Tag Archives: passage

Blue Fin Tuna - 25-30lbs

Midnight Runner

After our all-day tour, we dropped off Yves and Martha back on Break Away and swung by a new boat that arrived earlier in the day.  They were on the center mooring which had a chafed line.  They wanted our mooring, but we could not tell how they wanted to get it while we were still on it (language barrier).  We planned on a midnight runner and agreed to call them on the radio when we left, but they never answered.

We had to time our arrival into Tikehau’s pass during slack tide which was at 0900.  With current sea conditions, the passage was estimated to be an 8-hour passage.   Matt hoisted the main and the jib and we were off at 6kts heading toward our destination.  I was not feeling well with my sprained ankle and bruised knee so I went back to bed once the sails were set.  Matt spent the night avoiding squalls and trying to hold course.  At one point he was 30 degrees off course but it kept the boat from banging against the waves.  Leaving at midnight would allow us to arrive around 0800 which was a little before the “slack tide.”  We had a full moon that lit our path and made it a beautiful midnight sail.

Blue Fin Tuna

After our midnight runner and about 45 minutes from the pass entrance, we spotted a lot of birds circling the waters.  We headed in that direction and ZING a line went spooling out!  We fell off course and brought in the jib to slow the boat down.  It took Matt awhile to bring this guy in, but he was worth it.

Blue Fin Tuna - 25-30lbs

Blue Fin Tuna – 25-30lbs

We arrived to the pass entrance at 0815 and it looked like the waves were pushing a strong current out.  We were already nose into the wind and with a strong current out it would make it challenging to enter.  So, we circled around for a half hour before putting the engines at 2000 RPM and heading in.  We made a whopping 3 kts entering the pass with the current and wind against us.  It took us an hour to get to the anchorage once we made it safely through the pass. 

Midnight Runner Passage Details:

Miles Traveled: 60.6 nm

Duration: 11 hrs (including waiting at pass & 1 hour across lagoon)

Avg. Speed:  6.1 kt

Max Speed:  10.7 kt

Wind Speed:  10-12 kt SE

Swell:  1-1.5 SE

We dropped the hook next to two other catamarans just off the long stretch of white, sandy beach.  Within 20 minutes, the 50’ Catana owners of “Oxygen” came over to say “hello.”  We invited Guy and Isobelle up to look around.  While they were still on the boat another dinghy came by from the catamaran closer to us.  It was a charter boat that had guests from Austin, TX!  Small freakin world.  A few hours later a small boat was entering the anchorage.  Matt was quirking his head and had a strange look on his face.  He grabbed the binoculars and shouted, “No way, that’s Alrisha!”  We met them in Panama and had seen them in passing in the Galapagos and Gambiers.

We invited Ferry and Bridgette (Alrisha) and our new friends Guy and Isobell on board for sundowners.  Our friends on “Alrisha” are German and “Oxygen” is French.  Somehow with our broken English we were able to tell great stories.  

Teti'aroa surge off the mooring

Sweet Sail Day: Tahiti to Teti’aroa

It was time to leave Tahiti, officially.  We left Tahiti “proper” or the main anchorage of Marina Taina a few days ago.  During that time, we were in the sweet anchorage of Point Venus which is still a big part of Tahiti.  We did a little more exploring and found a few large grocery stores, poste, pharmacy, fuel stations, and plumbing shop.  Who knew there would be supplies at the North point of Tahiti?

We met some great cruisers while anchored in Point Venus.  Odyle is a tall ship with a lovely family onboard: Abraham, Susan, Saoirse and Cian.  They’ve been at this anchorage for a few months repairing their engine, but all is good now.  We also met JollyDogs and Zeizo who are both American boats.  Great anchorage and good company.  Couldn’t resist inserting another cool shot of the famous lighthouse.

