Raiatea Lagoon

It was Friday midday and the rigger was finished with tensioning the shrouds. He agreed to come on Monday to try and get the screw out of the Inner forestay so we had a “free weekend”. Our friends on Bengt were in a bay half way down the island and told us there was a mooring buoy available.

The bay was only 13 miles away so we set our sails and headed south east. Unfortunately the wind was coming from exactly that direction so we could only proceed by tacking between the island and the reef. To add excitement there was also an inter-island ferry heading up the middle of the channel and a “no entry zone” around the airport. Heidi was calling the tacks and by letting the ship pass behind us, we were just in time to turn before the airport. This allowed us to sneak between the reefs and then head towards town.

The trip south became a real work-out with tack after tack. Heidi had the additional exercise of popping down to look at the chart to calculate where we should do the next turn. I think she climbed 150 meters of steps! Sometimes we had longer than two minutes between turns and could quickly enjoy the stunning scenery and wonder that we were sailing between the light blue sea over a coral reef and the deep green of the jungle covered mountains. We were definitely living every sailors dream.

A little further south things should have become easier but the lagoon was speckled with pearl farms and coral boms which further reduced our maneuverability. Eventually, after 29 tacks, we realized we were not going to reach the bay by nightfall so switched on the engine for the last few miles.

Mooring buoy, reserved for us

In the bay we found the mooring buoy and attached to it was a small sign saying “reserved for Artemis of Lleyn”. We thanked the neighbors with drinks in the cockpit

3 thoughts on “Raiatea Lagoon”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *