May 30 – June 1, 2014
After a 19-day passage against the wind, one would think that a 3-day passage with a perfect wind on the beam would be a breeze. Where the boat was concerned, it was a perfect passage. As for Justine and I, we didn’t feel so great. And, in the fishing department, we had zero luck.
The beginning was slow to start with little to no wind, so we motor-sailed for the first part of a day. When we exited the reef pass early in the morning, we had hoped to catch fish along the reef, but the fish seemed to elude us. We fished for the entire 3 days and never caught a fish. That’s when we were reminded how, on our previous visit to French Polynesia, fishing had not been so grand in the waters near the Society Islands. After having experienced the Societies the previous year, it was easy to believe that this area has been over fished.
Once we found the wind, we had a beautiful 20 to 30 knot east wind with 2 to 3 meter waves. Both wind and waves were on the beam, and under reefed main and partial jib, the boat cruised easily in the 5 to 7 knot range. Best of all . . . there were no squalls.
With such perfect conditions, Justine and I were puzzled as to why we weren’t feeling so well. We couldn’t decide if we had a tummy bug or if we were seasick. We both had a nagging nausea that wouldn’t go away. Wil and Colin were fine, and Colin is usually the first to get seasick. The sickness lasted for the entire 3 days and until we dropped the hook. Very strange.
When we departed Tubuai, we thought we were destined for Tahiti. Our plan was to land on Tahiti Iti, and then work our way downwind toward Pape’ete. However, while underway from Tubuai, we re-established contact with our friends on s/v Liward. Steve and Lili had left Liward at Marina Taina for 6 months while they returned to the States to obtain a long stay visa for French Polynesia. They had recently returned to Liward and were headed for Moorea. After making plans to meet up with them, we altered course for Ha’apiti on the southwestern side of Moorea. We were looking forward to seeing them again, enjoying music jam sessions together, as well as some surf sessions, and catching up on the local scoop.
We had just barely gotten the anchor in the sand when we received a call over the VHF from a New Zealand boat in the anchorage, s/v Bandit. It didn’t take us long to figure out that we’d been on the same SSB net back on the Atlantic side, but we’d never met in person. Not more than a day later, I received an email from Andrew of s/v Eye Candy, organizer of the Magellan Net, saying that he’d heard news of a catamaran named Full Monty that had just returned to French Polynesia, and was this true?
Just how amazing is that?! It definitely doesn’t take long for word to spread on the whereabouts of a boat and her crew! One might think they are far away in some remote part of the world, but with the cruisers’ network, people are going to know where you are . . . something that can be a comfort when so far from home or help. For ourselves, after having said good-bye to our buddy boats of the past year, it was nice to know that we would be bumping into the next season of boats that were crossing the Pacific, many of whom we were either already familiar with or already knew.
For now, the anchor was down and we were ready for a good night’s sleep.