Huahine

We left Moorea at 1700hrs so we could approach Huahine in daylight. It is only about 80miles between the two islands and we had hoped to have 10-12kts just aft of the beam as we headed NW. Yet again, the forecast let us down. We started with little wind, motored for half an hour, then got just enough wind for the parasail, and then didn’t and eventually got 6-8kts on the beam. It was a bit tedious. However, we played with the sails throughout the night and by first light had sight of Huahine. We ended up running up the W coast just so we could force an extra 20 degrees of apparent. We entered the reef at Pass Avamoa on the NW corner of the island. This is an easy pass, big and wide, but you need to make sure you don’t turn in too early as the only channel markers are well within the reef.We initially anchored in 10’ of water, just to the inside of Phylis who had also travelled up the night before. However, one of the big charter boats pushed off and we picked up one of the free moorings he left of the Fare Yacht Club. They are fixed with a big screw, chain and then hawser and are in good condition.

We spent but three days here. Lou and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary and the girls baked a surprise cake which we shared with Emma Louise. It was lovely. Lou and I got dressed up and had a lovely dinner in one of the posh boutique hotels on the beach. We headed into town for a drink afterwards to find everything closed at 2030hrs. We had forgotten it was Sunday! Our grateful thanks go to Sheryl and Steve on Emma Louise for having the girls for the night. Peace!

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It was great to see some locals come in on a adapted outrigger, this one a trimaran. I was baffled at quickly they were going in the almost still air until I realised that they were paddling her back into the bay. I’d love to see how quick she was with wind.

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To be honest, we haven’t done a great deal here and certainly haven’t done the island justice. We watched the villagers have a day of races, the boat house being close by us. It was less expert than we have used to and there were a good number of capsizes accompanied with hoots of good natured laughter from the crowd.

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With little wind, Saturday was gloriously clear and we could see Raiatea, Tahaa and in the distance, the peak of Bora Bora which will be our final island to visit within French Polynesia. Seeing it was a reminder of how little sailing we have to do to get there. A whole 40 miles with three weeks to do it!

We have done a little socialising with Emma Louise and discussed routes through the Cooks with Phylis. We went snorkelling through Pass Avepehi but it was overcast, we got a glimpse of one big Eagle Ray and saw a lot of dead coral. The bay in front of the village of FARE is lovely and the village itself is small but well provisioned. The Super U is very good for most things other than vegetables. The misnamed Fare Yacht Club, the bar and restaurant by the dinghy dock has an excellent happy hour and provides spectacular views W at sunset.

Eleanor loved the effect of the sun on the water reflecting on to Skylarks hull.

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Two memorable events here. Mick and Kym went out for the day renting a car to go round the island and passed a gaggle of cyclists in the midst of which was none other than President Obama. We had seen an enormous super yacht (130m+ – yes, metres) come in via Pass Avepehi the night before and suspected it was the same one that Aron had seen at Moorea a couple of days ago. The President is using it to tour the Socieities. He was, says Kym, looking cool and relaxed, a lot more so than the fat hangers on and the entourage were!

The other is slightly more mundane. I had failed every morning in getting bread and for our last morning was determined to be at the supermarket early enough. I arrived just after 0600hrs, before the bread arrived and had to wait 20mins before it was put out. They obviously don’t get enough as it was all gone within minutes of being put out. I left the supermarket just as a squall and some rain came through. Throwing the bread into the fore locker, I headed back to Skylark to be astounded by the site of her  (and just her) illuminated by an extraordinarily bright vertical strip of rainbow from the water to perhaps double her mast height.The effect lasted for a minute or so and was gone by the time I was half way back to the boat. I didn’t have a camera with me but I’ll long remember the image.

The pull to move on has been intense as Be and Be and Sangvind, both kid boats we met in Tahiti, reported being in Raiatea, just 20miles to the W. Time to move

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