Passage to Rangiroa…..

Dear F&F,

August 31, 2009
Passage to Rangiroa

We were patient & maneuvered a lot to get the chain off the coral when departing Manihi, but thankfully Scott did not have to dive on the anchor. We invited the Xavier the SailMail operator, for lunch, but he had just eaten his breakfast at 10:00 a.m. & declined. I am sure many of the boaters that visit here invite him onboard, so seeing a boat is nothing special. We hope to see him & wife Ann Laurence in Tahiti.

The exit from the lagoon out the pass was pretty easy. We followed our track from when we came in a week ago. We had been outside the reef with the dive boat 3 days in a row so knew the landmarks. We passed by the atoll called Ahe, making sure we skirted it during daylight which we did. From 2:00-5:00 p.m. the sailing conditions were ideal. It was one of the most comfortable sails we could remember since we don\’t know when. I made dinner while it was still light so I could do the dishes & put everything away. Scott took the first watch, but I only lay down for about an hour to stretch, didn\’t really nap. During my 6:00-10:00 p.m. watch the wind picked up strong and the sea got lumpier on the beam (sideways). I was very glad I\’d put a scopalamine patch on in the morning. When Scott relieved me at 10:00 p.m. we reefed the mainsail smaller to slow down since we wanted a daylight arrival to enter the pass. I had a pretty good sleep from 10:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.. When I came up for the 2:00-6:00 a.m. shift, there was intermittent rain & various wind strengths & directions. At one point we were just bobbing around so I motored for about 45 minutes. Then I could sail again. It was overcast & cloudy but light enough to see Rangiroa at 6:00 a.m. when Scott got up. We were just 3 miles from the pass, so I stayed up to roll away the mainsail & help him navigate the pass. It is a nerve-wracking pass due to the large standing waves, but did a great job. The tide was coming out of the lagoon, pretty strong current against us. Fortunately we have powerful engines that can overcome the force of the water, but our speed drops down with the same or more RPMs. The place where boats anchor is not far from the pass & there are 1 or 2 villages here. There are 6 other boats, one we think we met in Fakarava before. All spread out so no crowded feeling.

Once we got the anchor down, I napped for an hour, then made us breakfast & we both lay down again. I finished the book I have not been enjoying (the negative guy who paddled his canoe around many of the Pacific Islands). This squally weather is predicted to last severa days. We\’ve seen dive boats zooming by, so we know they will go pretty much no matter what the weather. We get wet anyway, so it doesn\’t really matter for diving. But for grocery shopping or taking a walk on shore it is better to wait until we have a good break from the rain. So a relaxed day of recovery for us.

Cindy & Scott