Stolen Kiss

Stolen Kiss

July 2, 2012

What the ‘Milk Run’ does not tell you!

We decided to pop over to the stunning island Moorea, some 15 miles west of Tahiti for a week whilst we wait for Barn and Anita. There was also the Puddle Jump welcome/wind up as well. Our first thought was that we did not want to be anchored there with so many yachts with a dicky gearbox, which in hindsight was a good thought. However, wanting to escape not only Tahiti, but also the marina after having had our fuel injector pump and injectors serviced, won the day.

This would be Tahiti looking from east Moorea.

We departed early so we could anchor away from the masses. The yachts arrived, all squashing up in the shallower water in front of us. It’s a reasonable anchorage, but not for over 40 yachts! Some of the yachts were close to 60 feet.

The PPJ had actually organized a great day, which started the night before with some dancing……. 

Peter did not dance with the men, but this sweetheart got him dancing!

After participating in the racing of the traditional Tahitian canoes..........our girls' team came second..

There is Peter showing of his muscles 3rd from the back!

We took some time out in the afternoon and returned for the dancing, which is always amazing....they have moves that westerners dream of!!  Everyone was looking forward to a peaceful sleep…….the wind gods had other thoughts……….

The front passing to the south of us was well forecast and we assumed that others were aware of this. At least two of us were……

The sharp edge of the front kicks up very strong squalls from the north. Like Perth, as soon as the wind swings to the south you know it’s gone. We were aware we were at the back end of the masses and carefully watched those yachts that came in and anchored near us. We were happy until one yacht came by on the first day (nice people besieged by many problems due to lack of experience) and anchored between us and a cat. This is the yacht that everyone wants to avoid!! They were told by both of us that they were too close.

This is the head of the bay where all the 'naughty children' who dragged ended up. We will be up there anchored if another front comes through!! We were around the RH corner, which is a little unfortunate as the wind accelerates around the very high rocky cliff face. Nice anchorage though!

The first night at anchor in Moorea, it was a little gusty and we were all swinging around…..the boat in question had hit us…we had driven forward as we touched to avoid them. Owners returned later at night after having enjoyed a good dinner out. Peter went over and discussed what had happened, suggesting they might like to move in the morning and put a snubber on their chain. The yacht in question did not believe in snubbers and Peter was not in the mood to discuss this. They very kindly kept an anchor watch with their spotlight for the rest of the night.

Next morning we re-visited our close neighbours and suggested they might like to move around to the head of the bay where there is mud and better holding. After discussing  the forecast with them and the lossibility of 45 knot gusts, they chose to stay and went out for dinner again that night. We could have moved but we were to windward of them and well dug in.

All was quiet until 2200 hours. Peter came down below and said there is a little shower passing by!!!! 40 knots and 20 minutes later, the shower and the wind had gone!

A friend of ours found a 55lb Lewmar Delta in the anchorage in Tahiti, laying on the bottom. We swapped our 44lb of same with him as he has a smaller boat. With 60m of chain out, we held well and were happy with our larger anchor! Our close neighbours, at the first puff of 25 knots, went dragging by.  Luckily for them, an experienced captain on another yacht (Pedro from Mexico whom was later decorated by Red Sky as ‘Super Pedro’ ) went off to save them and help them re-anchor. 

This is the same anchorage where Jacana dragged last year in 45 knots and perhaps with sustained winds of that velocity, more of us would have been in trouble. Nice sand which looks like good holding, but not so……… coarse coral sand……beware!!!!!!!!!!

We were relieved we did not move, having dragged on two occasions in 10 years is two too many. The VHF was alive with boats dragging (about 8 in total) and calls for assistance. 40 meters in front of us was a tangle of 4 boats, 3 of which were over 50 feet. Our concern was if another squall came in, they would be on top of us. However, the yachts were all sorted and we had two more squalls during the night but only around 22 knots. Some yachts were still dragging in this.

A few yachts sustained some damage from others floating free. We can’t imagine what the Med is like in tight anchorages. We will be a little more prepared next time and have a float tied to the rope at the end of the chain so we can dump it all if need be. After 2 nights with the GPS on anchor watch, we had sailed around for 1nm!!

The fronts are not unusual. So far the weather pattern seems to have good settled periods for two weeks then a little confused with fronts and convergence. We have to keep an eye on the weather every day. So far we have not had re-enforced trades from large H pressure systems. Bora Bora, some 100 miles NW of here seems to be on the northern limit of most fronts.

Two days later in Moorea a small super yacht (around 100 feet) came into the bay and anchored on top of us whilst we were away. Some kind yachties nearby did suggest that they were too close among the smaller yachts. When the wind swung, they were 3 feet in front of our bow! The people returned an hour or so after we got back. A few words were exchanged (stopping short of sex and travel!) which saw them up anchor and go around to the head of the bay where they should have been in the first place. I think it was Peter's comment (in his best British accent) that the owner, flying under the mother country flag, should be ashamed of himself for his lack of display of seamanship!! Are we a magnet for the not so savvy yachties????

How many radar scanners does one need???? 

Our quest for a radar scanner that works has been on going and not too difficult as there seems to be numerous Raymarine scanners lying around, having been discarded for non-performance! It appears that the problem lies in the connections somewhere, rather than with the scanner itself. We started out with Tashtego’s 15 year old radar that we shipped from Fremantle to Mexico..we like re-cycling! It lasted for another 3 years. In Apataki, we swapped that one for one that was 10 years old and it lasted another 2 weeks. Now we have a scanner that is only 4 years old! All we need to do is update our screen! I am hoping it will keep working as it would be good to have it around Fiji. Peter's installation is now quite fast!!

We had thought of purchasing a new radar and could get a Furuno at an excellent price with Defender in the USA, however at $1000 freight charge to Tahiti, we decided against it. It appears that Marine Wharehouse has better freight charges now. So with the anchor as well, we have had a few wins, which balances out the cost of over $5K for a replacement gear box being sent to Bora Bora!! Well, it has not got there as yet, but neither have we! It was a bit of a saga as Peter could not sort out the gear box problem until we had the engine running! List Marine in San Francisco and Minards in Sydney were fantastic in their assistance! Just what we rely on out here.

In the meantime, French Polynesia is all that we expected….fun in the sun and views to boot!

Rays and sharks to play with.....We are looking forward to sharing this with Barn and Anita!

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