Point Venus Lighthouse

Point Venus Lighthouse

Sweet Sail

We raised the main sail, pulled up the hook and set out to a new island. We were both excited about visiting Teti’aroa as it is a small atoll with no access into the lagoon.  There are a few moorings just outside the reef that are available for charters and cruisers.  We were hoping to get lucky enough to snag one of the moorings.

Our sail over to Teti’aroa was amazing.   We shut the engines off just after leaving the reef. We had full sails, small swell, and wind on the beam.  It was a glorious day with blue skies, puffy clouds and calm seas.  Just another reminder why love sailing – picture perfect.

Passage Details:

Miles Traveled:  29.2nm

Duration:  4.5 hrs

Avg. Speed: 5.8

Max Speed: 9.4

Wind Speed: 10-12 kts

Swell:  .5 meters on the beam

About a few miles out from the atoll we could see 3 masts.  We were a bit crestfallen as we had heard there were only 3 moorings here.  However, we were determined to check it out up close.  It is pretty darn scary to see the reef breaking in front of and so close to the boats.

We entered the breakwater and motored around the three boats.  To our surprise we saw that there was a free mooring just behind them.  Sweet!  We tied up and enjoyed the show.  What show are you thinking?  One of the charter boat captains was bringing in his guests and had to navigate the reef and rather large waves.  It is an art to be able to get their dinghy through this dangerous area.  The surge is breaking less than 30 meters from the boat.  Hope this mooring holds our boat.

Teti'aroa surge off the mooring

Teti’aroa surge off the mooring

It is a breezy, but also rolly.  The surge is big, and the waves are loud.

Surge at Teti'aroa

Surge at Teti’aroa

Huahine - Fare Bay

Huahine Hide Out

We saw a weather window that would allow us to travel the short distance from Moorea to Huahine.  Unfortunately, it had to be a night sail so that we could ensure a daylight arrival to clear the pass.  There are a few well-protected bays on this island that will allow us to hide from the maramu (A “maramu” is strong southerly winds in the south Pacific that occur in the winter).

So, after our wonderful SafarI Mario tour, we prepared the boat for an overnight sail.  We had considered fueling up in Moorea, but the dock was small, the weather was not perfect, and frankly we didn’t “need” to fuel.  Skip that for now and wait until we get to Raitea.

It was not a particularly bad sail, but it was not a good one either.  We anticipated bad weather and high winds with the Maramu, but in actuality we saw on average low to moderate winds.  There was a period of 3-4 hours with high winds at 25 knots, but for the most part we saw 10-15 knots which kept our boat average down to 5.1 knots.

We had following seas which pushed us along but made for a weird rocking of the boat.  It was if Mother Nature was taunting “you can run, but you can’t hide.”  I was not feeling great and was happy to let Matt take the brunt of the shift.  We arrived with plenty of day light and with two boats on our tail.  Kata and Krabta followed us from Moorea but were about 4-5 miles behind us the entire time.

Passage Details

  • Departed Moorea to Huahine on Sunday 30 June at 1600
  • Arrived Huahine Monday, 1 July at 0930
  • Miles Traveled 85.3nm
  • Max speed 12.8kt
  • Average speed 5.1kt
  • Leaving in the lull of the maramu had us over prepared.  We only flew the jib and kept one engine on at idle.  At one point in the night we saw 25kts of wind and with the following seas it gave us a max speed at 12.8.

It was blowing stink as we pulled into one of the many passes.  Once inside, we had a choice of turning right and anchoring in a relatively empty bay with just a few other boats or anchoring in front of Fare, the main village.  We decided to anchor near the main village for a few days, then move to a quieter more remote location.

Once we were comfortable with our anchorage we went to shore to explore.   We were all surprised by how geared the island was toward tourists.  There were several areas outfitted with small vendor booths selling touristy items (shirts, shells, jams, pearls, etc…).  We decided to grab a bite to eat at the Huahine Yacht Club.  We didn’t linger as we wanted to return to the boat and hide from the storm.

Vendor area on Huahine

Vendor area on Huahine