6th Sept – Passage to Tonga

I Ieft Bora Bora on Monday, it was about midday when I got away after a delay with clearance papers and a visit to the supermarket to spend my remaining Polynesian francs. In my muddle headed thoughts i was looking to arrive at Aitutaki before the weekend and catch the high tide on Fri about 11am thinking 485 miles should take 5 days so leave Mon arrive Fri. Wrong thats only 4 days travelling!
Wind and waves were a bit fiesty that first afternoon but forecast was to lessen so ok and anyway not so fiesty as to prevent me cooking a proper meal that first eve (couscous, fried veg and sauce, since you ask!)
The wind did ease off in the night but don’t you know it down to about 8 to 10 knots so was never going to make my 100 miles per day anyway. It stayed like that for 4 days, it is so easy to loose track of time and days, fairly calm conditions although since sailing almost directly downwind a little rolly at times.
One night I had a passenger aboard , just as it was getting dark a brown boobie was circling the boat determindely and after one abortive effort landed on the solar panel, whereupon began a thorough and vigorous preening session after which he settled down to roost with head tucked under wing. It stayed all night and left just after dawn next morning.

Overnight passenger

The light in the compass packed up but I managed to solder in a new bulb next morning. it is a little on the bright side now and i will have to try and get a led for it at some time rather than a normal bulb.
As you are not allowed to take any fruit or vegetables into the Cook islands with you, I set off low on these and soon had only some onions left. At least I have lots of tinned stuff so wont go hungry.

Before I reached Aitutaki we had a bit of a blow! The wind picked up Friday eve and blew strong for 3 days. I got to about 6 miles off the entrance to channel through reef at Aitutaki about 6 am Sun, but was blowing about 25 knots, grey overcast sky, drizzling and threatening black cloud so decide not to risk trying to get in. The entrance through the reef is long narrow and shallow and not much room once inside either. With no visibility I wasn’t even going to look and be tempted so a simple decision really to carry on. Shame to have to miss out the Cook Islands but thats the way it is.
Soon the wind really picked up to about 30 knots and more in gusts, I handed the main and just ran under staysail, sea was a bit boisterous.

Tues morning and still lots of wind, it hadn’t really let up since Fri, never known it to be so windy for so long. Still just running under staysail only which is pulling us along nicely. Weather has improved in that it has been sunny with some clouds but the constant movement of the boat makes life a little hard.
What a great invention is tinned french casoulet though, just have to heat it up and a complete meal, glad I bought a few tins.
It was too windy to call in at Palmerston, a great shame and if it continues will be too unsettled to stop at Niue either as no harbour there, just some moorings outside the reef. At least at Vava’u Tonga there is well protected harbour with a straightforward entrance so if it continues like this should be ok thats about 500 or so miles yet so a ways to go.

Thurs night (I think it was) was particularly bad with the boat movement, my normal bunk was untenable the other just as bad with the rolling and for a while I wedged myself in the quarter berth but had to scrunched up in the end to get wedged in so that wasn’t so good either so back to port berth with lee-cloth up. Glad to say wind and waves have been better since, wind has dropped a little and swell calmed down. Re-hoisted the main with 2 reefs and even got some yankee up.
Sighted Niue around 6 Fri night, glad to see it before it went dark so knew my course was ok and wasn’t going to run into it! It would have been possible to stop there as weather was ok but I thought it best to carry on whilst I had better sailing weather.
Sun morning I looked out of the hatch around 5 am and it was as black as the ace of spades, seems like the weather hadn’t done with me yet, it came on to blow and rain, 35 knots or more, thoroughly unpleasant, I handed the main and was just under staysail again, when I got it sorted and checked my course i was going NE as the wind had switched about 90 degrees from N to S so got that put right then retired to cabin dripping wet. it rained until the afternoon but stayed windy all day and night. The only saving grace was I had plenty of sea room, about 100 miles and there are no ships out here.
This area is the South Pacific Convergence Zone, noted for unstable weather. Its about 230 miles on to Vava’u Tonga from Niue. hopefully get there for Monday, only since it is the other side of the international date line it would be Tuesday, I loose a day and will be 1 day ahead of UK. Fair does my head in even if I use world clock on my iphone
Monday/ Tuesday eve
Approaching Toga I came around the north of the island and saw a humpback whale which was great, and then
down the West side of the island to the channel in. I was glad that it’s a fairly easy entrance though unmarked. I wasn’t helped by it blowing really strong, a head wind of course once I got to the entrance, but got far enough to pick up the lighted buoys before it was really dark, there was a full moon so should have been fine but it was very cloudy couldn’t see the moon so it was no help.
I got in to Neiafu , Vavau around 8pm and picked up a mooring, pleased and relieved to be in safely after a passage of 1275 nautical miles.

