Monday, June 25, 2007

Tahiti Arrival

We made it into the main port of Papeete about 2:00AM. We were tired, so we anchored just inside the port and slept till 8 this morning.
We then moved around to the west side of the island, near a marina and all the other boats. Too many to count. Several acquaintances here. It will be fun to visit.
We rested and watched a movie. Then tried to get our WiFi account moved from Nuka Hiva to here. Soon I will have access again for a few days.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Rangiroa to Tahiti Day 2

All's well. We had lots of wind and bigish seas on the side. The wind has died down some in the last hour, but there are lots of rain squalls around, so it will probably come back. Tahiti is still 9 hours away, so we'll arrive in the dark. I haven't decided if we'll try yo anchor in the dark or wail outside till it is light. We can get in the lee of the island so there won't be big waves to wait in anyway.

No fish.
We are tired, not used to the effort of staying up all night in just a 2 day trip.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Raniroa to Tahiti - Day 1

This time we really left. The wind is still blowing, but it is ok so far. Maybe 20 knots on the beam (side). We only have the big jib up front up and are still doing 5.5 knots. It says we will arrive at midnight (50 hours), but things will surely change before then. HA!

Three of us left at the same time. Bold Spirit and Erinmoor. We are in front as we were the bravest to go through the pass first.

Trinda had a strike on her fishing pole right away, but it got off. I made her a new hook so the next one won't get off,it says here in fine print.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rangiroa still

We looked at the weather some more and decided to stay in paradise a few days more. The wind is still up.

I checked with the Gendarme again, no one has turned anything in still. Maybe we'll do some more snorkeling.

Rangiroa - Last day

We motor sailed back to the main anchorage in the northeast part of Rangiroa. It was a nice round trip. The wind has filled back in. It has blown 15 to 20 constantly for the last 4 or 5 days. Still no word from the Gendarme about anyone turning in my credit cards or ID.

Looks like it is time to go to Tahiti.

We have enjoyed Rangiroa, playing the social butterfly the last few days. We had cocktails back an forth with two boats, Erinmore and Amazing Grace, and exchanged suppers with another, Bold Spirit. They made spaghetti and I made Yakasoba noodles. We also had toasted coconut. A very nice change of flavor.

It should be a 2 day run to Tahiti as it is about 200 miles. The pass entrance has everyone concerned. The high and low tide cause a significant current to flow in and out each time it changes, but it doesn't match the tide very well. The current is off by several hours from the tide.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Rangiroa - Coconut Crabs

Wrong! This sand crab is not a coconut crab! When we got to Penrhyn we had a real one!
You guessed it! We found 3 coconut crabs walking along the beach that insisted on jumping into a bag. Trinda really wished she had the camera as the first one needed a little help into the bag. His claws and pincers kept getting in his way. We were walking along the beach and noticed all the big holes, maybe 6 to 8 inches across. The first guy was away from his hole. I happened to have the fishing net and slipped it right over him. The second guy was a little faster, he was in the edge of his hole,
so I stuck the crowbar, that I just happened to have in my pocket, ;), in the ground through his hole just ahead of him. It took a few minutes of coaxing, but he also came right out and jumped into the mesh dive bag with his buddy. The third guy really wanted to do something else, but he finally changed his mind. He did refuse the trip in the bag, so I let him ride in the fishing net by himself.

Later, all three were boiling mad as they some how believed that I tricked them. We boiled them whole with a little sea salt to make them feel at home. The coconut butter did NOT float to the top as the water boiled. Maybe these guys had been on a diet. They were very tasty, but not fat-legged as the Dungeness crabs of Seattle are.

Today we motored into the wind, east, toward th opposite end of Rangiroa. There was a church and the ruins of a village abandoned around the turn of the last century. We walked around, took some pictures and Trinda collected more shells. We came across two whole "pencil sea urchins" that had given their all for a drying afternoon. All completely clean and dry, but all the pieces were there. Trinda drilled holes in the spines thinking she may make something of them, a wind chime or something else.

The village area was not a good place to anchor, so we continued on east. about 3:00 we made it to a small island near the end of the atoll. I thought that like the book said, we could anchor in the lee of the island. As we approached, it got shallower and shallower with big patches of coral blooming up. Trinda began reading off the depth as I was readying the anchor. She was quiet for a few minutes the began louder and louder a 13, 10 , 9, 8, 7! 7! 7 I SAID! I was so stunned by the big bumps of
coral almost sticking out of the water I couldn't hardly say what to do. Finally I yelled for full reverse, then very slowly we got out of there. A big circle around and we tried again, a little cooler and a little deeper. We are safely anchored in 35 feet that looks like not much coral.

We plan to snorkel around there tomorrow morning. It should be fun seeing what we came so close to hitting. We were going so slowly that there would not have been anything damaged besides out tempers and pride.

We thought we were alone at this end of the atoll, but two more boats showed up. Each anchored about 3 miles away in opposite directions though.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rangiroa - Motu Faama

We moved to the south side of Rangiroa to an island on the edge called Faama. It was a 2 hour trip.
Just as we arrived and anchored, a rain squall came up. It had about 30 knot winds and created 3 foot waves. It seems over now, but we didn't get a chance to explore any today. There's always tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Things are better each day. The arm and leg are doing much better, although still a little tender. We are thinking of going to the other side of this atoll tomorrow, if the weather cooperates.

We had a boat over for beer night before last, Erinmore. Then we went over to Amazing Grace for cocktails last night and off to Erinmore this afternoon for "Poisson cru de coco" ovr d'erves. It is a local speciality. It is raw fish with lime, coconut cream carrots and tomatoes. Trinda even likes it!

