Tuamotos to Bora Bora and Tahiti – The Gibson’s last sail 16.9.2014 -249.2014

The passage on the journey from Tuamotos to Bora bora was quite rough with a big swell once we lost the protection of the atolls we passed on the leeward side. The wind lasted until early in the morning of our landfall in Bora Bora and gradually the swell reduced as well. The passes in the Society islands are much easier thankfully, no tidal gate or standing waves or strong currents and they are very well buoyed. Calm reigned once again inside the lagoon and we picked up a mooring buoy in front of Bora Bora yacht club. Sadly no reciprocal arrangements with RHKYC but a very pleasant first stop nevertheless.

approaching Bora Bora

approaching Bora Bora

The water was the predicted brilliant turquoise and the shapely backdrop of the mountains was no disappointment. We dined in the yacht club over the water the first night and then the iconic Bora Bora restaurant Bloody Mary’s with sandy floors and excellent seafood.

Time was pressing on for our crew change in Tahiti so we only had one more night at anchor behind one of the islands in the Bora Bora lagoon and once again we were rewarded with wonderful colours but the coral was disappointingly bleached.

Bora Bora Lagoon

Bora Bora Lagoon

coral island (motu) Bora

coral island (motu) Bora

We departed the following morning and did a sail through between Raiatea and Tahaa towards Tahiti passing Moorea in the morning of the next day. We had to motor sail as the wind did not allow us to make course and we had a deadline to meet. We moored stern to in Papeete which seemed very noisy and busy after our previous resting places.

Papeete, Tahiti,  approach

Papeete, Tahiti, approach

celebratory lunch after arrival in papeete- the end of  our journey from Ecuador to Tahiti

celebratory lunch after arrival in papeete- the end of our journey from Ecuador to Tahiti

Our next crew Simon and Jo Davies had arrived from Easter Island so it was a grand Hong Kong reunion, but it was indeed a sad day to see Malcom and Glynis leave Baringo after all our magical shared experiences during the voyage. We had some very enjoyable lengthy and amusing lunches and dinners catching up on travel and family news.

As we have learnt to expect a problem came our way when we were least expecting it and we had one incident when we discovered our anchor was stuck on the bottom of the harbour! Although it was stern-to mooring we had not been sure if the mooring lines were present and with the usual strong cross wind which always seems to blow when manoeuvring to anchor stern to we had dropped the anchor to secure the bow. The next event was the almost immediate departure of the boat next to us who had also dropped their anchor and not surprisingly our chain was over theirs. They went to and fro in front of us moving our chain and eventually they were clear and departed but our chain had become very tight …problems ahead were predicted and indeed became reality when we tried to move later the next evening. After many tries to free the chain it proved impossible so we had no choice but to drop it leaving 2 fenders marking the spot and we retreated back to the pontoon. The next day we found a diver from Topdive who agreed to come that evening to try and retrieve the anchor and chain which he did very efficiently using a parachute float. It was with much delight and relief that we put our trusty Rocna back in its place with chain attached.It has been a reliable and solid piece of equipment which we would not be without having changed from a CQR two years ago .

So the day of the grand farewell arrived and Malcolm and Glynis left for New Zealand and we left with Simon and Jo for Moorea and our Society island cruise.


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