Neiafu harbour
Having an end of passage beer with Dan who I met in the Marquesas

8th – 19th August mainly Bora Bora

shack on reef Raitea
Haamene

I went for a nice walk from Haamene bay over to the over (western side) of the island to the village of Tiva, mainly on roads but very quiet ones and also a track which turned out to be a dead end but with a very nice view down into the bay. It was good to get some exercise and see some more of the island.

Haamene bay, Tahaa

That eve it blew up some and the wind was funnelling right down the bay making the anchorage very choppy and a lee-shore to boot. A disturbed night followed and I kind of regretted not moving anchorage yesterday instead of going for the long walk. With the wind at 25 knots it wasn’t fun hauling the anchor and it came up covered in thick black mud, but there was no time to wash it off, it would have to wait. I moved around to Opu bay and picked up a mooring here. The wind still whistled over the low point but it was protected from the waves. The wind persisted next day and I would have stayed here but I was on a Pearl farm visitors mooring and they wanted it for their guests so I moved back to Riaitea and moored off Marina Apooiti. The one problem with French Polynesia is that most of the anchorages are deep, which with me having no windlass limits me somewhat at times. At least moored here I was conveniently close to Passe Rautoanui, the main all weather western pass through the reefs.
Early next morning with a better forecast I exited the reef and set a course for Bora Bora some 25 miles away. Apart from a brief period of calm I had a good sail.

Sea Bear on way to Bora Bora

Richard and Anne in Morpheous past me later in their Island Packet 42. The reef of Bora Bora is a long way offshore on the SW corner so needs a good offing, but helpfully is marked by a big beacon.

Bora Bora

Following the reef edge northwards I arrived at Passe Teavanui, the only entrance to the lagoon and was soon at the mooring field of the Bora Bora yacht club. Here Richard was helpfully by the only free mooring in his dinghy, they had seen me arrive through the pass chased by a big catamaran and kindly thought to save the mooring for me. The mooring was very close to the dock of the yacht club, I could almost step ashore for drinks. I moved to a mooring a little further out in the morning when one became free.
The forecast for the next week was not great with bad weather and high winds moving in and persisting all week so it looked like a period of hunkering down and waiting it out was in order.
I did get to walk to Vaitape, the main town, a few times and I also dug out the Brompton from the forward stowage and got to cycle around the island, about 20 or so miles which was very enjoyable.

Bora Bora ride

But it was time to leave French Polynesia, I have spent almost 4 months here. I suppose one question you could ask yourself about whether you like a place or not is whether you could live there. The answer is this case is yes. I liked the islands, the lagoons, the water, the climate, the people and the laid back lifestyle.
Anyway I have started off the clearance process by visiting the gendarmerie and filling in all the forms, I just have to go back after the weekend and pick up my clearance for the Cook islands, about 600 miles away, where I am bound for next. The forecasts are looking improved for next week so here is hoping.

22nd July – 7th Aug – To Huahine, Raiatea &Tahaa

I took delivery of my new staysail and very good it looked but being so new the material is stiff and slippery so its going to be difficult to handle for a while.

Before leaving Tahiti I caught a bus to Papeete to pay a visit to Customs to get the paperwork for duty free fuel. Next morning I went to the fuel dock and filled up with diesel before heading out through the reef at Passe Taapuna and setting a course for the north of Moorea. We had a fair wind for once so not to waste it I decided to forgo stopping at Moorea again and headed out for the  Iles Sous Le Vent. These comprise the islands of Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa and Bora Bora.

We were making good progress with a nice beam wind until shortly after sunset when the wind died, progress was then fitful until in the end I started the engine and motored. With the dawn Huahine was in sight in the distance and although I had originally planned to miss this island out, since it was closer, a slight course alteration took me there.

Passing the reef to the west of the island was a sobering sight of a catamaran wrecked high and dry on the reef. I had heard about this whilst still in Tahiti, and had meet theAmerican family briefly when I was in Shelter Bay Panama. They had sailed too close to the reef in the night and paid the price, fortunately they were all airlifted off safely.

A few miles further on we entered the reef by Passe Avapehi and anchored near by the town of Fare. Here in the anchorage was Anne & Richard on Morphious, so it was good to see these friends.

Anchorage at Fare, Huahine

I spent a day with them on a motor car tour of the island, not something I normally do but it was interesting and we saw all the sights.

Lunch Polynesian proportions
Boys bicycles & surf boards
Marea
Fisherman & pet pig

On then for the 20 mile passage to the twin islands of Raiatea and Tahaa, both within the same encircling lagoon. Had a nice gentle beam wind of about 10 knots for this crossing. Entering by Passe Iriru between two motus we proceeded up to the head of Baie Faaroa to anchor. Here I took the dinghy up the navigable Aoppumau river, a good little trip. Opposite the site of the botanical gardens, closed for refurbishment, a man beckoned us across to the opposite bank and took us on a tour of his plantation, giving us a green coconut to drink, very refreshing and showing us his bananas, taro, guava, squashes, cucumbers,mangos and more. Truly paradise, left with gifts of taro & bananas and some beautiful flowers. The people here are good.

Next day I motored inside the lagoon following the marked channel up to the North end of Raiatea and across to Tahaa  where I followed the long Baie Haamene to anchor of the village at it’s head.

Flowers on the boat

It isn’t always sunny here in Polynesia and we have had a day of rain and the cloud has been down so I can barely see across the bay. Went ashore briefly in a period when it was just drizzle to get some bread from the supermarket but returning it rained and rained and getting back to the boat I had to strip off in the cockpit and ring out my shorts and vest before going below. Let us hope for better tomorrow.

6th-21st July – Tahiti & Moorea

Today I feel a little sad because yesterday eve Wendy caught her flight back to the UK. I really enjoyed having her company and we had some good fun together.

Wendy

After a few days at Port du Phaeton we continued our circumnavigation of Tahiti. First we sailed inside the reef to anchor by Teehupoo, here the road around the island ends and next day exited the reef by  pass Havae with amazing surf to left and right.

Surf at Passe Havae

Rounding the SE tip of the island we carried on and once more entered behind the reefs by Passe d’ Aiurua and anchor in the lee of a tall cliff by Paofai. only a few scattered huts along this coast as the only access is by sea. Carrying on we next stopped after Passe Faatautia. Here the anchorage was very deep and we had to let out all 45m of chain and 40 m of rope rode.

Raising the anchor the next morning without a windlass we resorted to use of a mooring warp tied to the chain with a rolling hitch and led back to the primary winches, 30 m of free hanging chain and an anchor being too heavy to haul or even hold by hand. The reefs in the next section of coast are mostly submerged and harder to spot so we maintained a good offing until we got to Point Venus where we anchored off a beautiful back sand beach in just 6 m. This bay was visited by the Bounty (before the mutiny) and Captain Cook and the point derives its name from the observatory set up by Cook to observe the transit of Venus.

Point Venus

Amazingly in the days since Port du Phaeton we saw only ! other cruising boat, it seems rare these days for cruiser to sail around Tahiti.

Off then for the short sail to Moorea, Tahitis smaller sister. We anchored just inside the reef at the entrance to Cook’s Bay, that man again, a most idyllic spot with water so clear we could see our anchor on the bottom and the occasional passing ray. A couple of night here and we moved to anchor deep within Cooks bay itself amidst most spectacular peaks. We walked up the valley, named the route de Annas, to a pineapple plantation and then continued up well marked trails in the forest past several Mairae (ancient ceremonial platforms) to a viewpoint called the Belvedere from where you could see down into both Cook’s bay and Baie d’Opunohu. Carrying on through the forest we came to another wonderful viewpoint of Col des Trois Pines, before returning back to the boat.

View from Trois Pines

It was a tiring but well worthwhile day. Truely this is a garden of Eden.

Moving around to Baie d’Opunohu, maybe even more spectacular in scenery than Cook’s bay, we anchored inside the reef near the entrance off the small village of Papetoai.

