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.
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.