Wowza! We had truly one of the best trips under sail! We left Opunohu Bay, Mo’orea at 0500 for the 175nm journey to Tikehau. This trip takes us from the Society Archipelago to the Tuamotus Archipelago over the course of 26 hours. We had been waiting for a good weather window for 10-12 days and seized this one. We needed either northerly or southerly winds to take us east, preferred no rain, no thunder or lightening, and low swell. Not much to ask for considering the prevailing winds come from the NE :).
Matt and I are up before dawn to ready the boat for the sail. We lift the anchor and are underway by 0500 and the sails are out by 0530 as we exit the Opunohu Bay pass. We have a gorgeous sunrise send off including a sneak peak at Adromeda Motor Yacht. Adromeda is a107 meter expedition that was built in 2016 and has a crew of 43 people! Check out her tender which is larger than Sugar Shack!
Teti’aroa in Passing
Our direct route has us crossing over and through Teti’aroa (aka Marlon Brando’s Island). Clearly we can’t do that so we have to divert off course to go around this pretty picturesque island. Just a few weeks before we pass this small atoll, Kim Kardashian celebrated her 40th birthday to the disgust of many of her fans (being that we are in the middle of a pandemic and they didn’t follow any protocols). We didn’t stop here this time past the island.
As we are leaving the lee of Teti’aroa we came across a rather smelly fishing vessel. Love how the birds feast on the left overs.
We had a perfect sail with winds coming out of the ENE at 10-14kts, less than a .05-meter swell, no rain, no squalls, and an average boat speed of 7kts. Pretty good for us! The sunset was amazing all is well as we enter the evening portion of the passage.
A Sail at Night
Navigation is imperative on all passages. However, you tend to rely on it more at night when you lose sight from the dark. We utilize a lot of instruments to keep us on track.
Our Raymarine keeps track of our True Wind Speed (TWS) 10.8, depth (showing at zero as its too deep in the middle of the ocean), Speed over Ground (SOG) 6.7, Distance to Waypoint (DTW) 45.95, Cross Track (XTE) -5.84 (shows we are off course which occurred during a small squall), and Heading 046T. This is where we control our autopilot.
The B&G chart has a wealth of information. This and the radar screens are what I use most. This particular screen has (down left side): Boat Speed, TWA: True Wind Angle, AWA: Apparent Wind Angle,, TWS: True Wind Speed, and TWD: True Wind direction. The center column is our directional map. The far right has SOG: Speed over Ground, COG: Course over Ground, POS: position, Depth, Steer, and WPT: Waypoint. The large circular diagram in the middle shows you the boat, the apparent wind (large triangle upper right), true wind (smaller triangle upper right), swell/current (center of boat arrow 1.3) and steerage (red hour glass in red area).
Then of course we have our mapping charts. We use three different charting systems. The handheld Garmen GPS has one chart, the iPad has Navionics, and the computer has Open CPN. All tracking us and telling us where to go.
We had three lines in the water and one teaser. We were so hopeful to catch something as we had not been able to fish for awhile. A large silver fish bit the hook and went running in the opposite direction of the boat. We were under full sail and couldn’t slow the boat down fast enough. We headed into the wind and started bringing in the other 3 lines but by the time Matt got back to the fish he had either wiggled off the hook or the hook ripped out of his mouth due to our boat speed. So sad!
Birds are always circling our lures. Poor silly creatures think they are edible and always try to catch them. One unlucky bird dove down to grab the lure and got caught up in our line. Poor thing was dragged behind the boat for a few minutes before we realized what was going on. It squawked at us. Matt tried to pull it in but she got off before getting too close to the boat. Top photo has the bird and the line comes in from the left side of the photo. Bottom photo has arrows to show you the bird and line/lure.
So, that is 1-caught and lost, 1-caught and released and 0-onboard.
About 12nm from Tikehau, the winds divert our sail. We get pushed off track and end up having to motor sail the last 4/5nm to the pass. Not terrible considering we have sailed the other 170+nm. We carefully navigate the pass as we have missed the optimal slack tide. However, we did not have any issues coming in .
The pass was relatively calm and super pretty!
We have several friends who are anchored near the Pearl Beach Resort Tikehau so we head to the south side of the atoll. It is about 1.5 hours across the lagoon to the anchorage spot. Super purdy! We drop the hook a short distance from the resort.
- Mo’orea to Tikehau
- Miles to Dest. 175nm
- Actual Miles Sailed: 188nm
- Average Speed: 7.0
- Max Speed: 11.1
- Total Moving Time to Pass: 26 hours
- Total Moving Time to Anchorage: 27:46
Events from this blog post occurred on 17/18 November 2020. Our blog posts run 8 weeks behind our adventures.