Une belle journée de navigation

The morning coffee was accompanied by a french lesson from our language app “Babbel”. We have now reached the stage where we know that the above means “a nice day sailing”. We are currently fighting with the passé composé and trying to work out avoir ou être. Mental jogging before breakfast.

Coffee finished, brains scrambled and time to sail the few miles round the island of Raiatea to do some serious shopping in the town of Uturoa. We had thirty meters of anchor chain out with the last fifteen suspended on fishing buoys to avoid the coral. Unfortunately the first fifteen were wrapped round a nice solid coral bom so we needed a diver to go down and unwrap the chain. He said it would take a minute but took ten and a crowbar. But experience costs money or pain so we were glad that this time it was only money.

The yellow line was us. Hitting yellow islands or blue reefs is “very bad”

We installed the new lower shrouds a few days ago (after breaking one on the way to Maupiti) so could set full sail to tack our way upwind. Navigator Heidi was calling the tacks and managed to take us through the narrow Tearearahi pass between the reefs straight in to the wind. A wind shift had us almost scraping the coral but we shot through.

We continued on to town and sailed past the harbour wall to find the perfect berth then back up wind to get the fenders and mooring lines set up. We turned and began our run in still under sail only to find that another boat had slipped in behind us and taken the only safe berth. They were our neighbours last night and had motored all the way to steal our spot.

No problem! Back up wind towards the reef and then another mile to anchor behind a palm island and wait to try again tomorrow. Hardly an efficient day but what a great sail.

A day later and we got the dream place head on in to the wind. All full with resupplies.

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