21 August 2021 | Bora Bora
William Ennis | Very windy and rainy
We're sitting at a mooring in front of the Bora Bora Yacht Club. It was a rough trip from Taha'a but uneventful, thankfully.
We've been studying the weather constantly and saw that we had no Small Craft Advisory or Hazardous Seas warnings on Friday morning and the next such opportunity was not until Monday. Friday morning it was.
Thursday night I completed my engine check and was up at 0600 on Friday morning. We had dropped the mooring and were leaving Tapuamu by 0800. We had hoisted our main to the second reef, not a handkerchief, but not a lot more. There were a few rain squalls but otherwise we were out of Hurepiti Pass by 0850 for an early start.
The seas had dropped significantly and we were going with both winds and seas, so the ride wasn't gentle but we've been in MUCH worse and were prepared for much worse. Every hatch was closed, everything that we didn't want on the floor was stowed, and we were both in wearing our life jackets.
Helm hog Conni had the wheel the entire time, but I know that she loves steering the boat. I enjoyed the scenery and read a Jack Reacher novel. By 1300 or so, we had entered the pass into Bora Bora's north side and found a mooring fairly close to the BBYC and were set for the next few days. Our guest for the season arrives this week on Bora Bora, so we needed to be here.
A couple in a dinghy putt-putted by and turned to visit us. They're Kiwis, Stefan and Leslie, and owned and operated a large motor yacht that had caught both Conni and me. It looked vaguely ex-military to me and downright ugly to Conni. As we learned, it is a Dashew 64, one of 18 ever built and a custom motor yacht built in NZ. Steven Dashew is an American who made a name for himself by designing and building enormous cruising sailboats that used complex systems to allow a couple to handle such an enormous boat: lots of hydraulics and electronics. At some point, he thought that he was too old for sailboats, and turned to motor boats and the Dashew FPB was born. FPB, says Stefan, stands for Fucking Power Boat.
She's a single-propeller boat with a completely round bottom so she draws only 3.5 feet of water. Normally, a round-bottomed boat would roll like a hog, but FPBs have computer-run wings on her hull that work to dampen her rolling and keep her on her feet at all times. Yeah, but if those fail? She'll go turtle in a heartbeat, I imagine. She's got enough fuel to carry her from NZ to California, we were told, tons of refrigeration space and freezer space, full-sized washer and dryer (particularly attractive to Conni), and a "spare engine" called a "wing engine" that can power the boat a bit if the main fails. I've never seen a "glass helm", as the main panel is called. There are no gauges at all, but all the data and then some is displayed in any way one wishes. Steering is fly-by-wire from a small lever on the main steering station. For FPBs, form is function, so emphasis is placed on function and not beauty.
Conni researched the boats and they're about 2.5 million US, so not inexpensive. Stefan and Leslie even hired the services of Steve (not Dashew, I asked) to teach him how to operate the boat, so Steve will be aboard for three years until Stefan can operate the many complex systems aboard. Of all the amazing features in the boat, her clean systems and astounding space were the most impressive. She's got a stand-up engine room with this huge John Deere engine and lots of gleaming stainless steel. The engine room decks are cleaner than most house floors. Stefan and Leslie were generous and gracious hosts and we enjoyed our time aboard.
Nice and fairly quiet evening and night for us. We had our cold showers at the BBYC and our hamburger/cocktail meal. Prices are very high there: $21 hamburgers, $16 cocktails, so two burgers and cocktails were $75. Yikes! Not many of those in our future!
It was VERY windy and we have little shelter from the wind but here in the lagoon, there are no seas to speak of.
We still don't have a working wind sensor, and I had been contemplating that perhaps the pairing had occurred but the system needed an actual data stream to display. It was a grasped straw, we both knew, but it was worth a try. Of course it didn't work. We've heard nothing from B&G support, and our first request was on 22 July. We give B&G support an F-. They've had 21 work days to respond.