Thu 4 Aug 2016 01:31
Dear Land lubbers and Seadogs
position 16 30’S 151 45’W
Course over ground (COG) 0
Speed over ground (SOG) 0
Departing Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Destination – Vava’u, Tonga
So it’s been 2 months since we last sent a blog, when we were leaving the Marqueses Islands and heading to Tuamotu’s. And it’s now time for us to leave French Polynesia and head onto Tonga (much to the bank managers relief!!)
We’ve had it all. Roaring winds, lightening strikes, no wind, gear failure, but more to the point......... seen the most amazing places, met wonderful, interesting people and generally had a ball.
The Tuamotu’s are not to be forgotten! Really amazing to be moored inside the crater of an extinct volcano, with “motu’s” around the outside of us. (That’s islands to you and me.) The motu’s are no higher than a palm tree, and most have no inhabitants. They are the source of the famous Black Pearls. Fascinating, we went to one of the farms and saw just how much work goes into producing them.
We sadly had some pretty poor weather whilst we were there, so only managed to visit 2 of the islands. When the books said “they can be treacherous” they weren’t joking. I have never been sick through fear before. Getting in and out of the tiny channels through the reefs, onto the inside can be horrid with huge standing seas and 8 kts of current. Even the locals can’t tell you what the tide times are!!!! All this whilst all our nav and back up nav had been blown, we can only assume due to a lightening strike.
George is now dictating this to me.......... we left the Tuamotu’s heading towards Tahiti, thankfully. Bad weather and bommies (coral heads to wipe your keel out), left behind, then 56kts of wind at 2am, Lorns slept through that one. Arrived early am into Papeete Marina, and marginal civilization , and massive expense.
The day of the Pacific Puddle Jump Rally arrived on 25th June, 60 boats congregated outside Papeete for the rally to Moorea. Quatsino’s bottom freshly polished and ready for the off. No wind!!!! A festival of motoring ensued of which we didn’t disgrace ourselves.
Moorea was just beautiful, we had a couple of days of being entertained by local dancing, food, wine (yuck) and local traditions. We participated in the local 6 man kayac racing, which ended in tears. Delighted to say the EU provide very efficient ambulances and hospitals here, all for a very reasonable price. All better now.
A couple of weeks of recovery, (and George, he got a septic foot), which was wonderful. Chilling, swimming with sting rays, black tip sharks etc etc. Oh dear.
We arrived in Bora Bora nearly 3 weeks ago. More recovery time needed. Beautiful place, high mountains, green and then the motu’s surrounding it all. just stunning. I have tried to get some photo’s onto the blog, but it’s just not having any of it. But really it is just as the brochures in the travel agents depict. Entering through channels, with big breaking wave’s just either side of you. Attention to nav detail is never wasted.
So 1200nm to go to Tonga, and the Vava’u islands, for 6 weeks. Terry and Sarah arrive for 2 weeks on the 30th August, then the big man (aka Mr Richards) arrives on the 12th for 2 weeks. So can’t wait, only 42 anchorages to explore (and that’s just the Vava’u part of Tonga.
The little girl remains in good shape. Someone said to us the other day ‘'gosh you must have a good boat as she is always shiney and clean” ie we have time to polish her and not just fix her. We both work hard on her and we are very lucky George can fix most things!
Hope you are all enjoying the European summer, ahhhhhh the smell of freshly cut grass.
Love to you all
L and G