On our way

Donald Begg
Sun 16 Oct 2016 22:00
No complaints about the CNI yard, but what a relief to be away. It reminds me of naval days, when certain Captains were known to have their ships towed out of refit yards if necessary, knowing that one delay will follow another unless you break the chain.
On a lovely azure day with a light SW wind I motored up inside the lagoon along the island of Tahaa, out through the Passe de Paipai, sailed up to Bora Bora 20+ miles away, into the lagoon through the Passe Te Ava Nui , and picked up a mooring at the "Yacht Club" (in fact a restaurant) just N of Vaitape. Both passes were easy, none of the currents and overfalls of the Tuamotu equivalents.
Bora Bora is spectacular and beautiful, it was used as "Bali Hai" in the musical South Pacific, but it's touristy, the locals have seen us all come and go before, the "Yacht Club" is expensive and a bit snooty to a solitary moderate-spending punter. I really wanted to be on my way, and Trade Winds were forecast for Saturday. So I got a few jobs done, and popped across to The Gendarmerie to clear out of French Polynesia. O dear, forget about Paradise! Six forms to fill in, two of which I am asked to scan and email to Immigration in Papeete. "But I'm a sailing yacht, not a Cunarder, I don't have wifi, let alone a scanner." Reluctanty the gendarme ("I'm a Gendarme, not an immigration official") agreed to scan and email the documents for me. But "it's Friday afternoon, you will get your departure document by email but I don't know when, don't sail until you have it". On Saturday morning no email. Tough, I'm off, hopefully an email will catch up with me, otherwise I will have some explaing to do in the Cook Islands.
I sailed at 9.30 on Saturday morning. As I write it's approaching Sunday midday, we had a pleasant sail overnight doing 5-6 knots in a 10 knot SE'ly, but now the wind is backing and fading, and we're down to 3 kts. The forecast is for a light and variable wind. So my plan is to sail as far as I can, lovely sunshine and very blue sea, and at some stage accept the inevitable and start up the old engine.
Best wishes to all, Donald.