Moorea, complete with (no) Tsunami and engine failure X2

CR and KN Williams
Thu 1 Oct 2009 20:24

17.30S 149.49W


Interesting day yesterday in Moorea.


Spent all night in pouring rain and up to 30kts wind and on almost permanent anchor watch. When things finally calmed down at 9.30am a nice NZ guy shouted at us to say a 1 metre tsunami was expected in one hour following an earthquake in Tonga (turned out to be Samoa). We, being the last to hear and at the head of the bay, were the last to leave and, typically, only had the engine cut out 4 times before we got outside the reef. There was a slight beam wind on the way through, but might not have been enough to sail with. Anyway, once outside, we heard the wave was 1 hour away so we changed all the fuel filters to good effect.


On returning, and having had little sleep the previous night, I risked Gallic wrath by picking up a buoy, only to have Clare get an earful from a frog saying it was for fishermen only. When we returned we found the boat, and the buoy, about 400m from where we left it; thankfully in a reasonably deep direction. Roaring back in our new 10hp dinghy we got there just before a nice Frenchman who was actually rowing, with his wife, to save our boat. I’ve yet to thank him properly.


Back on board the engine wouldn’t start because of all the safety features built into the starter electronics; today’s job is to work out how to bypass them all.




Definitely too much excitement. We did start the engine and are now (so far) safely anchored and the sun has come out at last. Although the quake was far away they still had a red alert here and evacuated all the shore area. I had wondered why a police car was sounding its siren for about 5 minutes continuously. It was quite scary watching all the boats heading out to sea and there were already lots keeping well off the coast.

I was very glad it was a false alarm.