Bookmark and Share
S/V Bluebottle
Papeete-Wind and Rain!
07/01/2010, Tahiti

We are aboard for the third day now, our yacht among a small flotilla of yachts - all the yachts bows facing sharply into a strong east wind, our mooring ropes straining, taut to breaking, Bluebottle's stern a distance of fifty or sixty feet off a sea wall of volcanic rock. The wind blows constantly at 20 to 25 knots, as forecast, gusting to 30. When the rain comes it is usually accompanied by 30 knots, and the rain is on and off, coming soon after you open the hatches for some air, making you jump up (maybe you're even asleep in bed) and close them.

It's Thursday July 1 and we arrived here threading the reef last Saturday June 28 late afternoon around 4:30 and found our Aussie friends from Dagmar (they came from Toau like us) out in their dinghy to guide us in, leading us to a mooring owned by Tahiti Yacht Club. Spent Sunday resting up, went briefly ashore to take a shower and have a walk, buying baguettes, Arnotts Scotch Fingers (Sao biscuits are here in Polynesia!) and New Zealand butter at the Mobil Service Station's Shop 'n Stop. Got up Monday determined to get on the bus to Papeete and Marina Tahini, a few miles the other side of the city, to find Francesco, our agent, and give him our passports and check out the anchorage near the marina. Then to the massive Carriefors supermarket, to wander in the aisles exactly as we had in vast super-stocked aircraft hangars in Panama, Ecuador and Mexico; they are the same everywhere.

Our guest Jack who crewed with us from Toau in the Tuamotus and is still living aboard wants to be out and about, searching dumpsters for goodies and finding fruit from overhanging boughs of breadfruit and mango trees. He found himself a job in a kitchen prepping food for lunches delivered to Shop 'n Stops and such places; he knows a preacher who has invited him to go preach in the Tuamotus, saying it pays well. Jack will leave us in Moorea, our next stop, a beautiful island near Tahiti. The last two mornings we have risen early and set out in high wind and rain for the shore so he can be at work by 7:30. Adrienne and I are "couch potatoes" and read while we drink tea, coffee or beer, and chew on huge baguette sandwiches with salami or Brie (today: pan-grilled tuna!) with sauerkraut or onion or sprouts with mustard, with plenty of the NZ butter. Jamie and Isobel have had us to dinner and we make music. Time is gentle, and the weather says: stay here, stay below deck and rest. That is not hard... not difficult. Perhaps we are still recovering from running our restaurant for two years ...

[Photo, taken a few minutes ago, a rainbow on the land, while the wind takes a rest from near gale force...]

| | More
06/26/2010, From Anse Amyot, Toau, Tuamotus to Tahiti


| | More
Sailing down the moon's brilliant carpet of leaves
06/26/2010, From Anse Amyot, Toau, Tuamotus to Tahiti

Jib and jigger, they call it, meaning sailing with genoa (jib) and mizzen (jigger, on the smaller mast): With mainsail down, this allows wind to pass freely to the jib no matter which point of sailing. That's what we're doing right now, the wind picking up as I write, to 18 knots, and the boat is doing 7 knots over the ground and 8.5 through the water. I can hear rain up there on deck, for the third time tonight. With the rain the wind picks up then after a while dies away.

A moment before - before the rain - i saw we were sailing directly into the path of the moon on the water. How beautiful this appears! moonlight everywhere and the glittering pathway, stretching all the way, one could imagine, to Tahiti. I am really looking forward to Tahiti, perhaps there is a trace of the original beauty, if so I will find it.

Wind fades a little now, to 8 or 9, boat slows in response to less than 4 knots. Still on track though, all quiet but for an empty can rolling in the galley; Jack asleep on his bunk, Adrienne dreaming in her cabin, me on watch. 4:50 am, soon the dawn.

Papeete later today, perhaps if the wind holds, it's only 65 nautical miles. Problem being that if we can't maintain better than 5.5 knots, we'll get there in 12 hours, 5 pm, right on dusk.

Talk to you again, soon.

