Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Clearing out

I woke up this morning ready to go back to sea again.  Looking forward to going to sea even.  Thinking about the routines of being at sea, and not inwardly tensing up in anticipation of the nights.  Thinking about Tonga, 1300 miles away in a straight line. Not so far.  Maybe nine days.  Is that one or two fruit cakes? I wonder.

Au revoir to the girls who wear hibiscus behind the ear

A sea change takes place in both of us before every passage. It has to be that way otherwise we’d never get home.

We needed help to separate the pump from the electric motor 

I couldn’t get enough of French Polynesia these past two or more months.  I was a bit envious of the people we met who were staying on longer,  either putting their boats up on the hard in Raiatea or going back on their tracks to the Tuamotus and/or the Marquesas to sit out the South Pacific cyclone season there or planning to sail to Hawaii from the Marquesas at the end of the year once the threat of hurricanes north of the equator fades. 

Gone troppo - coconut and lime sorbet and locally-made accessories

On our way back to Bora Bora from Raiatea a couple of days ago, with our mended watermaker, we passed Wavelength going east.  Mark and Eileen made their call back in Tahiti when we first met them, weighing up the risk of a cyclone in an El Nino year, and deciding they could live with it.  We’re going west, and we should be doing that soon. The trade winds are forecast to settle in again this week, how strongly and for how long who knows.  El Nino again. 

At the dock in Uturoa, Raiatea, where we provisioned for the next leg

 Yesterday we went to see the gendarmes. The checkout procedure in French Polynesia is convoluted. ‘Come back tomorrow afternoon,’ they said, ‘and we should have the paperwork from Papeete by then’.

This morning we wake to find the wind fresh, and cooler. It’s got some south in it, finally.

Bora Bora is an easy place to leave from.  It sees far too many visitors to want to open its heart to them. It sloughs us off like so much dead skin.  We saw more of local life by waiting 45 minutes to buy a stamp at the post office than by going to Bloody Marys for a cocktail, that's for sure. That said, we leave Bora Bora not having experienced much more than the honeymooners do in their resorts. But while they’ll be back at work in a week, we’ll be at sea. How good is that?

We’re looking at the famous rock now, from the cockpit. It’s clear of cloud, unusually, and its outline, seen from the lagoon, seen on approach, will become our most vivid memory of Bora Bora.

Bora Bora on approach for a second time - where the whales play


  1. Safe sailing guys!! Got your birthday wishes on the day at 7:02 am - thanks!

  2. That looks like a very Polynesian souvenir on someone's wrist?