Beetle organizing day

It’s a most pleasant Sunday morning, hanging out on the mooring ball at Rotoava, the breeze is running happily along at 10-12 knots out the east, sun is up and about, and I’ve been organizing the boat, taking trash bags ashore, putting things away, topping up the fuel tanks from the jerry jugs (I’ve used 25 gallons of diesel since departing Nuku Hiva). Waterline has breen scrubbed on port side (I’ll get to starboard later on today), cockpit washed out with the convenient extra-long anchor washdown hose and pump, dodger has been wiped down. Beetle looks as bit spiffier now.

Plan for the day is to keep reading up on Tahiti, I’m getting a handle on where to aim for now: Point Venus is at the North end of the island and has an easy open anchorage west of the point, and from there it’s a well-marked channel to follow in through the reef, downtown Papeete is more of less directly in front of the pass, turn to the right and go past the airport and follow the marked channel for 4.5 miles to the anchorage across the channel from Marina Taina. The moorings that Marina Taina maintains have a reputation of breaking free, therefore it’s preferred to utilize your own anchor. From that place one can get to most of Tahiti though downtown is a bit of a ways. Theft is a problem in the Society Islands (unheard off out here in the Tuamotus), therefore the boats must be kept locked up and the dinghy locked as well – nothing left loose on deck. Kind of like Alameda and Oakland, not a good idea to leave useful or valuable things out.

The weather is looking pretty solid for two days of moderate to light air starting this morning, with a strong High pressure system building to the south that will generate stronger ESE winds by Tuesday morning or so, and by Wednesday it should be 20-25 knots out of the East or just south thereof. The boats that want to get to Tahiti now departed this morning, there’s a 36 hour window to get there and then it will be blowing strongly at Tahiti, with the increased pressure moving north towards Fakarava. Four boats took off and are outside the North pass, and now we have extra mooring balls suddenly. Several other boats are moving down the East channel with the intention of being in Hirifa on Tuesday. I may do the same, as it doesn’t take much wind out of the south to produce a noticeable wave refractive bounce to the anchorage at the north end.

Yesterday I finally made it to La Paillote and enjoyed a very nice proper crepe complete with cheeses – that was fun. I also spent some time watching the nurse sharks at their dock. I wonder if they feed them or something? The sharks sure seem to like their place.

That’s the current activities, more to do on board. Mike & Shelly from Avatar are coming over around 1 o’clock and we’re going to talk about Tahiti and other places over there. They were here last year as well (this is their second season) and are most happy to describe what they know, recommend, places to go and places to avoid. An interesting detail of the Societies is the central island is tall enough to generate evening katabatic winds that are a problem when anchored up at the head of the many bays that indent the island’s perimeter. I had considered that to before, certainly not in a place as warm as here!

Now off to coil up the washdown hose and wrap up making room belowdecks for conversation with Mike & Shelly.

– rob

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