Moorea and Tahiti
Sun 6 Aug 2023 01:26
17 33.31S 149 37.3W
We left Tahiti for Moorea on the Monday and motored over to Passe Matauvau in zero wind. We entered the reef through an easy pass with leading marks between a really nice wave that had plenty of surfers on, definitely one for Ben to try on the foil. We headed south to a sandy anchorage on the edge of the coral reef with the wind blowing on shore. The island is stunningly beautiful with a dramatic spikey skyline much like the Marquesas. We dropped the anchor on the steep shoaling sand in 8m and fell back into deep water with a good holding. Later on, we went for a walk ashore but didn't find much other than a main road.
That night Ben had an interview for a job in Tasmania and we noticed the internet had become a bit patchy...typical! We realised we had turned slightly as the wind had dropped to nothing, so we decided to drop a stern anchor to keep her facing out to sea and more importantly ensure the satellites lined up!
That night, I awoke with a feeling that all was not well. The wind had picked up from the land and was shooting down off the cliffs blowing us back to the sandy shore....we were aground beam on! Oh dear, the old stern anchor hadn't done its job and had actually allowed the boat to spin 180 which was now causing us more problems than if we hadn't put it out in the first place. Concerned for the ever-increasing wind, we had to think quickly. We decided to release the stern anchor from the stern and take it the the second bow roller to act as a second anchor to let her sit nose to wind and in which to pull us off with. Then we took in on our main anchor which pulled us easily off and back floating again, phew, thank god for the oversized windless! The previous owner did quote that it would pull us out the ocean if required (or back in).
Once we had the main anchor up, we struggled to pull the stern anchor up by hand. Then I jumped back on the helm as it came up and we headed very slowly in the pitch black with torches lit over to an anchorage off the town. We didn't sleep a wink as the 30kt gusts came funnelling off the mountains sending moonshiner spinning all over.
The next day, having been told we were actually anchored in a prohibited area, we went back to where we were but further on and anchored with a 360degress of depth (which we should of done in the first place)!
We met a lovely couple called Lizzy and Steve who arrived in an enormous 55ft catamaran. We invited them over for a drink, I think they glanced over at our boat and said 'why don't you come over to ours instead' which was fine with us! We also met a German guy with his Spanish girlfriend on an aluminium delta rig. Interestingly, he works on a Russian superyacht which is currently sanctioned by the Italian government. He's still receiving full pay (including his flights out to Tahiti and back every 10 weeks) by the Italian government, essentially to make sure it looks clean and doesn't sink. Check out Sailing Yacht A....it's unbelievable.
We went ashore and did a really nice hike up to the '3 coconuts pass' where you get an incredible view over to Cook's Bay which is a famously beautiful anchorage. We spent the afternoon doing some more tow foiling and experimenting with different foils. Ben can definitely pump for over 100m now! I however am still managing to make it look very difficult.
We saw lots of sting rays and reef sharks swimming under the boat and a few turtles. Apparently, this is the humpback season and there's been lots of sightings of humpbacks outside the reef.
The next morning, Ben went for a surf with Steve and then we went to their enormous catamaran for a BBQ in the evening with their other friends from another yacht who are sailing with 2 kids and a dog. The size of their boat was insane, they have a 3-year-old and have been sailing for 3 years now. A lovely comfortable boat to live on if you have the money, it's almost as wide as we are long!
On Thursday we headed back to Tahiti to pick up the alternator and a few other bits. We anchored out by the airport which is about a 15minute tender journey (if you're planing) into Papette.
We managed to source a filter for the fuel pump hurrah, and pick up the alternator. Ben fitted the alternator whilst I attempted to remove the ever-increasing amount of weed on our hull.
Our German friends have just arrived and anchored next to us. Sadly, one of them became unwell after a dive in Fakarava and was flown to Tahiti for ongoing treatment in the hyperbaric chamber. He had to sail the boat here by himself and looked pretty knackered. Apparently it was a completely normal/low risk dive with sufficient safety stops...think I'll stick to snorkelling!
There's been next to no wind over the last 10 days which is a little concerning. It's forecast to fill in from Tuesday so we're planning to make some progress west.