Position: 17 35.19 S 149 36.93 W
Back in Papeete
Weather: Mostly sunny, warm
We are back to where we started from. Last night I received news that Mum had not made it through the day. Beyond the sadness of losing the most important person in everyone's life I am very disappointed. I had really hoped that I was going to be able to finish my circumnavigation and spend a little time with her and other family members for a while. But it seems seeing Mum again was not meant to be. As soon as I received the news I reversed course and started to make my way back through the churned seas and the wind shadow between Tahiti and Moorea, motoring in the calm bits and in the remainder punching into a headwind. But all things considered it wasn't too bad and we got back alongside Quai des Paquebots at 4 a.m. this morning.
After a short sleep I went to the Gendamerie to continue reversing the last few days, namely unclearing the clearing out. The man on the other side of the window was as grumpy as previously but as soon as I explained my circumstances, while his demeanour did not change, he was in fact very helpful. After purchasing the air ticket and completing the paperwork the next problem which required solving was where I was going to leave Sylph while I was away. I had heard that the bay opposite Maeva Beach on the west side of the island past the airport runway might have a mooring I could leave Sylph at. We motored through Chenal de Faaa and on the other side I did find a vacant mooring which I picked it up but within a couple of minutes of doing so a man in a passing dinghy advised me that all the moorings were in fact taken. He made a couple of suggestions including a nearby marina. I decided to try the marina as they owned most of the moorings. Eventually I made contact with a man named Phillip who ran the marina and led me to a vacant berth.
Now Sylph is tied up and I have even met a fellow Australian here who coincidentally is flying out of Papeete back to Australia on the same flight as me, up the front. Despite an obvious difference in disposable income Peter has offered to give me a lift in the vehicle he has organised for 5 a.m. Saturday. So this is very helpful.
A sad day.