Tuesday, 17 October 2017

11-2017 Bora Bora to Raiatea

Hi from Clare,            11-2017 Bora Bora to Raiatea          Monday 16th October 2017

We spent two weeks on the SE corner of Bora Bora in the company of good friends Martin and Ellen on Acapella. We had a fun time snorkelling, walking the beach, sharing Happy Hour, meals and many laughs. The weather was warm and sunny but very windy. Perfect conditions for our friends on Pangea and Shindig who are keen Kite Boarders. As the days went by, the strong wind made the drift snorkel on the corner of the island even more adventurous. We, along with Martin and Ellen would walk along the inner reef for a hundred metres then drift all the way back to the corner. Great fun as we felt like we were flying. This anchorage is just a perfect spot, with a very pretty mountain, sandy beaches, lovely shallow warm sparkling water and good holding. We put out two anchors to stop Eye Candy from sailing around in the wind. It made all the difference and we sat still for days. Twice we left and motored a few miles around to the north east side of the island to get some Wifi. It was much more windy there which made us appreciate how well protected we were on the S/E corner.





More Snorkelling

More walking

Sundowners on Eye Candy with Mile, Clare, Andrew, Katie and Martin

Raising the second anchor

While we waited for a weather window to sail back to Raiatea we watched with sympathy the charter yachts come and go. The usual charter period is for one week and for most people it would be part of their annual holiday. The charter skippers have a schedule to follow and the boats return to base on Friday regardless of the weather. We would see them leave the calm waters of the Bora Bora pass into a three metre swell and a 20-25 knot wind on the nose for their 5-6 hour trip back to Raiatea. Certainly not much fun and a situation we hoped to avoid.

We ended up with a nine hour weather window on 8th October when the wind changed from SE to ENE as a convergent zone passed over. Both Acapella and Eye Candy sailed back to Raiatea comfortably, although experiencing rain and headed for the Motu of Tipaemau on the east side of Raiatea. We anchored and then backed up and tied to a coconut tree before the wind went back to the SE and gathered strength for the next few days. We however sat in flat calm water. Andrew and I took the opportunity to host the mainsail to dry and then pack away for the season. It rained a lot but between showers we also dried the jib and packed that away. The lousy weather conditions were made a lot cheerier by having Martin and Ellen’s company for drinks, coffee breaks and many chats.

Acapella and Eye Candy In the calm Med moored behind Motu Tipaemau

We parted company two days ago and headed ten miles down to The Carenage where we will haul out on Thursday. We are suffering separation anxiety but we can look forward to seeing Martin and Ellen next season. Since arriving here it has rained every day and night, just what one needs when trying to pack the boat up. The forecast is for heavy rain for the next two days. At this stage it looks to be fine on Thursday for haul out. Yesterday, during a dry patch, we took the borrowed ship’s radio back to Olivier and Vivian on Mary Anne. So no more Magellan Net and no more Net Controller responsibilities for Andrew. It seems very strange not to have the various nets running. I think Andrew is suffering withdrawals. We still have the local VHF chattering away for company, even if it is in French. Andrew listens and tells me that there is a missing kite surfer or boat in trouble – his understanding of French has improved out of site:)

Tied to the old ferry for shelter

The bleak anchorage nearby


According to the forecast, wind, rain, rain, rain, wind, rain and more. We have tied up to this old Ferry which permanently sits just off the travel lift at the Carenage. It is quite secure here and much calmer than bouncing around on a mooring ball in the nearby anchorage. Last night it was very windy and one of the unoccupied boats broke free from its mooring and drifted half a mile before running aground on the sand bank.
We fly out of Raiatea on Sunday and arrive back in Australia on Tuesday afternoon. We will return to French Polynesia late March 2018 and travel west to Fiji. But for now we are looking forward to coming home to see family and friends and hug our wonderful little Grandchildren.

Love Candy xxx
P.S, Last year when we hauled out here our boat was broken into and our alcohol stolen.

We have solved that problem, that won't happen this year – hic!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

10-2017 Beautiful Bora Bora

Hi from Clare,      10-2017 Beautiful Bora Bora                         Sunday 24th September 2017

Since our last newsletter we have sailed from Huahine to Raiatea and then on to Bora Bora.
We are anchored in the S/E corner of Bora Bora where there is no Internet. My apologies for this newsletter being a bit late.