Baie d’Opunohu

We took a long dinghy ride, the channel across too shallow for yachts to an area called Sting Ray City. Here there is a shallow sandy area where you can stand chest deep and snorkel frequented by sting rays and reef sharks. The local tour guides encourage them by feeding the rays. It was thrilling to  swim with these magnificent creatures and feel them brush past you with their wings and allow themselves to be petted. I don’t have a water-proof camera unfortunately  but my friend Thom on Fathom was there earlier and took some footage which you can see on his blog www.yatchfathom.co.uk

Sadly our time in Moorea was up and we had to return to Tahiti.The weather had been grand for the past weeks with gentle winds but shortly after exiting the pass through the reef it started to blow. We soon had 30-35 knots of wind which kicked up with big waves, a short and horrible breaking sea. Of course it was dead on the nose as well. It was iff the weather was telling us not to leave Morrea and we  both wished we could have stayed but Wendy’s flight was the next day so we had to press on. Later the wind eased to about 20-25 knots and the when we were nearing Tahiti dropped away altogether but still leaving of course a sloppy sea. Eventually we were back inside the reef via Papeete harbour and soon past the airport to anchor once more at Maeva Bay near marina Taina. Here we recognised lots of boats still at anchor in the same spots as when we left weeks ago.

With Wendy gone its back to single handing. I will stay here some days myself as I must wait for my new staysail to be finished.

16th June-5th July- Tahiti

Staying at Marina Papeete I was able to complete a few maintenance jobs, chase around after a sailmaker and get the leaky dinghy repaired, that is as well as a little exploring of the town, dining out at the Roulettes (mobile food vans) at the plaza and quaffing a few beers with friends, Thom from Fathom, Adva from Waterhoen, Oceana and Alice from Danika and Dan from My Dream were all here.
Then it was off to the airport in the early hours to meet my best friend Wendy who flew out from UK to join me for a while. She had bought out my new camera. Gave her a traditional Tahitian greeting of a garland of flowers.

Tahiti welcome for Wendy

After a few days we headed to anchor off Maeve beach just a few miles away, a very popular anchorage this off Marina Tanina, with maybe about 150 boats at anchor.

Dawn at Maeve Beach

My new GPS/plotter arrived to replace the old GPS with burnt out screen, that will make navigation a deal easier.
We had an aborted go at reaching the south of the island, but turned back before exiting the pass in the reef when wind and rain arrived but after a couple of days set out again. Out through the reef via pass Tappuna with dolphins for company we sailed south then turning Pointe de Marua we followed the reefs to Teputa pass which we entered and proceeded to anchor at Port du Phaeton, a lovely lagoon behind the reef which was so sheltered that it felt like you were anchored in a lake.

at anchor Port du Phaeton

Here we tried to visit the Gauguin museum, a few miles along the coast, but it was shut for refurb so we contented ourselves with a walk around the botanical gardens there, then back to Tavarao on the bus for a delicious lunch, tuna of course.

Bassin de Papeari

9th – 15th June – Rangiroa to Tahiti

We left Ahe in the morning and had to motor following the channel  across the lagoon in the teeth of quite a strong head wind. Marie joked that once out through the pass perhaps there would be no wind  and after negotiating the pass through the reef that is the way it turned out to be as we set our course for Rangiroa about 83 miles away. Light winds persisted so it was a slow passage but come the dawn we were about 14 miles off Tiputa Pass, one of two entrances to Rangiroa atoll. Land was not sighted till later about 7 miles away, such is the low-lying nature of these atolls which can make approach quite dangerous.

According to my tide table it should have been about 1hr after low water when we entered the pass and so should have had the tide with us. Judging by the rips and standing waves I thought and indeed found out otherwise and the we had wind against tide making for a fairly exciting entrance of Tiputa pass with Sea Bear surfing down the backs of the waves. It turned out later we impressed a few watching cruisers with our entrance. I later found out that apparently the tide turns maybe 1-2 hours after high or low water, although the tides are very unpredictable and sometimes you get days of outgoing tides at the passes with no inflow at all due to winds and southern swells causing water to flow in over the reefs between the motus in the south of the atoll.

Tiputa pass in a quiet mood

Anyway safely through the pass we were in the lagoon and found a peaceful anchorage off Kia-Ora beach. There were quite a few other boats here unlike Ahe and the atoll was much  more touristy.

A welcome beer at Lili’s

After a few days here I set off for Tahiti leaving Marie behind who wanted to spend more time in the atolls.  I exited via the other pass, Avaturu and armed with more knowledge had  slack water for exit.

