TIME: 2016/09/13 19:57
COMMENT: Beach House – En ROUTE – Bora Bora to Suwarrow, Cook Islands (Day 1 – 170 nm)
We posted our blog on Tahiti to Huahine yesterday in Bora Bora, got some last fuel and provisions and were off at 09:30 local time. We hired a car the day before and did the round island drive. We\’ll report all that in our next photo blog from Huahine to Bora Bora. We\’re sorry we didn\’t get to spend any real time on Huahine, which is my favorite of the leeward islands of French Polynesia. We yet again had a last minute generator problem, which Nikki and I were able to fix by swapping out an alarm probe on the generator. The exhaust temperature alarm has been an issue this season and this probe only lasted 200 hours. It\’s a bear to change due to it\’s location. The job took the two of us about 2 hours. Fortunately, engines, steering, hydraulics and now gen set all seem to be working fine. We\’ve a leak in one of the water makers, but I\’m afraid to over tighten the metal nut into the plastic fitting and possibly knock it out of commission for the season. I\’ll live with the little leak.
The first 30 miles of the sail yesterday were light conditions and we used the genoa poled to starboard with a full main. We passed the last main island (to the north) of French Polynesia – Maupiti. Though very pretty, we are just too far behind and still have 3000 miles to go to Sydney with lots to see.
The winds were shifting from East to Southeast and getting light, so we flew our big reacher on the pole till 02:30 am when the big shift and bigger winds came in. We rolled it up just in time and have been in more or less 20 knots ever since from the SE.
Were headed to the island of Suwarrow, one of the very remote northern Cook Islands. This is the island where a self imposed, \”Robinson Crusoe\” type, Tom Neale lived for many years before his death in the 1970\’s and wrote his autobiography, \”An Island to Oneself\”. It is now the only national park in the Cook Islands. The good news is, it\’s a park and we can visit. The bad news is, the coconut jungle on the radio nets is telling us of very bad experiences with the two Park Rangers. They are Cook Islanders (and will speak English) and may be a Father and Son team.
They have very restrictive rules about what you can and cannot do here (which we are aware of), but the recent visiting yachties have had a few horror stories about abuse of power and literally felt physically threatened. We\’ll be good citizens as usual and follow the rules. \”Yachties\” are about the most
Eco Friendly folks on the planet, so I\’m not sure what \”rules\” exactly were supposedly broken? We\’ll stay anywhere from 2-4 days before possibly attempting the two day sail to Rose Atoll. A very much smaller version of Suwarrow and completely uninhabited. It is part of American Samoa and as such, US territory.
We then think we\’ll head to Pago Pago (pronounced Pango Pango)which is the main port of American Samoa.
Should plans change, we\’ll of course let everyone know.
Right now, we have brisk sailing conditions with the wind pretty much dead behind us. Port pole with full genoa and main, we\’re zipping right along about 15 degrees south of our desired heading, but that\’s the price we pay for the wind directly astern.
We expect to be in Suwarrow sometime Friday (hopefully). There\’s a bit of a front to our south which we\’ll miss but may get a bit of rain squalls before our arrival. We\’ve 525 miles to go and all is well. We heard lots of friends on the local nets today scattered all over the South Pacific from the Cooks, Tonga, Niue and Fiji.
Scott and Nikki