We always enjoy Huahine as it has much to offer with peaceful anchorages, clear water, good snorkelling, nice restaurants and in the main town of Fare, a comprehensive Supermarket supported by a daily street market selling local fruits, vegetables and fresh sea food. The Huahine people are very welcoming, helpful and proud of their island. Everywhere we have been on the island the gardens and roadsides are trimmed and manicured. The locals are out raking up leaves and picking up any litter. It is not unusual to be asked by a resident if we like their island. Well who wouldn’t?
This could well be our last visit to Huahine but if so we take with us many happy memories.

Anchored in Avea Bay, Huahine

We sailed to Raiatea some twenty miles away and checked with the boatyard that everything is in order for hauling out on 19th October. Thankfully there were no surprises and so we can now relax and enjoy our few remaining weeks. We anchored behind the small and deserted Motu of Tipaemau. It is just a little moon shaped spit covered by coconut trees, great protection from the prevailing S/E wind and totally peaceful in flat calm and glassy water. We spent a few days soaking up the sun, swimming in warm water and enjoying the solitude. Andrew completed his project of covering the dinghy with sticky back sun cloth. A very tricky job as one mistake and the material will stick to itself. Definitely a job for Andrew, he is the only one on Eye Candy with sufficient patience:).

Calm behind the palm trees in Motu Tapaemau
The dinghy cover completed

Whilst in Raiatea we caught up with Olivier and Vivian on Maryanne. They have been doing major projects and living on their yacht in Apooiti Marina for nearly twelve months. Olivier offered Andrew the use of his radio for the remainder of the season. At first we thought we wouldn’t bother, don’t ask me why we thought that, twenty four hours later Olivier’s radio was installed on Eye Candy. Once again Andrew has spent time on his knees under the nav station fiddling with the radio to improve performance. It is working well now and Andrew has re-established himself as a Net Controller on his much loved Polynesian Magellan Net. So with an HF Radio we once again have daily weather forecasts and contact with our friends which provides a great deal of pleasure and enhances the cruising experience.

On Sunday 17th and with no wind, we motored the thirty miles from Raiatea to Bora Bora to meet up with our good friends Martin and Ellen on Acapella. As we spent time in Bora Bora last season, the loose plan is that we travel together and guide Acapella through the shallow waters of the island. We firstly went to Bloody Mary’s as this is a very well known restaurant frequented by many celebrities since it’s establishment in 1989. There are honour boards outside the restaurant listing the celebrities names. Quite a novel idea and interesting reading. We participated in Happy Hour twice but didn’t stay for a meal. On both nights there were large parties from the Resorts and the place was packed.

Ellen, Martin and Andrew waiting for Happy Hour

Other celebrities who have visited Bloody Mary's

We climbed the hillside behind Bloody Mary’s and enjoyed the view of the bay and surrounding waterway. We then walked along the waterfront to Matira Point arriving back at the boat some three hours later. The following day we motored inside the lagoon in shallow water half way down the east side of the island. This is where the various Resorts have built hundreds of bungalows out over the water. The water is vivid aqua and the sea floor thick sand. We saw 2.9 metres which is quite shallow enough as we draw 2.1 metres. We anchored near the St Regis Resort and did some snorkelling before continuing on to the south east corner of Bora Bora. This is a very beautiful area with a stunning view of the mountain, surrounded by aqua water and sandy beaches. There is very little motor boat traffic which helps greatly to the tranquillity of the anchorage.

Andrew, Ellen, Clare and Martin at the lookout

View from Bloody Marys lookout
Along the walk to Pt Matira

Yesterday morning we all went snorkelling to a favourite spot where the day boats come our from the Resorts. The coral is good and the fish prolific as they are hand fed. It would be nice if we could time it right to avoid the Resort boats and have the area to ourselves, but not much chance. However it is still fantastic and the visibility is very good. In the afternoon Andrew and I went to the very corner of the motu and did a drift snorkel. The weather looked a little inclement when we left Eye Candy and not long into the snorkel it poured rain. At first I couldn’t work out what the noise was but soon realised it was the rain pelting on my wet suit. It reminded me of my childhood when swimming in the rain was considered heaps of fun.

Clare amongst the fish

We have also enjoyed walks on the beach and morning coffee or Sundowners with our friends Martin and Ellen. Rob on “Shindig” and Mike and Katie on “Pangea” have arrived in the bay and so the seven of us are having Sundowners on Shindig this afternoon. We are looking forward to catching up with everyone, it will be fun.

This afternoon we will try for another snorkel. The weather is very changeable but at present it is sunny and calm. We best get out and make the most of it.

Love Candy xx