Thursday, June 30, 2016

Arrived Rurutu

After an overnight run from Tubuai, Pau Hana ia tied to the wharf at Rurutu.
We'll stay here through the 6th at the most. Staying in this little basin is dependent on calm weather.
S 22*27'
W 151*20.4'

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Bye bye Tubuai

We've had a fun couple weeks on Tubuai. The only other boat here happens to be some friends of ours, Matt & Kate from S/V Tamata. We've had a great time hanging out with them. Kate is a fantastic photographer and getting some work published in the likes of Cruising World. The cover shot on the blog right now is credited to her. We're both leaving today. Tamata's headed to Tahiti while we're off to Rurutu, the final island in our Austral Islands tour. It's about 115 nm and will be a quick overnight sail. We'll arrive tomorrow morning.
Matt and Kate from S/V Tamata on a day trip out to dive and look for whales. None seen. Coral pretty wrecked from a cyclone in 2010.

The interesting thing about this photo isn't the bad vis or the dead coral but Kate, freediving at 40', keeping it cool.

Small motu on the fringing reef.

Last evening in Raivavae before the passage to Tubuai.

There are many handmade va'a here (outrigger canoes). Some are wood, some fiberglass, some carbon. Paddling seems to be the most popular French Polynesian sport.

We had a surprise squall one night that knocked out a channel marker. Luckily, after a short anchor drag, we hooked up again and had no other trouble. This is the tug retrieving it the next day.

View over the island and reef.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

overnight passage to Tubuai

After three weeks at Raivavae, Lexi and I set sail yesterday for a 130nm downwind run to Tubuai.
We arrived at around noon and anchored in 20' in the lee of the wharf.
Matt and Kate of Tamata made the passage as well, although their passage included a 50 lb. Wahoo.
Good times.
S 23*20.5'
W 149*28.7'

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ichiban John

We've had a great couple of weeks on Raivavae. However, as I write, we're anchored off the island and have just weathered a storm that's lasted 48 hours. In New Zealand recently, we met a single hander named Ichiban John as he was handpainting the name of his 33' Yamaha, Ichiban, on the stern of his boat. He admired Pau Hana and came aboard for a drink one evening, he likes Pretoriens. He's had a life on the ocean- growing up in Hawaii sailing single handed between islands in his early teens and then a career as a tugboat captain. Now he sails around giving sage advice to newbies, “This is such a great boat, really all you guys have to do is keep 'er off the bricks, and she'll take care of you for the rest.” Feeling lucky to have met this guy, I parted ways thinking yeah no problem just keep 'er off the bricks- I can do that.

To make a long story short, we came perilously close to the bricks with this recent storm. We'd tied to the concrete wharf in the harbor to weather an impending storm. The predicted winds looked to clock from NE to west, sheltering the boat and blowing Pau Hana away from the concrete wharf. Unfortunately, the wind didn't clock to the west. It just kept blowing PH hard on the dock, and increasing. For awhile we hoped that the wind would shift as predicted, despite the increasing waves, wind and impressive force pushing us toward the prophetic bricks. Ichiban John's words were prominent in my mind. Finally, with the wind not relenting, and some help from our friends on the other 2 boats here (both safely anchored out in the harbor) we drove off the dock, coming frightfully close to the dreaded bricks that would have caused untold damage to the boat. Last night, safe at anchor, we had lightning, rain, wind gusting to 38 knots and not much in the way of sleep. Today, things are easing, and the sun is out- back to tropical paradise. I've added tying up to a concrete wharf with impending gale to the list of 'things I'll never do again' along with invite Jehovah's Witness inside. Should be good from here on out.

Back in the land of great bivalves

The anchorage at Raivavae

This is the last remaining tiki on Raivavae. They are at least 1000 years old. All the rest have been taken (without permission) by various white peoples of the world and are now in museums.

Tiki garden

The supply ship comes twice per month and the whole island comes to the wharf for supplies and socializing.

Gravity filling the propane tank. 

View from the approach to Mt. Hiro, the highpoint on Raivavae. Summit at 1500 ft.

You can see some of the fringing coral reef that surrounds the island.

Summit cutie

Hand pump gas station. Safety first.
More crap bikes but fun to peddle around.