Once again I was bedevilled with very light winds as I made my way west along the north of the reefs before turning between Rangiroa and the nearby atoll of Tikehau and setting a course for Tahiti about 180 miles away. In the first 24 hours I made a measely 65 miles and in the dawn light passed the island of Makatea about 12 miles off on the port beam. The afternoon bought better winds and progress was good. Just before sunset I spotted a sail astern, a rare sight for me on passage but it took a long time to overhaul me. Just before dawn the lights of Tahiti were spotted and later the island was revealed.

Tahiti landfall

I eventually I entered Papeete harbour and  moored alongside a pontoon in Papette marina. This is in the heart of the town alongside a busy boulevade and quite some change from the anchorages I have been in for the past months. It has much changed since Moitessier’s day but it was here that he finally ended his epic 11 month and one and a half times circumnavigation of the world.

Morning Papeete marina

 

2nd -8th June Oa Pou to Ahe, Toamotos

 

Mixed weather for the 450 mile passage to the Toamotos with very variable winds in strength and direction from SE to NE and 3 days of very cloudy grey conditions. However it was never too windy nor too rough so no complaints on that score. Another passage with no sightings, no dolphins, no whales and just one fishing boat as we closed on Ahe in the early hours of the last morning. Our trailing of a fishing line proved unsuccessful too. We managed to hook two, both reel screamers, both big but the first just bent the hook and the second broke the line like it was a piece of week cotton.

The Toamotos earned their reputation as the Dangerous Isles because the Motos & coral reefs are so low lying and hard to spot and we did not sight Ahe until we were about 5 miles away, a thin line of coconut trees fringing the horizon.

The outside reef Ahe

On Ahe there is just one pass into the lagoon, about 85 fett wide at its narrowest and just 3-4 metres deep over the bar. Through this rushes all the water in and out of the lagoon with the tides so a slack water passage is recommended. Only having the tide times for another atoll Rangiroa about 90 miles away we had to guess and rely on the look of the water. Motoring in we had about 2-3 knots of tide against us, so slow progress but plenty of steerage way. Once inside over the bar current slackened and we could follow the marked channel across the lagoon to anchor off the village of Tenukapara.

In the lagoon Ahe

Even though Ahe is one of the smaller atolls the lagoon feels vast inside and strange to be encircled by all the islets which comprise the rim. Strange too that night when the boat was so peaceful on the anchor, so still, no rocking or rolling, it was hard to remember when the boat had last been that quiet aboard, the San Blas Islands I think back in January.

Ahe

The people in the village are super friendly. I was outside the PO and a women asked if I had any music. She rushed off for a memory card and I put a lot of reggae on it for her. She gave me a whole load of bananas.

Off to another atoll in the morning.

30th May- 1st June Hakahau, Oa Pou

Weighed anchor early from Baie Taiohae and set of for the island of Oa Pou about 25 miles away. We were rewarded with blue skies and moderate winds and a fairly calm sea so had a nice sail across.

Approaching Oa Pou

It is very dramatic island with tall rock spires, the tallest is Mt Oave, a volcanic plug at 4,004 feet high. There was hardly any cloud when we approached so we could see them in all their splendour but since they have been hidden in the cloud.
Hakahau with a population of about a thousand is the 3rd most populated village in the Marquesas, but feels a sleepy little place. We are anchored in the bay behind the breakwater which gives some protection from the swell.

Baie Hakahau

This will be the jumping off spot for the Toumotos about 450 miles away and we will set off when the weather looks suitable last night was very windy and it has kicked up quite a sea outside so we will wait for that to settle before making passage.

Nuka Hiva

19th – 25th May Taiohae bay

Then bay is very big and able to accommodate lots of yachts at anchor so is a major gathering point in the Marquesas for cruisers. The town ashore is the biggest in the Marquesas so there are shops, a bank, restaurants etc so it is a good place to re-provision and relax. However all the supplies come in by boat which was due in a few days, in between shipments they do run out of things so for the first few day here the shelves were thinly stocked and they had run out of flour so there was no bread to be had.
Thom was anchored here so it was good to catch up and compare notes as it were on our Pacific passages so far. We also looked over each other boats which although the same model had a few differences in layout and set up.

Tuhiva

There were also here some other cruisers that I had got to know so it was a fairly sociable time.
Whilst here I took a few local walks and had a second go at repairing my leaky dinghy not entirely successfully.

