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

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

9-2017 Huahine, Wind and Tanda Malaika

Hi from Clare,

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

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:)

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.

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

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
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