Hi from Clare,
SUNSHINE AND MUSIC
As suggested in our last newsletter under ‘So What’s Next’ we came down to Avea Bay on the south end of Huahine. We enjoyed snorkeling, swimming, walks, sundowners with new friends on ‘Whisper’ and generally relishing the relaxed lifestyle that cruising provides.
|Clare's favourite fish|
Three days later and with some regret we went back to the main township of Fare as Steve on ‘Liward’ was playing with local musicians at the Huahine Yacht Club. We had a very good evening celebrating Steve’s last gig for the season along with the crews on ‘Alcyone’ and ‘Golden Glow’. The music was terrific, the company good, the food great, and the Club was fairly jumping.
|Lili with Steve and the band|
|Cruisers having dinner|
AND THEN THERE WAS SILENCE
‘Liward’ was heading back to Tahiti and Steve very kindly took the radio that we had on loan from ‘Acapella’ whilst Martin and Ellen were in the Netherlands for a few weeks. It looked like we would be without a ship’s radio for the remainder of the season as our radio has failed and needs repairing when back in Oz. Anyone who knows Andrew and his love for the radio will understand that no radio on board is almost a fate worse than death. Actually it is a wonder we weren’t on the next plane home and heading to Icom:)
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES
Fortunately or maybe unfortunately the following day Mike on ‘Pangea’ lent us his second radio, but it too has a fault. Andrew installed the radio under the navigation deck and has spent many an hour down on his knees trying to fix the problem. The audio is distorted and people sound like Donald Duck. Sometimes the conversation is totally garbled. We cannot transmit and we receive intermittently. So now we either hear the radio net or we don’t.
TEN DAYS IS A LONG TIME
At the same time as ‘Liward’ left for Tahiti, the other cruisers in Fare were anxious to move on as the forecast was showing more strong wind heading our way. We returned to beautiful Avea Bay and our friends headed off to different islands and one step closer to their final destinations. One thing is for sure, wherever they dashed off to, there is a very good chance that they are still there. The wind has been twenty odd knots with frequent gusts up to 30 knots which push the boat sideways. Things fall over inside the boat and the kitchen drawer flies open if not locked. We’ve had rain squalls every day and the sea outside the reef is 3 metres or more. There was so much water coming over the reef that our peaceful anchorage in Avea Bay was untenable. The ship wreck on the reef,(that we spoke of in our last newsletter) moved 0.7 kilometres onto shallow ground within the anchorage. The salvage people came and put an anchor on her.
|Shelter in Haapu Bay|
With no respite from the wind in sight, we moved to Haapu Bay which is known as a hurricane hole, the sea floor is sticky mud and so we were anchored securely. So there we stayed with the wind howling through the rigging, vicious gusts every few minutes, grey skies and persistent rain. We managed a few walks ashore with our wet weather coats on. I commented to Andrew on day eight that this was the longest windy period we had encountered in our twelve years of cruising. But he reminded me of the nine days we spent sheltering behind one of the Greek Isles. In that particular blow, because the island was so bare, the boat was completely caked in dust. At least here we have had plenty of rain, the boat is squeaky clean and water the tank is full. That’s the silver lining on this big bad cloud.
|Tanda Malaika where she lay in the shallows|
TO SAVE A WRECK
Yesterday we returned to Avea Bay. The sea has abated and the water is quite calm here. It is still windy and raining but it should start settling. In a few days there is a calm patch showing. How lovely it will be to see some sunshine and have the hatches open.
|Tanda Malaika under tow|
|Andrew on the right trying to keep away|
|Well, he failed to keep away - they needed help|
Today is nice and sunny and the wind is dropping. The salvage crew returned this morning to tow the wreck of ‘Tanda Malaika’ back to land. We took the dinghy out and watched the proceedings. Towing it to shore was easy but getting it out of the water was made difficult by weight of the additional water captured within the hulls. At the moment it is half way up the beach. There is some talk that the hull will be transformed into a house. A good project for the Tiny Homes program we have watched on Austar. There is a hull of a catamaran on the other side of the island that is now a home. I have seen a photo of it, and it looks pretty good.
|Inching up the beach|
SO WHAT’S NEXT
Well we stay in Avea Bay for a long as we can. This will be determined by our diminishing fresh food provisions. At this point we are prepared to go without just to enjoy this our favourite anchorage.
Love Candy xx