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.
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.
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.
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.
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.