(Update; It's now 8:12 am Tuamotus time and we can see Tahiti, only 45 miles away!! However, once we reach the coast there is a further 17 miles down the west coast to the pass. This may take 3 hours on top of the 7 to 8 hours to Tahiti - say 11 hours

| | More
06/28/2010 | kerryn Smith
Hi Joe & Adrienne, sounds like you have found yourselves in paradise...again. What a trip you folks have had, and there is more of the same ahead. Quent has mentioned the possibility of us meeting up in New Caledonia for some sailing together, that sounds brilliant. Have been doing quite a bit to get my fitness improved and ready for the sea, so am confident I will not be a liability!!! Quent heads off to Bali for some surfing with his son, he is back mid-July, and then will have another couple of weeks at work before some time off. I am enjoying being at home, without work commitments, its a strange state to adjust to, when going off to work has been a huge part of day to day life for so long. Seymour is beautiful today, blue water, a little breeze, killer frost yesterday morning. Warm wishes, enjoy Tahiti. Kez
Still chuffin'
06/25/2010, From Anse Amyot, Toau, Tuamotus to Tahiti

Well, not much wind, forced to motor, keep on going, get there in the end ... more when we get there . All is well. Regular meals, you know ...

| | More
Underway for Papeete in the Society islands
06/24/2010, From Anse Amyot, Toau, Tuamotus to Tahiti

After ten beautiful and friendly musical days here, we are again for the sea!

With Jack,23, marine hitch-hiker/crew aboard we drop the mooring here this morning and head out and turn to port (in two senses of the word) heading SSW with light Easterlies forecast - to Tahiti. The name still can conjure magic. The South Seas! Papeete is expensive, commercial, smelly, noisy, dirty, corrupted by us whites - so they say, but - maybe there is to be found some of that magic! They say it it's still like that in Moorea, a more friendly place, and only a few miles away. Anyway, it's on the way to Australia, and that's where we are heading.

More from us as we sail...

| | More
A calm, kindly, beautiful place
06/17/2010, Anse Amyot, Toau, Tuamotus, French Polynesia

First up, let me say today, Thursday, June 17, is my daughter Emma's birthday, although she has gone ahead and had it yesterday due to the fact that Sydney is one day ahead of us here! Happy birthday Em, for today AND yesterday!

Last Monday we motored into a most beautiful spot, a little cove between motus on the reef-fringed island of Toau. It is called Anse Amyot, and has the picture postcard/Getaway TV holiday show colours of pure blue, aquamarine, with white beaches, palm trees, blue sky. The Tuamotans who live here (only 15 people) are warm loving people, and have a pretty little restaurant right on the sea. We will eat there tonight, as a thank you for the use of the moorings they have provided. Our hostess plays the ukulele and sings Hawaiian songs and local songs, and we join in, a bunch of us playing guitars, ukes, and me on banjo, and (most) everybody singing. It has happened every night as the sun goes down, and we'll do it again tonight! I did "The Pub With No Beer" the other night.

The stalk of green bananas we traded in Daniel's Bay, Nuku Hiva, has lasted right up to today and the pamplemousse and limes are still going. The snorkeling in the clear, clear waters is a sweet experience - coral heads have a colony of moray eel, tiny fish of all colours, and trumpet fish who hang out vertically, fanning with a pair of fins at the top. This is a sort of place you want to stay awhile.

Meanwhile we are working on the boat of course, with the help of a fellow yachtie who has built his own refrigeration system we have dismantled the freezer compressor, which I intend to reassemble with new seals, and reinstall. The torn spinnaker will get sewn back together here. Rust spots cleaned up and painted. Bottom cleaned. Plans, at least.

A young man has approached us for a ride to Tahiti. Seems a really nice guy, and no problems have come up as yet. If we do this it will be our first experience of crew, who they say can be a disaster or truly wonderful. We'll see.

When the internet is back I will post a photo of this lovely spot. I think it must be the reason one goes cruising: times and places such as these.

| | More

Newer ]  |  [ Older ]


Who: Adrienne Godsmark and Joe Blake
Port: Hobart
View Complete Profile »
SailBlogs Friends
Hello World Dagmar hlamff sailmaker - China 

Powered by SailBlogs