31 July 2017 | Tapuana Bay, Tahaa, French Polynesia (FP)
As you can tell by the position report, we moved from Huahine over to Raiatea and Tahaa. Two more of the beautiful Leeward Islands. We spent last night on the windward side of Tahaa in Haamene Bay after sailing up from Raiatea where we had spent the night before. The sailing inside the fringing reef has been spectacular. There has been little to no requirement to use the engine due to the steady SE Trades.
We enjoyed a fantastic lunch at the Hibiscus Hotel. It's a family run restaurant that used to have a turtle sanctuary on site. The turtles are gone now, and have been for the past ten years, according to the proprietor, Leo. Funny, because all the guides we read, and even the latest tourist guide for the islands, all mention the "turtle sanctuary." Leo threatened to put old rusty steel "turtle tags" into our ears with a huge pair of pliers it he heard any more complaints about the lack of turtles.
The four of us had huge platters of Poisson Cru with ice cold Hinano beer or a glass of chilled white wine. Kana and Paige then joined the several children family members and our server for multiple games of "Uno." Blossom and I took a walk to work off some of that massive and delicious lunch.
Last night, in Haamene Bay, the winds increased from a pleasant 12-15 knots to 18-22 knots with gusts into the mid-twenties. Made for a cool but bouncy night at anchor. I never sleep well when at anchor and the wind is up. I keep picturing Puanani dragging and ending up on a lee shore or a shallow reef.
Today we sailed over the top (north side) of Tahaa around to the leeward side to escape the strong winds that continued through the day. First stop was at Ilot Tautau with the intention of getting in some world class snorkeling. Not meant to be though. The wind had churned the water so much that visibility was quite poor. We then picked up on one of Noodle's tracks. He left them all over these islands. This track led us into Tapuana Bay and appeared to be the best option to escape the gusty winds.
As soon as we set anchor, the winds in Tapuana Bay increased until they too were well into the mid-twenties, maybe even one or two 30 + knot puffs. I'm thinking, "Great! Another sleepless night." A short time after sunset the winds began abating and as of this writing the bay is glassed off and Puanani is doing the happy anchor chain dance. Not only is the bay calm and glassy, but the entire channel between the bay and Ilot Tautau is like a lake. Sweet dreams, baby.
Everyone take care and stay well. All our love.
mark blossom makana paige