Huahine thru Toahatu Pass to Raiatea

Trip Start Nov 27, 2010
Trip End Dec 13, 2010

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Where I stayed
Dream Yacht Charter

Flag of French Polynesia  , Society Islands,
Saturday, December 4, 2010

Miles travelled - 28nm from Fare to West side of Raiatea

I had a bit of a restless night and woke just after midnight to find one of the inter-island ferries leaving harbour and another about to come in. It is a busy port for the ferries and because we were fairly close to the channel I sometimes was worried (although the boats had to follow the lead lights in and we were not close to them). We I got up at 6.30am I started making my first loaf of bread which was going to take a few hours. We left the beautiful island of Huahine at 7.20am and headed out into 20 knots from the north east. We didn't have a good course to sail to (we were trying to get to pass Toahotu) but actually our heading was more like the northern end of Bora Bora. Never mind as we were sailing along at 6-9 knots and the best speed was achieved by me doing 11.5 knots surfing down a wave. Being the competitive person he is, Dale got me off the wheel and then proceeded to beat my top speed, however he only managed to draw even with me on 11.5kn!! Seas were about 2-2.5m and it was a lovely morning – a little overcast at times. We gybed toward Tahaa and the pass, decided to roll up the gennaker and get the headsail out as we were getting gusts to 30kn. Kept a good eye on the plotter, chart & the land as we got closer to the pass. The GPS waypoint we had is at the centre of the entrance S1639’.038 W15125’.268. We probably shouldn’t have used this pass in these conditions (as the entrance can break in strong easterlies) but we were committed and as we had used this pass before we knew what to look for. We made out the motu’s on either side of the entrance, found the port and starboard markers, had the main up and the motors on & we were ready to go! OMG, the seas were huge between 3 - 6m & Dale was doing a great job wrestling with the wheel – motors going hard to keep up with the seas and then we entered calm water! Phew, what a ride…Once we got through we had a few rain showers (luckily it wasn’t whilst we were entering) and we dropped the main at 11.30am – just slightly over 4hrs to get back from Hauhine.

It was recommended to us to visit the Anapa Pearl Farm, so we motored over to the western side of Raiatea, briefly circling around the Marina Apooiti area so I could quickly check emails. Reception was hard to get for my internet through and in hindsight I probably wouldn’t choose this one again (although it was the only website in English). The bread by this stage was out of the oven and completely devoured by the time we anchored up! Nothing quite like hot fresh bread straight from the oven..

We couldn’t find the exact location of the Pearl Farm, so we doubled back slightly and dropped anchor in 6m of water almost exactly opposite the Raiatea Lodge that we stayed at on our arrival. We took the dinghy over to Ile Tahunaoe – a really small little island but we found it had a private residence at the western end, so didn’t venture too far. We were met on our arrival by a very friendly little cat who decided to show us around – who then jumped on our dinghy as we were trying to leave. We had to use the paddle as the water was very shallow and a few coral bommies scattered about.

We couldn’t swim off the back of the boat here as the current was a bit too strong – especially for a poor swimmer like myself. Cooked up a nice dinner of chorizo & tomato pasta and planned our day for tomorrow – heading to Bora Bora and celebrating Dale’s big birthday – hopefully at Bloody Marys!

Fare to Toahotu Pass – 28nm
Toahotu pass to Anapa vicinity & to anchorage - 10nm
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