These are the voyages of the sailing vessel, Wings.

30 September 2021 | Home in Anchorage
16 September 2021 | Pension Tiare Nui
12 September 2021 | Pension Tiare anui
10 September 2021 | Pension Tiare Nui
09 September 2021 | Pension Tiare Nui
05 September 2021 | Raiatea
03 September 2021 | Raiatea
01 September 2021 | Apu Bay, Taha'a
31 August 2021 | Apu Bay
28 August 2021 | Bora Bora
22 August 2021 | Bora Bora
21 August 2021 | Bora Bora
20 August 2021 | Now, Bora Bora
15 August 2021 | Faaroa Bay, Raiatea
14 August 2021 | Fare, Huahine
10 August 2021 | Avea Bay
01 August 2021 | Pension Tiare Nui
30 July 2021 | Pension Tiare Nui
27 July 2021 | Pension Tiare Nui
25 July 2021 | Pension Tiare Nui

Our Last Night in Bora Bora, and a Return to Tapuamu

04 September 2020 | Tapuamu Bay, West Side of Taha'a
William Ennis | Stormy
Blog 4 September 2020

Our Last Night in Bora Bora, and a Return to Tapuamu

We planned to depart Bora Bora on Thursday morning sometime, depending on weather. Wednesday, there were Small Craft Advisories (wind 20 knots, seas 3 feet) around us, and we've done that already. We decided that Thursday's forecast seemed the earliest that we could ensure bearable weather for the 7-8 hour sail. Yes, we made it faster on the downwind sail to Bora Bora, but this was upwind the whole way.

Wednesday we rented bicycles, as we often do, and toured the south end of Bora Bora. In a storm many years ago, a sailing vessel named "Matilda" foundered on the reef at that end of the island. The point of land/reef is now named, "Matira" and we suspect it's an attempt at pronouncing the wrecked vessel's name.

It was great to see our old haunts! Again, we ate at a little pizza joint, and drank a liter of good Hinano beer. They fire their pizza oven with wood, so their pizzas have a wonderful flavor. It's such fun. I do hope that you take the opportunity to see the photos on the page that I posted on Wednesday night. We biked about 10 miles, I guess, stopping often and admiring the beaches and beautiful water. We know the area well by now, although it's been two years since we were here last. We returned our bikes at 1600 hours and collapsed in the Aloe Cafe for a cold Oragina. After fetching a fresh baguette at Chin Lee's store, we motored home.

The dinghy was on deck, sails ready, engine check done, and all the other tasks that had to be completed before going off-shore. It's a rough world out there and being unprepared is not a good idea. To that effect, we even tucked a second reef in our main, a sure sign of preparing for poor conditions. We motored out of the pass through the coral reef, and headed back around the island to find our route to Taha'a and Raiatea. The entrance to the lagoon is on the NW side of the island and our route was toward the SE, so we sailed for an hour or more before leaving for Taha'a and Raiatea.

Immediately, the conditions exceeded all that we had read but not for what we had prepared, and we were in an unpredicted Small Craft Advisory: 20+ knot winds, and 5-foot seas. We made fast progress toward Taha'a until we were about 10 miles out, and a severe "black squall" descended on us. Winds were above 30 knots and seas were in the 7-8-foot range: truly abysmal conditions. Conni was at the wheel, so she shut off the autopilot and took the helm. I trimmed sails. The squall lasted only 45 minutes, but they were an energetic 45 minutes! We're not beginners, so things were never dangerous and we had the second reef in the main and a hanky-sized piece of the jib exposed, so we were never overpowered, but I was constantly dumping the main sheet to shed wind and keep Wings on her feet: the boat sailing level. Finally, the squall passed us and we could make for Tapuamu again. Yes, we had spent several days in Tapuamu already, but it's a great storm hole and one that we knew that we could trust. Oddly, we saw few other boats out with us in our crossing!

When we arrived in Tapuamu, there was only a single vessel, so we had our choice of two other moorings. And there we were. The wind blew and rain squalls screamed past us, but we were secure on a good mooring and slept well.

We plan to depart tomorrow, Saturday, for a pocket lagoon on Raiatea.

16 37.07'S:151 32.86'W

Tapuamu Bay, West Side of Taha'a
Vessel Name: Wings
Vessel Make/Model: Passport 40
Hailing Port: Anchorage, Alaska
Crew: William Ennis and Constance Livsey
About: We've been married since 1991, and both retired from our respective jobs (teacher and attorney) after long careers. We live in the most exotic of the United States: Alaska. We cruise on Wings for half the year, enjoying our home state the other part of the year.
We've sailed Wings Southward from Alaska since August, 2010. We joined the BajaHaha from SoCal to Mexico in 2012. We joined the Pacific Puddle Jump in 2013 and crossed the Pacific Ocean. Wings "over-summered" in French Polynesia. We continued our journey through western French Polynesia, [...]
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