Another Archipelago - Moto Tahanea
06/08/2012, 16 51'S:144 41.5'W, South Pacific
Our run over here from Raroea was absolutely windless until about 0300 this morning then it was directly on the nose. Motored all the way but when the wind did pick up we tried to get the main to function and ended up making a bit of a mess. As it turned out, the foot tiedown had come partially loose and in the process of furling in the main the sail jambed itself against the mast. We raised it and thried again not realizing the foot problem. Finally got it rolled onto the boom and left it there until today. So our efforts through the night, in the dark, caused another little problem.... a three inch tear in the luff bolt rope which we will have to sew back up tomorrow. When the wind decides to settle down a little we will raise the main all the way and re-fasten the foot to the spindle. Hopefully that will allow us to evenly furl the sail onto the boom.
It took us a couple of tries to get the hook set. The first time we were locked down but after diving on the anchor I didn't like the way it was laying on its side and the point hooked to a small coral head. We weighed the anchor and then reset. This time we drig the hook for about 20 feet then it plowed itself into the sand and under a small coral head.
Then it was time for a nap so that we did and when we rose, I started to tackle the sail repair. More work to be done tomorrow. Then we can look for a good spot to snorkel and dive in this lagoon.
All for now and we will keep you all posted.
06/06/2012, 16 35'S:143 01'W, South Pacific
THE BIRTHDAY CAKE: Well it was a success. A new high for Lisa the chocolaholic now is a chocolemonaholic with Chocolate-Cafe' butter icing. Watch the butter melt in the tropics! Both on the cake and in your mouth. Not like an M&M because it will definately melt in your hands. Not only did we have some on her birthday but we shared some with friends last night. We have some batter left over for later in the month. Instead of a layer cake I think I will make it a chocolate-lemon swirl. Go ahead and drewel!
Atoll Raroia entry was somewhat uneventful. Although I don't think we ever did figure out when low slack really was. There was a bit of a boil in the channel even after waiting for an hour for it to settle down. Managed to get through the pass and headed for the village which is really only occupied when the workers are working the pearl farms. Charisma had came in the day before and thought there might be a good anchor spot just to their starboard side. The wind was blowing about 20kts and each time we set the hook in the sand it was drug for some 50 feet when we had to give up and try again. After the third time we figured the sand was only a thin layer over some old dead coral so we moved elsewhere. Got set the first time and waited with the engines running for about a half hour while I went into the water to check the hook. We had to take some extra precautions because there was a large bed of coral 100 feet directly behind us that was awash. We had set 4 to one with chain and added a fifth with the bridle so I felt pertty comfortable. While diving the anchor, I saw a 3 foot black tipped shark mosying along the bottom.
We invited Bob and Ann from Charisma over for dinner. They had caught a Mahi Mahi the day before so they brought over four large filet portions and we cooked up some sweet potatos and green beans. Had some brie, baguette, pate' and crackers as an appetizer and a few drinks and a good chat along with guess what??? BIRTHDAY CAKE. Both of us decided to depart today and head for Tahanea which is uninhabited so we will see how that goes working our way through the channel.
We had set an anchor alarm for a maximum movement of .01 nautical miles which is about 60 feet. The wind kept up pretty steady all evening and night, then at daybreak (5 am) decided to settle down to near nothing and that is when we drifted the furthest and the alarm went off. No harm as we just drifted right up on top of the anchor. With that we were awake, made some coffee and watched the sunrise before calling Charisma for our scheduled departure.
The nearest tide station was at an atoll called Makema some 60 miles to the West. We figured that the difference couldn't be much more than an hour so worked our way to the channel. As when we came in, there was a pretty good boil going and a set towards a reef which we managed to crab through. Charisma followed us and as Bob headed into the boil he too was pulled towards the reef and in correcting his position got a little sideways. He commented that it was quite sporting.
We are out in the ocean now and there is absolutely no wind. Will motor to try and stay on a tide timing for the next atoll tomorrow.
All for now.
Birthday Over now to an Atol
06/05/2012, 16 02.5'S:142 28.3'W, Raroea
Well we arrived a little after noon today. Had to wait on the changing tide that is located somewhere else. Made it through the pass against a 4.5 knot outflow with a little chop. None the worse to wear.
Took awhile to set the anchor. Sand over coral so it drug a bit with the help of a 20knot wind.
May be here two nights but if not them out of here tomorrow.
All for now
Happy Birthday to Me!
06/04/2012, 14 37.0'S:142 0.0'W, Pacific Ocean
Today was my birthday, and it was a really nice one. It started out with a cup of coffe (with a splash of Baileys of course). Then John surprised me with a gift! He gave me a Nuku Hiva refrigerator magnet (my favorite type of collectable!), and a necklace with a mantaray carved out of stone from the Marquesas - very beautiful! And totally unexpected! Since we spend just about every waking moment around each other I had no idea where and when he had gotten it. Some how he found time to buy it at a little store in Nuku Hiva while I was checking out the book exchange next door a few days ago. Then I opened my present from my girlfriends (Fran, Linda, Donna and Susan) - a sarong - it is perfect! Thank you Ladies! (Before we left in September, they gave John and I a box of gifts to get us through an entire year - so that we have something to open for all sorts of special occassions each month.) I have had my birthday package pulled out and sitting next to my bed for over a month - I was wondering what was in that package!
Then John baked me a birthday cake. Any guesses? Yes - it is chocolate. But also with a layer of lemon cake, with chocolate/coffee frosting. I will let you know how it is later once we eat it - but the batter was excellent! Then he caught a tuna this afternoon - so that is on the menu for dinner tonight. The weather today has been gorgeous - a 15 knot breeze off our port stern-quarter and we are just scootin along. We will probably shorten sail tonight and slow down quite a bit. We are about 100 miles out from Raroia (our first atoll landing), and at this rate it puts us in there at 4 in the morning - not an ideal time to run the passage into the lagoon. Slack tide is around noon tomorrow, so instead of bobbing around for 8 hours, we will just take it down a notch thru the night and take our time getting there. I couldn't ask for a better day - a perfect birthday to remember!
On to Tuomotos Day 2
06/03/2012, 11 48.3'S:140 59.5'W, Pacific Ocean
Well we caught a fish today. It was right at 60 inches long and we believe it to be a black Marlin. Filet it and sampled some of the meat. Tasty but a little tough. There are alot of tendons and muscle running through the body so makes for a little chewy. We have two more nights at sea. Tomorrow is Lisa's birthday so I have to bake a cake and make some fosting for her. Will let you all know how it turns out.
All for now.