05 December 2018
Cruisers know the term well. Best example is when you find your boat is stuck on the pile of coffee grounds you have been dumping overboard. That's a clear sign it is time to move on.
One notorious sticky harbor is Georgetown, Bahamas. It is a popular southern harbor that is home to hundreds of cruisers during the season. Many intend to sail to the Caribbean via the thorny path, a difficult passage upwind. But they remain stuck in Georgetown where there are a wide variety of social activities every day. We jokingly called it “adult daycare.” And we had a great time there. But we sailed on to the Caribbean.
The entire Eastern Caribbean is a very difficult place to leave. There are dozens of beautiful islands which are different nations and cultures. Boat parts are readily available as are other yacht services. The anchorages are great and weather to match. Passages between islands are usually quite easy. The whole of the Eastern Caribbean fits inside Lake Michigan. No wonder it is quite a sticky place to leave.
We have been in Tahiti, Moorea and Huahine for over three months. Our current anchorage is adjacent the airport. This is actually a plus. I enjoy watching the planes take off and land. I especially enjoy watching the little, yellow race plane that does great aerobatics. They are seldom a noise problem.
There is great snorkeling here and we are a 20 minute dinghy ride from downtown Papeete. We are also a 10 minute dinghy ride and 15 minute walk from Carrfore, a great grocery store and more. It is pretty much a French Walmart anchoring a small shopping mall. One would think all cruisers do is eat. We can never pass up a grocery store without shopping. But when there are no stores, one appreciates the opportunity to stock up. Some call it hoarding.
Best of all, we are anchored with good friends here. Skabenga, Bella Nave, LaMitzu and Blue Spirit have been hanging around here for the past week or so. We have been having fun with cocktails and dinners on each others boats, snorkeling and fixing boats together.
Now Uproar is making a big leap. We are sailing to the remote Austral Islands, 400 miles south of Tahiti. From there we may sail further to Rapa and then east (upwind) to Gambiers. This is not only a safe path away from cyclones but a route that takes to places we have yet to visit in French Polynesia.
It is comfortable here even though it is not the most beautiful or remote spot. We have overcome the pre-passage butterflies. Houdinky is safely on deck, gear is stowed, and we are ready to weigh anchor. We hope to arrive within three days.