Return to the Bungalow
09 September 2022 | Pension Tiare Nui
To provide some context to our travels, we were in Ha'amene from 31 Aug to 1 Sept, then moved, or tried to move, to Fa'aroa Bay on Raiatea. That was a bust and we spent that night across the Raiatea/Taha'a lagoon, back on Taha'a in Apu Bay for 2-3 Sept: Great moorings, pretty good protection from wind.
For 4-5 Sept, we moored at Apoiti Bay, the charter base for French Polynesia. There are a lot of boats moored there, of course, and since it wasn't a turn-over day, many moorings were empty. It was SO nice that we spent two nights! We motored to shore a few times to buy baguettes, but Magazin Julien, the local small convenience store, had no ice and we had no fridge, unfortunately.
We motor-sailed from Apoiti Bay to Tapuamu, back on Taha'a for 6-7 Sept. They DO have ice, and a store large enough to provide some groceries. With ice, we could stock some yoghurt, sandwich bread, and a few other delicacies not possible with no refrigeration. I am now convinced that refrigeration is an essential piece of equipment aboard a cruising boat. We did get some rhum at Pari Pari, too, and I'll post some photos of that trip. I've had the page for a few days but Internet is difficult to find.
On 8 Sept, we motored through some heavy winds and seas, across the lagoon from Tapuamu to Apoiti Bay on Raiatea, hanging on to a mooring just to wait for a 1600 hours arrangement to get into the Carenage slip. We did spend the night of 8 Sept in the slip at the Careange. We had arranged to have help for tying up when we made it into the slip, but I guess that they forgot. I was at the helm and Conni was on the bow, watching my alignment with the slip: hair-raising! 15-18 knots of wind broad on the beam and shallows over coral providing only a few feet below the keel. Yikes! Nevertheless, we made it in and got the boat tied up: a first for us. The winds continued all night with lots of wave action making into the slip. We've NEVER had such a night in any slip, with the boat rocking and rolling continuously. Even in the slip, the boat surged side to side and fore and aft, tugging at the four lines that we had used to keep her in place. The four lines that kept the boat from crashing into the sides of the slip creaked and groaned continually all night, so neither of us had a restful night. Crazy!
That said, we did have a standup shower. albeit a cold one, and there was more shower water than we normally have. We got used to wiping down/sponge bath every night and taking showers ever third night, but it was astoundingly nice to take a long shower and not worry about water use. I hope that no one is offended.
This morning, Dominique's crew at the Careange lifted Wings from the water and placed her in a cradle in the newly-cemented section of the yard: the first boat to use that facility! As corny as it sounds, we know that Dominique meant it as an honor and we certainly took it that way. Dominique, thank you.
As a point of interest, the wrecked boat that we saw on Taha'a this season, the one outside Heuripiti Pass, was in the Careange yard when we arrived. As I had mentioned in the 9 Aug blog, it appeared that the sloop had turned into the pass too soon and waves had simply picked her up and slammed her on the reef. Dominique confirmed our guess. Surprisingly, the boat was a Sunsail charter boat. Sunsail, one of the largest charter fleets in the world, had contacted Dominique since they could not leave the boat on the reef.
Dominique had taken his tug over to Taha'a and, after jacking up the boat, placed an aluminum plate under the boat as she lay on the reef. With that, they dragged her to the inside of the reef where they made temporary repairs on the hull holes, re-floated her, and dragged her to the Careange behind the tug. Dominique's crew has been working for 2 weeks and he says that she'll be ready to launch next week! It surprised both Conni and me, but he said that she had damage that was easily repaired, although they had to remove the galley to repair some of the hull damage. Still, the boat survived and luckily for Sunsail, Dominique was nearby. No one was hurt, and the boat's repaired: a great outcome for a potentially lethal mistake.
We're here in Pension Tiare Nui again. We're in the cool, we're clean after stand-up, hot water showers, and sated on a fine meal and cocktails with ice. I suppose cruising does lower the bar on what we need for comfort.