31 August 2023 | Haamene Bay, Taha'a
William Ennis | Hot days, cool nights
Wednesday, we had the BEST day of sailing in a long time! Wonderful!
We departed Avea at 0830, and motored to the southernmost of the two western passes on Huahine: 1:45 is the fastest time ever, kind of neat. We got through the pass and exited the reef, then headed into the wind to hoist the main sail. Up it went! I go forward to pull on the halyard, and Conni stays at the helm and manages the winches. With the main up, she turned toward Taha'a and I came aft to the cockpit. We kept the main at the second reef, so a small, safe, manageable size, since there's no way to know what kinds of wind we'll find between Hauhine and Taha'a: it's the wild Pacific. We pulled out the jib to the second reef, too, and off we went.
It's been a while since Wings has shouldered her way through the seas like that. 13 tons of boat, pulled by our sails, can push through some seas. With a small main, she wasn't heeled over at all and the ride was very comfortable. The wind came and went, from 10-18 knots, but we didn't have to do much with the sails since they were well trimmed. With 18 knots of wind, we cut through the water at 6.5-7.2 knots! What fun! We were trimmed for a beam reach, but now and again we trimmed for a broad reach, with the apparent wind coming from just aft of the beam.
Finally, we reached the Passe Toahotu, one that we have exited a few times but never entered. Since our destination was Haamene Bay, Toahotu was a better match for us, since the pass is very close to the bay's opening. Small world, our German friends, Britta and Michael on Vera were also going to Haamene, taking their visiting friends.
The head of Haamene Bay is known for its poor holding ground, and so it proved for us. Conni, the Anchoring Queen, had to try 4 times for a good set. She made it, but it was trying for us. Vera, with our friends, was nearby.
When we first arrived in the anchorage area, a Dream Yacht Charter catamaran was anchored, too. We stayed well away, but nevertheless, after we had set our anchor, they pulled theirs, motored to the other side of the bay, and dropped their hook again. Odd, that.
Michael and Britta, along with their two, English-speaking German friends, dropped by before heading to shore for dinner. We recommended Taha'a Maitai and that's where they ate.
We enjoyed a fine evening aboard, with wine and hors de oeuvres to enjoy. As the sun set, though, the temperature dropped quickly, not something that usually happens here. Damn, we were cold! Throughout the night, we both had our sheets over us, something that we never do. In the morning, we both admitted to being cold and that we'd doubtless perish when we returned to Alaska! By the way, we've followed the weather in Anchorage, and it's been another wet summer: rain, flooding, and damage to homes. What a mess.
Last night was a "Blue Moon" and "Super Moon", and as it arose over the mouth of Haamene Bay, it was a sight to remember. The bay was a smooth as glass as far as we could see, so the trail of reflected light from the Moon was a trail of diamonds, surrounded by lacy palms . We finally lost Moon in some high clouds, but we watched, mesmerized, for most of the evening.
The bay has been as still as a pond. No wind, no waves, and the only boat motion when we moved aboard.
Our plan is to have dinner at the Taha'a Maitai tonight, ourselves. Weather is supposed to suck this weekend, rain and wind, so we need to hole up someplace on a good mooring.