These are the voyages of the sailing vessel, Wings.

25 September 2020 | Home
20 September 2020 | Pension Tiare Nui
17 September 2020 | Pension Tiare Nui
14 September 2020 | Pension Tiare Nui
11 September 2020 | Raiatea Carenage yard
10 September 2020 | Raiatea Carenage slip
10 September 2020 | Haamene Bay, Taha'a
06 September 2020 | Vaiaeho Bay, Raiatea
04 September 2020 | Tapuamu Bay, West Side of Taha'a
31 August 2020 | Mooring Field, Bora Bora Yacht Club
28 August 2020 | Mooring Field, Bora Bora Yacht Club
25 August 2020 | Bora Bora Yacht Club mooring field
24 August 2020 | Tapuamu Bay, West Side of Taha'a
23 August 2020 | Tapuamu Bay, Taha'a
21 August 2020 | Tapuamu Bay, Taha'a
20 August 2020 | Uturoa, Raiatea
18 August 2020 | Raiatea Carenage
16 August 2020 | Raiatea Carenage
14 August 2020 | Raiatea Carenage
13 August 2020 | Raiatea Carenage

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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