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SV Panta Rhei Retirement Trip
Convergence zones
Larry Nelson
08 July 2012 | Anchored at Tahaa, French Polynesia
Karen wants to leave the dock. She wants to go snorkeling. SV Island Bound (Kat and Bill Russell) comes by and announces that there is a party every Saturday night at a hotel on Tahaa that is close to a spectacular snorkeling spot. It is Saturday. The route up Tahaa is calm water and we sail using only the jib while we navigate through coral patches. This is easy with the GPS and the map. I'm sure glad we have those. Without them to unscramble everything it would be a maze of markers. And did I say the markers are placed with different rules than those in the US? They are very well placed and the system for marking is well designed but that by itself doesn't make them easy to interpret or familiar. The coral reefs they mark are spectacularly shallow and hard. Granite isn't noticeably harder. We are playing hardball with our boat. As I said though, the GPS makes it easy so while it is important, it isn't likely to produce a bad outcome as long as we pay close attention. The trip takes about an hour. We arrived at a set of mooring buoys and made reservations for a crab dinner and a lobster dinner and two tuna dinners.

So why did Larry want to stay at the dock? Besides his love for the good internet and the connection to AC power, he argues that we have a convergence zone influencing our weather. That means rain every night and thunderstorms. There is also a couple of low pressure areas south of us that are forecast to boost the winds over the next 5 days. 28 knots is forecast for our area. That by itself isn't worrisome, but combined with a thunderstorm it can be deadly. But, Karen argues, not moving is safe but we are wasting time which we should be using to see these islands. The weather is pretty good for the next 3 days so her argument carries the day.

This is the tension that we manage while in paradise. Add to that we have an overarching schedule that moves us to places that are new just as we encounter conditions that are difficult. Bastille day is supposed to be pretty good in Bora Bora so we'll need to go there in about 3 days. Do you see a combination of events building to a climax here? I hope not.

This afternoon we will tour vanilla farms (Tahaa is famous for its vanilla). Karen has a ride to church this morning. I'm not sure when we will go snorkeling but soon...I hope.

The picture is of our newly repaired mainsail which is working well.
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