Huahine – July 22 – 23
We left Moorea on Sunday the 22nd to sail to Huahine. We left Moorea at
4:45 p.m., less than an hour before sunset. It is about an 85 nm sail
from Moorea to Huahine, just a bit too far to sail within the 11.5 hours
of daylight that we get here, so it is best to do this length of sail at
night. That way, assuming that you sail somewhere around 7 nm per hour,
you can reach your destination in the morning – with the sun high
overhead – and with lots of extra daylight hours available to you in
case of a slow passage.
We left beautiful Moorea at the same time as “Priscilla”, another
American boat in the anchorage. We had met Priscilla at the Shelter Bay
Marina in Panama last March just before our transit of the canal. The
people onboard, Tom and Suzie, are a very nice couple – about our age –
from Marion, Mass. We were glad to have someone to buddy sail with, even
though we were at least 10 nm apart the whole way.
Our sail was uncomfortable for the first few hours with no wind, and
lots of swell. By about 8:00 p.m., however, the wind came up, and with
our jib sail poled out in preparation for a downwind sail, things
improved. We checked in with Priscilla a few times on the VHF radio,
and found that having picked a slightly more southerly course than us,
they were having a terrible time. They just couldn’t get a good angle
to sail, and had to motor, with lots of uncomfortable sideways swells.
Mark took the first night shift and I went below for several hours of
sleep – until nearly 1:00 a.m. – when we had a check-in call with
Priscilla scheduled. They were still having a bad time, but we were
just cruising along comfortably. Mark went down to sleep after 1:00
a.m. and by the time I woke him at 6:00 we were just around the corner
from the anchorage in Huahine. We pulled in to the anchorage near the
town of Fare by 7:30 a.m. and were soon down below fast asleep. When we
finally dragged ourselves out of bed it was already early afternoon. It
took another hour or so to get the dinghy and engine set up, and we were
ready to go check out the town.
Fare is probably the cutest town we have seen in the South Pacific.
Very small, but with all the good stuff that we look for: a couple of
restaurants, a great grocery store, a public bathroom, lots of trash
cans, and an easy dinghy dock. We ran into a couple of people we know at
the grocery store, and oohed and aahed over the great selection of
vegetables they had there. We even found a new Melita coffee pot,
something we have been looking for in every store in the South Pacific.
We walked over to the gendarmerie to do our island check-in. You are
supposed to check in at each island, but we normally don’t, as we have
heard that it really only matters that you do an official check-in in
Tahiti, and an official check-out from your last port of call – which
will be Bora-Bora. Some people are very diligent about checking in,
most people don’t do it unless absolutely necessary. We are somewhere
in-between. In this case the gendarmerie was close by and it was very
easy to do, so we did it.
We decided to have dinner at one of the little trucks that parks by the
dock. It turned out to be excellent and very good value. They gave us
so much food that we ended up taking a lot home for lunch the next day.
It is kind of a funny system. You can order chicken, beef, or fish –
which they grill for you on the spot – and one or all of the available
accompaniments. The price doesn’t vary whether you order one or all of
the accompaniments, so we asked for all ( of course). They filled up a
plate with rice, french fries, bread and poisson cru, and then topped it
off with two huge pieces of meat. It was kind of ridiculous, but fun.
Nothing beats truck food. Back to the boat just at sunset, and then an
P.S. Did I mention that it is pretty here?