position S16 41.626 W153 31.594
Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Fri 25 May 2018 02:46
Thursday 24th May. On route towards Maupihaa or Mopelia.
We took the dinghy across to the shore yesterday and landed on a beach with signs of former development. There were concrete paths and foundations of buildings but our explorations were interupted by a security guard who told us it was a former hotel and shoed us off. Not sure why the security was necessary as there was nothing left of value but may be it is up for re-development and plans are top secret. It may also be a symptom of the declining tourist trade-apparantly the cost of getting to BoraBora is putting off the honeymoon couples.
The shoreline tends to be either private houses, hotels or a narrow strip of beach between the road and sea. We explored a little further and had a lovely swim/snorkle in a coral garden. Snorkling back to the boat I was interogated by a curious manta ray but as my ray is worse than my french (just) I am not sure what it wished to know. The clarity of the water is incredible- you can see for fathoms.
We made our way back to town for the Gendarmerie and posted our final notice to leave. There was great activity around the harbour with scores of carpenters erecting massive spindly pole roofs with banana thatch for the forthcomming Heiva festival- unfortunately just too late for us. Anchor weighed at about 4pm hoping for good winds to get us to Maupihaa before dusk the next day.
Unfortunately the winds in the evening and overnight have been rather light so progress less than hoped for. We are now 25miles off with only a couple of hours light so looks like another night arrival. There is very little information about this island including what it is actually called and whether or not we are still in french polynesia. The chart suggests we should be able to anchor off the pass in the lee of the island and wait for daylight to negotiate the pass.
We are pondering whether to take a more northerly passage to the northern Cook islands- maybe Suwarrow, and then on to American Samoa, or south to Southern Cooks and Nuie and Tonga. The middle route is Palmerston island followed by Nuie. I read than the pacific convergence zone can cause squally weather on the southern route, but also on the northern route in an El Nino year. So I need to know if it is an El Nino year or not. The Cooks are expensive to visit but Suwarrow which is an uninhabited park with a warden is cheaper.
We may end up seeing which way the wind blows on outset from Maupihaa.