Monday, July 11, 2011

Overnight Passage to Huahine

We were finally ready to move on from Moorea to the next island, Huahine. Huahine is pronounced 'Wah hee nee' (just like the Hawaiian Wahine). We had pretty much 'done' Moorea, and we had the weather we'd been waiting for--15 knots from the east and settled weather.

The trip from Moorea is only 80 miles, so we spent the day rearranging things after Jim's visit, and getting ready for the passage. At 4pm we motorsailed out the Opunohu pass, and pointed for the north end of Huahine 305 degrees, 80 miles.

We had a pretty nice night, except that Dave really wanted to have the main up in addition to the Genoa. He thought our genoa-only trip from Toau to Tahiti was too rolly.

With the mainsail up, we couldn't quite make our course, because the main would blank the genoa. So we had to sail about 320 degrees all night. There were about 10 boats on passage, plus two inter-island freighters that passed us during the night. Fortunately, the freighters had AIS, but almost none of the other boats on passage even had receivers. So there were a few close encounters, and a lot of 'are you the boat to my south?' conversations during the night, some quite comical.

Many of the 'Puddle Jumpers' who arrived in the Marquesas in April are running out of time--their 90-day visas are expiring, so they leaving Tahiti and Moorea in droves, hurrying west, trying to see a little more of the Society Islands before they have to leave.

Though it was really a nice night, I didn't really enjoy this passage much. I stubbornly refused to accept that we couldn't make the heading I wanted, and Janet, our autopilot doesn't steer well on that point of sail. She wandered all over and flogged the genoa frequently. And the swell was still pretty big from the huge swell a few days before, and it was slewing us around quite a bit. By the time it was Dave's watch, I was pretty grumpy and ready for sleep. When Dave called me up to gybe for Huahine at 5am, I was sleepy and even more grumpy--I was not very nice to him. These short passages are hell!!

We gybed at 5am, and once we got close to Huahine the wind got really light and we gave up and motored the last 7 miles around to Fare.
At 7/9/2011 8:05 PM (utc) our position was 16°42.77'S 151°02.38'W

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