And the wait begins…We started formulating our plan after we dropped Donald off at the Raiatea airport. The problem is that our “plan” is contingent on weather. We need to start heading east but the problem is the prevailing winds come out of the east. So, what does that mean? It means we would be heading into the wind and into the seas. Which is not conducive to sailing – which means motoring. Motoring is no fun and uses up diesel unnecessarily…so we wait for a better weather window.
We left north Raiatea and headed to Ile Haio, south Raiatea. Of course, the 15nm to this baie is directly into the wind. We attempted to fly the jib a few times but it was mostly a motor. At least now we are in a really protected, beautiful baie that positions us for our departure to Huahine.
Exploring Ile Haio
While wait, we explore. This baie is gorgeous and super protected. The wind could be howling outside the lagoon and we would not know it except for the white caps. Every once in awhile we will get a rogue gust, but for the most part it is very pleasant.
Matt and I explored Ile Haio. We walked one side of the island last time. This time we walked around the entire island. It is not too far, 1.7 miles over sand, rocks, trees, and rivers.
We left Sweetie at the north end of the island near a copra farm. This is actually a nice farm with a sturdy copra drying center (the lower structure) and a small shack for the workers. I think there was a bigger structure or house at one point as there are cement pillars all around it. Behind the shack is a stone, retaining wall. Above and behind the wall are two graves. Most Polynesians bury their loved ones in their yards or on their property.
We found lots and lots of crab holes as we walked along the water’s edge. You have to be careful as your foot can cause a collapse of the hole dropping you into their home (top photo). We came across another shack more inland. This appeared to be more lived in as there was laundry on lines, chickens wondering around, and a few goats. It was rather pretty with patches of green grass surrounding their fenced in garden with papaya and banana trees, and some other weird fruit we could not identify (lower right).
I love seeing signs of nature’s success – against all odds. How does this tree flourish when its trunk is so badly damaged?
We finally made it back to the lagoon side and captured Sugar Shack sitting pretty.
The Plan: After “the wait”
At the first weather window, we will head to Huahine. Hopefully only staying for a week to 10 days before being able to move on again. At the next weather window, we will make our way to Tahiti or Mo’orea (depending on the wind direction). If we end up in Mo’orea we will meet up with some of our friends to procure boat parts that they brought back from the states for us. A short stay there before heading to Tahiti to provision for the season. After that we will continue heading east to the Tuamotus then south toward Gambier for season.
Exploring By Land
Matt and I took Sweetie exploring around Nao Nao. We wanted to go ashore, but it is a private island with signs forbidding entrance, so we stayed by the shoreline. The west side (closest to the channel) had a little dock and small beach. Both were adorned with beautiful, white beach furniture and umbrellas (top photo). We approached from the channel and slowly made our way around the tip of the island. As we came around the other side, we saw a small resort or a really nice private residence.
We continued on to the east side of the island, furthest away from the residence. There were no “prive” signs down here, so we decided a quick walk about was in order. I know, we are now bending the law. It was a rocky shoreline but still really pretty.
We did find this funny tree with a bunch of shells hanging from it – does that make it a shell tree?
Exploring by Sea
We found a wonderful snorkel spot right by the tip of Nao Nao. We were so surprised to find so many reef fish and at least 4 or 5 different species of puffer fish. Lots of nemos protecting their coral.
Lots of different species of puffer fish. I just love puffer fish!
Lots of pretty fish hanging out. Lower left corner was a group of small brilliant blue fish playing house inside a vacant clam shell.
Pretty coral heads all over
Matt then took us all the way to the reef. He had wo bob and weave around the coral heads, but we made it.
We wait for a week before we finally get a weather window to head to Huahine – we are off tomorrow.
Events from this blog occurred between October 6-10, 2020. Our blog posts run 6-8 weeks behind our adventures.