Open water sailing to Huahine
Trip Start Nov 27, 2010
15Trip End Dec 13, 2010
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We woke up before 6am and had a cuppa before dropping the mooring & departing around 6.30am. We were heading to Huahine today through Toahotu pass on the east side of Tahaa. We started out with about 6kn of breeze from the NE. Our main is set and we are ready to sail. The pass is well marked with port and starboard markers on either side of the islands but does not have leading marks, so it is recommended to use in calm weather as it can come to near breaking in strong easterlies. The GPS waypoint is centre of the pass S16°39'.038 W151° 25’.268. We motored for the first 1.5hrs and had enough breeze to maintain around 4.5knots.
I woke up feeling pretty seedy from the night before but as the day wore on I found it was a little more than seediness with chronic diarrohea which was to last the next few days - I know too much information for some..
Around 12.30pm we made the pass Avamoa on Huahine (west coast) – so our course over was pretty spot on with no tacks made. Again this pass is well marked with port and starboard markers and an east cardinal marks the reef to the south. There are leading marks here which are a little hard to spot on point Matapiri but we stayed on our heading of 114° Magnetic and soon found the leads which took us past the main town of Fare (the GPS waypoint is centre of the pass S16°42’.491 W151°02’.850). We decided to keep going toward the southern end of the island – Avea Bay which is reportedly beautiful and a further 7nm from Fare. We headed down the west coast of Huahine and decided to drop anchor after we checked out Bourayne Bay – of which the entrance is between the "mainland and Motu Vaiorea to the south. A lovely big bay. Unfortunately Bourayne Bay is a little too deep to anchor in comfortably but I would attempt to do so for a lunchtime stop. However we chose this lovely little spot in front of a beach on the south western side but it wasn’t really good holding and we had a couple of attempts to get the anchor to hold. This place was the site of a resort which had treehouses (I think it was wiped out in a cyclone) but there were a dozen people on the beach (come from a neighbouring resort I think) so we gave a trip to the beach a miss and had lunch on board & a swim instead. It is a gorgeous spot and a ramshackle little hut on the beach. We had a visit from Jerome who was on one of the Archipels crewed boats with a few tourism people as they motored past and took photos and waved
The scenery is visually stunning. The colours of the water go from deep blue in the deep areas to the lovely aqua/green and clear sparkling blue in the shallow areas. To the east of the channel we have the reef that surrounds the entire island with it’s breaking waves adding to the beauty. By following the chart and the port and starboard markers, we found navigation no real problem as you can clearly see the shallow areas from the deep areas. We had a visitor in the form of an outrigger who caught up with the boat and hung on to the back getting a ride along the way! Avea Bay is also stunning. We motored down as far as the jetty and dropped anchor in 10m of water. We swam for the rest of the afternoon – so good being able to swim in clear waters with no fear of stingers and the water is comfortably refreshing without being too warm or too cold. We didn’t go to shore – I really wasn’t well but we did go for a ride in the dinghy around the coral gardens to the south of our anchorage toward Point Tiva. The water was so clear we didn’t need to get in the water to see the coral or the fish! Amazing! Being pretty shallow, we had to cut the motor and row around. Dale cooked himself dinner that night as I could even stomach the smell of food and I was in bed by 6.30pm hoping I wake up feeling a lot better!