can almost see bora bora

tony zwig
Sun 24 Jun 2007 22:36




It is now 11am Sunday and we are about 25 miles from Bora Bora. The 130 miles is taking us a long time because, notwithstanding good wind, it is from the rear and we are tackling down wind adding to the mileage.  We have had our normal evening sail arrangement; 2nd reef on main and varying positions on the genoa.

Last night I had one of the scariest moments, if not the most of the trip.  It was very dark, and Graham asked me to turn on the radar in the middle of the night to better help him id a light he thought he saw.  When I did, the radar seemed to show an island 2 miles directly ahead, and at our 8 knots, that meant we were 15 minutes from it.  More than mildly concerned, I ran down and consulted the paper chart which showed nothing.  I had us immediately tack and then reexamined the charts and radar.  We’re fine, as I am writing this suggests, and believe perhaps the radar was showing a cloud.  Have to further examine this so as not to freak ourselves in the future.

Oh yes, landing the jumbo jet I referred to yesterday.  When I arrived in LA Thursday 11am to change planes for Tahiti, I saw that while my plane was not scheduled to go until 4pm, there was one going at 1pm.  Upon inquiring, I was told that the earlier one, was coming full from Paris.  So I waited; actually until 6pm because my plane was delayed.

After boarding, the seat next to me was empty as the passengers continued to find their seats and I started to think about having the luck to have an empty seat next to me.  Just as I sensed the doors were being closed, a striking Tahitian woman sat down in the next seat.  Things could have been worse.  After takeoff we chatted (half in French and half in English) and my seat mate mentioned that she was going home to Tahiti from Paris where she had been studying.  When I asked why she wasn’t on the earlier  flight that originated in Paris, she told me that her dad was a pilot; actually our pilot, and upon discovering her schedule, he suggested she fly on his flight.  And then she pointed out that the woman sitting 2 seats in front of me was her mother.  I said that was very nice that her parents come to bring her home from school.  I mentioned that my parents picked me up in a car; this was very special that her parents come and bring her home in a big jet.  After we talked a bit and I described our sailing adventure, she excused herself, I assumed to go to the wc.  She returned a little later saying her dad is a boater and that he had invited me to the cockpit.  Just then one of the cabin crew, who seemed to know about this, came and escorted me to the cockpit.  There I met the very funny and charming M. D, le chef pilot.  We compared boats and discussed the evils of gps and autopilots; that they make things seem too easy and result in captains and pilots becoming inattentive and crashing planes and boats.  At the end of my visit, he said, Alors, vous retournez a m’aidez faire l’atterissage. (you will return to help me land.)  Bien sure.   And I did.  For you who are faint of heart, I sat there but did not touch anything. It was the smoothest landing I can remember.  That flight seemed like the fastest 8 hours I can remember; clearly meeting famille  D was the key.

Yesterday a familly (Norwegian man, South African woman and 2 blonde kids) visited us with their dingy.  They are out 3 years now and use Mailasail, which supports this blog.  Their boat is called Cocoanut. They had an English friend on his own boat, called Thom.  I said we had an English Thom, as well. It is hard to remember all the beautiful sights and sounds; but last night’s sail (other than the radar adventure) was a classic; broad reach with 20 knots, surfing down big waves, very very bright half moon. Swooshing sound of the water going by the hull, which sounds even richer, when you are lying in your bunk.

I want to go finish my book “Widow of Waikiki”.  Quite looking forward to seeing the famous Bora Bora.