After not moving much, we’ve been rattling thorough islands. Spurts, lulls, pausing, rushing. It’s how boat life works. I’ve now realised this after only a few years. I would appear I’m not a quick learner! Now that a big ocean passage to Fiji is on the horizon in a month or so, our pace has quickened.
An overnight sail took us from Makatea to Raiatea, bypassing Huahine. We originally planned to stop in Huahine but knew we had friends already in Raiatea so decided to that was a bigger draw. It was one of those sails where the final miles seems to take forever. We had about 25 miles to cover when we made the decision to keep sailing. The islands here are relatively high so we could see our destination but it didn’t seem to be getting any bigger, even though we were making progress towards it. (Refer to that classic scene in the brilliant TV show Father Ted, when Ted explains to Dougal about near and far).
As often happens, a squall announced itself as we approached the pass. Hey ho, but once inside the outer reef, things settled down and we motored the final 4 miles or so to the anchorage where our lovely friends on Sea Rose fed and watered us. Right decision to go and hook up with them!
We chose to spend a few days around different anchorages, out on the reef for a few days on the NE side then round to an area called The Coral Gardens on Tahaa. This was a fun place. A break in the outer reef brings a salty river between the motos into the lagoon. Not particularly deep, it’s a great snorkel as you get pushed along with the current. It’s one of the more touristy places we’ve been with more human traffic but the coral was in relatively good shape, quite a lot of small colourful fish and a monster six or seven foot moray eel who came out of his / her hole and frightened the bejesus out of me.
There were also sting rays and eagle rays. It was rewarding just being still holding onto a rock facing into the current as underwater creatures came by. I can see why it’s a popular spot.
And we squeezed in a walk up to three waterfalls. That’s a good use of a Sunday afternoon.