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!