26th-29th May – Baie Tai’oe
My next move was to another bay about 5 miles along the coast, Baie Tai’oe. The entrance to this was hidden and looked rather improbable at first entering between a rocky point with breaking waves and tall vertiginous cliffs and with quite a swell running a trifle daunting.

Entrance to Taioa bay

Once inside though it was sheltered, calm and peaceful and you couldn’t even see the ocean.
Taioa bay

Thom arrived next day with a new crew member for me. I had mentioned the other day when a group of us had a pizza together that I was a bit concerned about passing through the Toumotus or Dangerous Archipelego without a crew to watch for reefs and coral heads in the passes and here almost out of the blue was a volunteer to come with me.
Beside the spectacular scenery of this bay, one of the attractions was the 3rd highest waterfall in the world being up the valley. Next day I dinghied around to the village of Hakaui, population 10, and walked up the trail to Vaipo falls. The trail was wet and muddy and you had to ford a knee deep fast running river. You were rewarded with a wonderful view at one point before pushing on through the forest.
Vaipo falls

All around were the ruins of ancient paepae or house platforms, at one time the valley must have supported a large population.
I got back to the village before it started raining then had an exciting time going back out through the surf to the boat, thought I might get flipped but just took a wave aboard.
Went back to th e village next morning and filled my water cans and bought a whole load of fruit, a hand of bananas, pamplemousse, limes and a breadfruit

4th – 18th May – Marquesas

Hiva Oa
Always the first job once the boat is securely anchored is to register with the Authorities. A walk of about 3 kilometers took me to the town of Atuona. At the Gendamarie I discovered that the time zone here is half hour different not 1 hour which is the usual step in time from one zone to another, and the place was shut until after lunch. At that prompt a visit to an ATM saw me furnished with funds, but I had no idea of the exchange rate, although the Polynesian Franc notes were very colourful and pretty, and I could have lunch myself, a real treat after so long on the boat.
Later formalities were initiated very easily, but I had to post the form the Gendarmes gave me to Papete, Tahiti where I would have to visit to complete things when I got there.
Next a visit to the shops and a real treat in baguettes and french cheese, that would go well with my last bottle of french wine as a celebration of arrival. Ooh and some tins of cold Tahitian beer, one drunk on the spot, perhaps thats why the walk back to the boat seemed so long.
I spent a few days at Atuona, looking around and enjoying land.

stone carvings at Atuona

A river emptied into the anchorage bay and it rained a lot meaning the water was very muddy but one benefit of this was that all the fresh water killed off the goose barnacles and weed on the hull.
Fatu Hiva
Leaving Hiva Oa it was about full moon I thought to have a pleasant moonlit sail to Fatu Hiva. At about 45 miles away it was just to far to guarantee managing all in daylight. It is one disadvantage of sailing in the tropics 12 hour days and 12 hour nights. As it was it turned out very cloudy.
Arrived in Baie Hanavave or Bay of the Virgins, a truly spectacular anchorage, steep sided and dominated by rock pinnacles and behind a backdrop of steep high mountains.
Baie Hanavave

The island is very unspoilt and the people super friendly. Went to a dinner of traditional fare for cruisers anchored in the bay hosted by a family from the village. Roast pork, roast goat, breadfruit, coconut milk, roasted pink bananas & pamplemousse was amongst the items on offer.
One day a walk took me to a lovely 200 ft waterfall up the valley behind the village where I skinny dipped in the plunge pool, very refreshing. Another walk took me high above the bay looking down on the boats at anchor.

Waterfall at Fatu Hiva

Leaving Bay of Virgins

Tahuata
Another night sail took me to Tahuata where I anchored at Baie Hanamoenoa, reckoned by one authority to be one of the 3 most beautiful anchorages in Polynesia. An uninhabited bay with a yellow sand beach back by coconut palms and a backdrop of green hills. Very soft and gentle by Marquesian standards I thought.

Baie Hanamoenoa

From there I thought to visit a bay on the North coast of Hiva Oa, said to be good for ancient Polynesian sites however after all the light winds I had a day of very strong wind with a big breaking swell so it was not to be and halfway there I changed my objective and headed across the 80 miles to Nuku Hiva. A fairly rolly polly night but an early morning arrival in Taiohae bay. I anchored next to Thom’s Vancouver28.