We took a tour of the pearl farm here this morning. It should be called the express peral shopping guide, as it ended in the pearl store, of course. Trinda couldn't resist a beautiful necklace. It is a black string with two green pearls and a silver clasp. It is "casual" and actually really nice.

I caught a fish off the side of the boat and was not sure it was eatable, but there was a local in a small boat close, so I too it over and showed it to him. He said it was good as Possion cru or even on the barbee. I got back to the boat and cleaned it. Then immediately dropped the fish net over the side. Good thing we are still only in 35 feet of water! I put on the snorkel and fins and retrieved it the second try. While I was down there, a largish shark swam by, I think he had just cleaned up
the mess from me cleaning the fish, as there was no evidence of it anywhere. I got out as quickly as I could.

The wind has quit. The trade winds blow almost constantly from the east about 15 miles/hr. but the last 2 days it has been absolutely calm most of the time. It is warm, but the water is clear and blue.

After the pearl farm, we stopped by the fanciest hotel here (right on the beach next to us) and had a "pina collada". $15 US, but had fresh coconut graded on top. It was really nice.

No word from the Gendarme about the wallet. I'm loosing hope.

We thought we had the car in San Carlos taken care of... Seems the guy that promised to take it to Tucson for us, failed to get it started and a mechanic told him it needed a starter. He left it! And went on home to San Diego. Now the storage yard wants me to come by in June and move it! Any body want to go to San Carlos and retrieve a car?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Rangiroa - healing

The arm and leg seem much better today. I guess it is not broken.

Just sitting around charging the batteries and making water while I recuperate mostly. We still need to go to the bank again and report the lost ID to the local gendarme, just in case.

Trinda had her first long dinghy "drive" yesterday. This dinghy is a little tricky to steer when it gets going fast on a plane. But she did fine.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Rangiroa still

We took Donnie to the airport yesterday, by dinghy about 3 miles. There is a landing just in front of it. Afterward, we took the dinghy on the rest of the way to the northwest pass. The airport is in the middle of the 6 mile long motu. On the way back in the dinghy my wallet fell out of my pocket. Yes, AGAIN! Today I decided to walk the beach and look for it. After a couple of miles, I was walking a seawall and slipped. I don't think I broke my arm, but it sure hurts as does an ankle and thigh. I
could not finish looking for the wallet (just a baggie with my ID, credit cards and too much money again, as we had just been to the bank).

It may be a couple of days yet before I can hoist the sail. So we are here some time longer.

The water is really clear, Donnie and I played with the dive board quite a bit. The dive board is just like snorkeling the pass, except there is not much current. I dropped my glasses off the boat, so we went diving twice, just around the boat. Trinda too. It was fun. We are anchored in 40 feet of water and there are some 15 foot coral heads all around behind us, so there was lots to look at right here.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Rangiroa - day something

We have been enjoying this place. Today we went diving twice, all three of us under the boat for a while then Donnie and I again.

We bought some vegetables, a small box for $70! But they look good and the grapes are really special. We got a few persimmons. It seems to cut like an apple, a little crisp but sweet.

There are several boats here that we have anchored with before, Miss Jody, Amazing Grace, Oasis and Cyan.

Yesterday we re-sewed the protective cover on the roller-furling sail. It had snagged on the spreader bars and ripped some. It took all day to take it down and sew it. We finished putting it back early this morning before the wind got up much.

.The day before yesterday we snorkeled around the entrance pass.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Rangiroa - Day 1

A long over-night up here from Fakarava, but nothing broke. HA!

We arrived at the first pass about 8:30. It was NOT slack water... waves between 15 and 20 feet high were running up the pass. we called on the radio for tide and current info from anyone inside. Someone told us that about 11:30 should be ok. It took til a little after 10 to moor up to the other pass, and sure enough there were only 3 or 4 foot waves bu then. It did still have a3 knot out flow current, but we made it in ok.

The water here is very clear in most places. We can't quite see the anchor in 35 feet here in the anchorage though. But we could see the bottom all the way in through the pass and most of the way back to just inside the first pass where we wanted to anchor.

The BBC is doing a documentary on the sharks in the pass. A popular sport/activity is to wait for an incoming current and get a ride outside the pass and snorkel or dive float into the lagoon through the pass letting the current carry you along. There are lots of fish, coral and sharks to watch as you leisurely float by. The sharks are mostly Black Tip Sharks and are considered harmless.

We played with the dive board some more in Fakarava. It is much like the pass snorkeling I think. The visibility was lousy in the anchorage at the north end where we were. At the south end the visibility was reported to be 150 feet and as many as 400 sharks to see in the pass there. Peter and Ginger were really impressed with it. They had done the pass snorkel in the southern end of Fakarava.

We were too tired to do much exploring today. We barely got the dinghy reassembled and a quick foray to shore to see if there was a bank machine and grocery store. The books were wrong, the bank, Gendarme and municipal offices are back by the northern pass where we can in. Maybe we'll take a water taxi in to explore tomorrow.

No fish on the way, however yesterday, a friend caught a large Wahoo and shared it with everyone in the anchorage. We got 4 large steaks for it. It is maybe even better than Mahi Mahi, or Dorado as Mexico calls it.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Fakarava to Rangiroa

We left about8:30 am for Rangiroa. It should be about 24 hours. The wind and sea are not cooperating very well. It is not starting to be a very comfortable ride. Lots of banging back and forth.

We had a nice visit with Peter and Ginger of Marcy and Ron and Joan of Miss Jody.

Eating pizza on the beach in Fakarava. Larry and Trinda, Ginger and Peter of Marcy, and Don of Sandollar.