10 July 2008 | Moorea
After some final preparations and running through our 50 item checklist we were set to head out at about 7AM. Our friends on O'Vive helped us get off the dock and we motored out of the docks with one prop for the last time (he said with fingers crossed).
We checked in with the harbor master on the way out of the harbor on channel 12 and he cleared us to exit the pass. On the way in it was a little slippery with maybe 3 knots of current but we were close to slack on the way out. There really wasn't any wind out so we didn't even bother to put the main up though we had the bag unzipped optimistically.
Ferries seem to run non stop from Vaiare on the east coast of Moorea to Papeete. The big catamarans leave quite a wake. We motored close in around point Aroa to enjoy the beautiful coastline of Moorea. The reef around Moorea, like Tahiti, creates a narrow strip of lagoon around the entire island. Some dolphins came to visit as we made our way along.
We passed beautiful Cook bay on out way to Tareu pass. The pass was easy to enter and after clearing the well marked reef we made our way back to the east to anchor behind Point Vaipahu. This is said to be one of the most beautiful anchorages in French Polynesia, and that is saying something! It is certainly striking and the water is transparent.
Once anchored up everyone jumped into the inviting water for a snorkel. Nobu and I checked the anchor and explored the barrier reef a bit. Hideko made a wonderful lunch. Pabs and Lou got their snorkeling chops back in line.
After lunch Nobu, Hideko and I installed the replacement prop on the port side drive leg. Hideko put blue loctite on the bolts topside and Nobu ferried them down to me where we both worked on things with SCUBA. The loctite will stay on for the trip if you protect the bolts from the current on the way down. I could tell it was working as I tightened the bolts up and saw a small bit of blue goop squeezing from around the bolt head.
We made sure that the shaft seal was still good by checking the sail drive oil and then gave it a try. Everything was working perfectly. She backed and moved forward just like in the old days. We will be carefully checking things underwater after motoring for the next several weeks of course. We don't plan to haul out for another year.
We got some good use out of Shooting Star in the afternoon taking everyone on a tour of Opunohu Bay. It is a beautiful bay surrounded by spectacular mountains coated in greenery. I gave it a shot a couple of times but we couldn't get up on a plane motoring into the wind with the five of us aboard. That said, Shooting Star made good way in displacement mode.
We wrapped up the day with the Swingin' on a Star version of Steak Frites. Hideko had picked up some great steaks at the market before we left and I grilled them on the BBQ while Hideko made the fries in the galley. We served it all up with a tasty Béarnaise sauce and some wonderfully fresh green beans. We enjoyed the end of a wonderful day with glasses of Beaujolais and heated game of Mexican Train Dominoes.