Overnight passage to Huahine- Day 140-141 French Polynesia.

Steve and Lynda Cooke
Tue 31 May 2016 01:19
16:43S 151:12W

Overnight passage to Huahine- Day 140-141 French Polynesia.

Huahine….. The Wild One at the Heart of the Leeward Islands

Tahina Marina Papeete. Busy,
We had finished the endless list of jobs.
Refitted the new engine water pump, Got the outboard sorted, replaced the old 12 Volt wiring in the chart table and the T.V. cupboard with new wiring. Replaced the old water heater element.
We were situated next to the dinghy dock bar, so after 5 days of happy houring every night, and meeting old and new friends in the marina, old ARC boats like Kiwi Beanz and Maeva Maris, and new ones as well, Like Reclada with Gary and Lynda, some American friends who will catch us up later, and we were well and ready to depart.
Huanine is some 120 miles from Tahiti, past Moorea. More than a days sail. This meant an overnight crossing to the Leeward Islands of French Polynesia.
The weather looked great from a number of different sites and apps, so after one last provision from Carrefour, and picking up our gas bottles from refilling, we slipped our lines, after lunch after one last top up at the fuel dock.

As the afternoon slipped by, we had a great sail across and past the northern tip of Moorea in 15 to 20 knots of beam reach, passing the anchorage on the North side of the island where we left Do Over and Paw Paw the week before. The wind died as we rounded the top corner of the island.
Do Over were just preparing to leave, and joined us as we passed, and the two of us motored into the night together, always less than 10 miles apart, so we would be in VHF range, leaving Paw Paw behind. They would follow later.

A couple of ships passed us on the night passage, going the opposite way, and there was nothing notable about the crossing. Just perfect really!
The moon came up after a couple of hours, round and full on the bottom, missing the top half. A strange sight for us northern hemisphere dwellers. The southern cross was easily identified, with the huge wash of clouds that forms the milky way above it. The odd shooting star seen burning itself out as it appeared, like a rocket trail above.
Dawn at 06.00 hrs saw Huahine ahead, the huge mountain dropping into the sea, surrounded by the reef. Waves crashing over the outside of it as we got closer, huge sprays of surf and what looked like smoke or steam, but was the spume of sea water as the rollers came against the reef. The depth of the Pacific Ocean, some 100 meters off the island was 4,000 meters, so the current that was running at nearly two knots, had to split and divide as it reached the island, contributing to the swell.
The other side of the reef, inside it, was a beautiful unreal turquoise blue.
We travelled up the Western side of the reef, to the pass that was indicated by a green Starboard hand Pole. Slipping inside, we headed North in the calm and protected lagoon, and dropped our anchor on the reef side, in some 3 to 4 meters of water. Do Over came in behind us, and dropped alongside.
Ready for some rest. A cold beer, and some sleep.
A Great Passage