Another landfall in another paradise
11 August 2012 | Haamene Bay, Tahaa, Society Islands
After spending only 3 days in Huahine, it was time to get moving on. We have 3 more islands we want to visit before our Polynesian visa expires. On our last night in Huahine, we treated ourselves to happy hour at a lagoon side restaurant/bar. A pitcher of beer is $7.50 and in Polynesian terms, thats a good price. Happy hour turned into dinner, consisting of a cheeseburger for Tom and Hawaiian sashimi for me. Do you see a pattern in our eating habits? Tom almost always orders some kind of beef, where I fluctuate between beef and fish. Anyway, it was a nice way to send ourselves off from Huahine. On a side note, now that we are talking food, the village of Fare has the best grocery store we have seen since America (outside of the Wal-Marts I went to in Cabo and PV). Our mouths dropped when we first walked into the store on day one in Huahine. Needless to say, I did all our provisioning for the next 2 months, which should get us to Tonga and then some. We even saw an entire baby cow (veal), wrapped up and for sale in the grocery store. Also, one funny thing to me, I have been searching for plain yellow mustard since Fakarava. I can only find brown spicy mustard, no yellow mustard here in Polynesia.
The next morning (Friday), we pull up anchor. Our anchoring process usually goes pretty smoothly. Occasionally, it may take us 2 times to set the anchor but we have not had much of an issue. This particular day, I really do not know where my head was because I got it all jacked up. Just a little history about our anchor. When we purchased the anchor back in San Diego, Tom installed this cool swivel shackle that would turn the anchor into the correct position, even if the anchor comes out of the water wrong side up. It has worked like a charm, consistently. Well, on this day with my head not on right, the anchor came up back wards; the swivel shackle did NOT turn the anchor, and me not thinking, just kept on bringing up the anchor, which in turn, ended up jamming the anchor into the bow roller, to the point that the anchor was stuck. Not coming up any more and more importantly, not going down anymore. The anchor is severely jammed. (Had I been using my brain, all I had to do to get the anchor to swivel right was to lower it a few inches and bring it back up again). I immediately walk back to the helm, telling Tom what just happened. I grab the boat hook, in hopes that I can push the anchor free. Nope, that did not work. I walk back to the helm and Tom goes forward to have a look at my great anchoring work. He is furious when he sees what I have done. He man handles the anchor, pushing and pulling for about 15 minutes but it just would not move. We need a dock so that we can work the anchor from in front of the boat. Unfortunately, the cement dock is full with a few sailboats, dinghys and a panga. We decided to stick with our plans and motor over to Raiatea, just 20 miles away. We had already done research and knew Raiatea had a couple of fuel docks and a few marinas. We only needed to tie up to a dock for a few minutes, to free the anchor.
We entered the pass into the lagoon of Raiatea. The first fuel dock we spotted, we tied up to. Not even 5 minutes later, Tom had the anchor free and I had it secured correctly on the bow. Whew, that drama is over with!! Now it is time to find a nice place to anchor. Our one and only purpose for coming to Raiatea is to get our propane tanks full, which is supposedly done at the boat yards that are located on the northwest side of Raiatea. As we rounded the north end of the island, and were no longer in the wind shadow, the winds were blowing pretty strong and creating a nice 3 foot wind chop on the water. Urg!! Not being in the mood for a rocking and rolling exposed anchorage, we turned around at headed north to the island of Tahaa. Raiatea and Tahaa lie within the same coral reef and Tahaa is just a mile north of Raiatea. We headed to Haamene Bay, which is on the east side of Tahaa. It is a long deep bay that is very protected from the wind and seas. Our cruising guide considers it a hurricane hole. We dropped anchor in about 30 feet of water, around 5:30pm and then enjoyed a big feast of a dinner, beef stew over garlic mashed potatoes. And yes, this anchorage is wonderfully still. There is a breeze but it is a perfect tropical island breeze. Oh, after we had the anchor set and started to relax and get over the drama day we had, we realized that we forgot to close our stern windows that sit about 3 inches above our mattress before we left Huahine (this is part of our preflight). Needless to say, all of our bedding was wet.
Tahaa is where we plan on spending quite a bit of our time, snorkeling in different coral areas around the island. We will be able to navigate around the entire island without going outside of the coral reef. We were planning on hitting Raiatea first, for our propane then heading to Tahaa, but now, we will do the opposite. After Raiatea, we will head over to Bora Bora, our last stop in Polynesia.
While we are touring around Tahaa, we won't have any internet, so again, our posts may be sporadic.
Posted via satellite phone.