast. Of course, what we actually had was a 2 hr squall with 25-30kt winds and lots of rain! Feeling nervous about the rig and loosing our 3rd crew member (the autohelm), we tentatively set off with stay sail only and then upgraded to poled out yankee when it eventually dropped back down to 20kts. We arrived at the western end of Faaite atoll around 2pm and anchored off the western end. The bottom looks like a mix of sand/coral so it might be a challenge pulling it back up!
Tomorrow we will head across to Fakarava which is 12miles NW to enter the southern pass on the ingoing tide. Fakarava is famous for its world class shark diving so we're hoping to book on to a dive.

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