Return to Fare
14 August 2021 | Fare, Huahine
William Ennis | Hot but windy
Blog 13-14 August 2021
We have returned to Fare because of poor protection from some upcoming weather in Avea: wind and very heavy surf is coming over the reef and causing a lot of turbulence in the little bay. We decided yesterday to head north, so had wanted to have a final meal at Chez Tara, a local restaurant a few houses down from Mahana. Unfortunately, we were told that the restaurant would be closed tonight: the vagaries of local, I guess.
On 11 August, we took a many-hour dinghy trip along the shore. The near-shore water here is littered with coral heads and rocks, so our trip was very stressful for me at the outboard. We have a "travel box" that we take with us on trips like that and it's got a spare prop, spark plug, extra pull cord, and tools and such, so we could replace the prop if it got damaged on coral, but I was more concerned about breaking a prop shaft: we'd lose our mobility. Conni did her usual great job of route finding, so we stayed safe, but it was touch and go for several hours. Route finding through coral is an art that I have not mastered. I have trouble gauging water depth since it's so clear, and I tend to go too slowly, but at least it keeps us from hitting things too hard. The locals, no doubt, jet through without a care.
After a few hours, we actually reached the marae, or ceremonial center, to which have we walked or biked on several occasions, and then turned around, so the trip was the water version of three miles. This marae is probably 400 years old and was used as a traditional ceremonial center for that part of the island. We have photos of it from several other trips here. It took us another few hours to make our way back, but by then we had some clue on how to negotiate the shallows and an overall route strategy. Nevertheless, it was an exciting break from our routine.
We've taken several walks along the belt road, photos from which I hope to post today, but the internet connection is glacial.
We've had a great time in Avea, enjoying easy access to shore. Yesterday, after our abortive attempt at a dinner reservation, we decided to have a bit of R&R at the Mahana, so we sauntered in and ordered refreshments: I had a 50cl draft Hinano, and Conni a Ricard on ice. Both hit their respective spots. Afterward, we came ashore again with our 5-gallon water jug to take on some drinking water. We've had difficulty with our desalinator, so have bought water when we needed it, although we carry 140 gallons of fresh water in our two tanks and don't need it, I imagine. We bought 10 gallons for US$15: water ain't cheap, here. I jetted back to the boat in the dinghy, drained the jug into our starboard tank, then jetted back to fetch Conni and the second refill. The starboard tank was so full that we needed no more and we stored the extra 5 gallons.
We had our usual nice morning this morning then made ready to leave Avea. I performed my usual engine and transmission check. Conni fired up the electronics. Lines to the mooring had to be released carefully from the dinghy, then the dinghy tied to the stern. Since we were staying inside the lagoon, we could leave the dinghy in the water. Outside the lagoon, the outboard is lifted to the rail mount and the dinghy hoisted aboard and lashed down.
There is so much water pouring over the reef that the lagoon was seething with cross currents and looked like it was boiling in some places. It's only a bit over an hour to make the transit from Avea to Fare, but we were riding the flowing water so were making 5 knots over ground with the engine idling! We've been coming to Huahine for many years and never seen such conditions. Even had we decided on a round-island tour, the weather and sea conditions would have dissuaded us.
On reaching Fare, we tucked as close as we could to the land to avoid the strong winds and found a great stretch of clear water for dropping the hook and a lot of chain, so we're set for the night. Conni says that we have a burger at the Huahine Yacht Club in our future! We still plan to sail to Taha'a tomorrow, but it's weather dependent, as always.
Saturday 14 August 2021
We did get our burgers! We also enjoyed two MaiTais each at Happy Hour prices, so it was a very inexpensive meal at the Huahine Yacht Club. It was packed, being Friday night.
The night aboard was not simple since the boat was rolling so much. There were sloshing sounds as the water in our two tanks moved, little things tapping that we never hear. Above my head, the glass plate on a wall-mounted instrument moved ever so slightly and tapped softly. Crazy!
We were up fairly early for us, grabbed some coffee, and headed to town, hoping for a baguette. Nope. The
baguette rack was empty. When I asked about "plus de baguette", the store lady told me that they'd been out for 2 weeks!
Back to the boat for breakfast, then the process for leaving for a short crossing started. The dinghy motor must be lifted from the dinghy's transom, by hand, and lifted to an awaiting Conni, who guides it to the motor mount on our side rail. I've never understood how she manages, but she does. I guide the motorless dinghy forward where we wrap two lines around her, bow and stern, attach a halyard to the two lines and lift her from the water and to the deck. We've perfected the system through the years and it works well for us, but it's not quick. Once on deck, we lift and rotate it bottom up for transport, and I lash her to the foredeck. Another engine/transmission check, instrument check, and Conni strolls up to control the windlass that lifts the anchor. It was so deeply buried that I had to motor the bow past the anchor to lever it out of the hard sand! It was a bit of a hassle, but provides enormous confidence in the hook.
We motored to the center of the channel and raised the main, mostly for stability since it's size keeps us from rolling too much.
In a few hours, we had motor-sailed back to Raiatea, and into Faaroa Bay, a bay that almost cuts the island in half. We found a good location at the bay's head and dropped the hook, although it took two tries. Tomorrow, we'll splash the dinghy and head up a nearby river and try to locate the wonderful botanical garden that we visited last year.
Again, I have NO idea if this will get posted before we return to the bungalow, but we'll keep trying. I'm sorry that we're not more communicative, but it's not our doings. I haven't even responded to all the good wishes!