Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Au Large vers Tikehau

Monday 4 June 2012 Lat 15deg 13S Long 148deg 24 W. 160 nmiles NE Tahiti, Motoring Course 5deg, Wind calm, Seas glassy, Warm, Humid and Showery
We're at sea en route from the island of Taihiti to Tikehau atoll.

Marina Taina turned out to be a great spot, although the weather seemed very hot. We were med-tied with the big boys on the outside seawall, next to a 80ft yacht from Cannes. The guys aboard we're really friendly and good company. The staff at the marina were so accommodating and helpful. Bill went diving with the Fluid Plongee guides there. Rage (ex-Portland was also there). They made an interesting jury-rigged rack for a steering windvane.

There was a huge Carrefour hypermarche 5 minutes walk to the east. To the west, was a McDonalds and a pretty good regular supermarket. Also, a pretty decent, though expensive laundromat. The water on the jetty was fresh and potable. And there was small corals and colorful fish just under the waterline on the jetty as we balanced our way ashore on the 12ft plank/passerelle.

After a few days touring around Tahiti and Moorea, staying small pensions, Nancy and Mark joined us for a few days prep. We made several trips to Carrefour and amply provisioned from their huge selection.

Saturday afternoon, Kathi carelessly let one of the dodger windows fall overboard in the 50ft waters under the boat. Doh!!!! However, the marina master was on hand to dive our anchor and retrieved it to our huge relief. Our anchor was set 80ft ahead of the boat with the chain laying atop one of the fixed bow lines of our neighbor. The diver attaches a balloon and fills it with air to raise the anchor, while we take in the chain on our bow. Their whaler acts as a tug to hold our bow off from drifting down on the next boat. Then we let go their standing lines, and Bill guns the engine and we're away.

We made a U-turn to the fuel jetty 100 ft away, to full for the passage. Provided we have the right customs documents, can get duty free fuel. But because of the paperwork, the marina doesn't usually sell duty-free on weekends., because they are usually very busy with their local customers. But by prior arrangement, the marina did it for us. They were just so accommodating.

We anchored out near the reef and took a short snorkel to cool off. We left early Sunday morning for Tikehau and Rangiroa. We've had to motor almost all the way. That's especially inconvenient because the autopilot is kaput, for now. We will repair or replace it in Hawaii.

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