Voyage 9

Society Islands


Thursday, October 5, 2017

At 1:15 PM, I raised anchor and headed northeast out of Papeete Harbor. The winds were still quite strong, 20-25 knots, gusting to 27 knots. I decided it was time to leave Tahiti and head for Moorea. It only takes 1-1/2 to 2 hours to cross the Sea of the Moon, between Tahiti and Moorea. I was headed for Cook’s Bay. By 4:00 PM, I was anchored at the base of Cook’s Bay.  I planned to stay here for a couple of days.

17º 30.264’S 149º 49.276’W

Saturday, October 7, 2017

At 7:30 AM, I headed north out of Cook’s Bay and, once I was beyond the reef, I turned northwest toward Raiatea. The wind speed has dropped dramatically during the past 2 days. This morning, the wind was from the southeast at 10-15 knots. I won’t be traveling at 8 knots during this crossing, but it will certainly be a lot smoother.

I had a peaceful day at sea. The wind continued at the same strength and the boat was making a steady 6 to 6-1/2 knots. At about 5:15 PM, I could just start to make out the mountain tops on Huahine off the starboard bow. My current pace suggests I will arrive at the town of Uturoa around midnight. The entry through the reef is well marked, so I’m not concerned about entering the lagoon after dark. It will be a waning full moon tonight, so I should have some light.

At 5:30 PM, Huahine was becoming more visible. I decided that I would change my destination and stop at Fare on Huahine.  It is closer and would allow me to drop anchor a lot sooner than if I continued to Raiatea.  Another advantage to the destination change was that I was getting a better wind angle by sailing toward Huahine.

At 10:05 PM, I arrived inside the reef of Huahine, adjacent to the town of Fare. I dropped anchor and, once the boat was secured, I headed to bed.

16º 42.797’S 151º 2.359’W

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday morning at Fare, Huahine.  Because it’s Sunday, there is nothing open.  I was up at sunrise, had breakfast, and then plotted a course for Uturoa on Raiatea.  The distance is 23 nm between Huahine and Raiatea.  I figured it would take me about 3-1/2 hours to make the crossing.  At 7:45 AM, I raised the anchor and headed out of the reef.

The crossing was easy.  At about 10:30 AM, I passed through the reef opening and anchored just off shore from the town of Uturoa, which is the main town for the Leeward Islands.  Since Uturoa is the biggest town, it’s the best place for me to provision for my next big voyage, to the Cook Islands.  I have been in French Polynesia for more than a month and it’s nearly time for me to continue my voyages across the Pacific.

16º 44.51′ S 151º 26.1′ W

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

It’s been a very nice couple of days here at Raiatea.  As beautiful as it is here, it’s time to move on.  At about 1:15 PM, I raised anchor and sailed west out of the reef.  If the water depths were more accurate in this simulator, I should be able to sail around Taha’a inside the reef.  Unfortunately, the water depths on the chart in the simulator are too shallow to sail inside the reef.  So, I decided I would sail around Taha’a outside the reef and then I would head for Bora Bora, once I reached the northwest side of Taha’a.

At about 2:15 PM, I reached the southeast side of Taha’a.  Since I had to be on the outside of the reef, I was about 2 nm from the edge of the island.  It would be nice to be closer, but that is a limitation of the current simulator.

At a little after 4:00 PM, I reached the northwest side of the reef for Taha’a.  I continued west southwest and headed for the southern reef of Bora Bora.  The GPS reported that it would take me a little less than 2 hours to reach Bora Bora.  Then, it’s just a matter of sailing around the south side, up the west side, and through the reef to the town of Vaitape.

I reached the southern reef edge of Bora Bora at about 6:00 PM.  The sun set at about 6:15 PM and it was getting dark.  The entrance through the reef west of Vaitape is wide and the chart is well marked, so I didn’t have any concerns about coming into the lagoon after dark.

At 6:45 PM, I was headed into the lagoon at Bora Bora.  It was a difficult sail to my anchorage because I was sailing against the wind.  At 7:30 PM, I finally reached a suitable place to anchor, not far from Vaitape.  Tomorrow, I will start planning my voyage to the Cook Islands.

16º 30.056′ S 151º 45.375′ W