September 6, 2009
Passage to Tikehau
We were up at 5:00 a.m. & heading out the Rangiroa pass by 6:30 a.m. The wind was steady 15-18 knots all night & we were both done with sitting in the wind. We knew the direction to Tikehau would keep the wind & swell at our back, so we decided to go for it. The current was going out so there were steep choppy waves, some standing at 5 – 6 feet just outside the pass. We know the boat can take the up & down jarring motion, but we don\’t love it. I pretty much hold my breath, partly cover my eyes, but pray. Knowing my able Captain will guide us safely through the rough patch of water. He did & it was all smooth sailing from there. We gibed a couple of times. It was a very comfortable ride, even though the swell was 5-6 feet. We just surfed down the waves, no problem. Downwind is definitely the preferred direction.
The pass entrance here at Tikehau is on the leeward side of the island, but there is still a lot of wind & chop inside the lagoon. Sort of like entering San Francisco Bay, but warm. There were red & green navigational buoys to guide us toward the village & on to the Tikehau Pearl Bay Hotel, where Wilfred is the Assistant General Manager. This is the last of the Tuamotu atolls we will visit. This is number 6 for us of the 78 islands spread over 1000 miles.
We received an email this morning that Wilfred was looking forward to our arrival. When we got in range, he answered our VHF radio call. It is so exciting to have someone to meet when we arrive at a new place. He stood out on the pier of one of the bungalows built on stilts over the water. Dressed in white shirt & pants, welcoming us to \”his island\” with a big wave. He directed us to the best place to anchor & we got secure. There are 2 other sailboats here, but we are well spread out. One of them looks rather locked up & unattended. Wilfred has invited us to join him at the hotel for dinner. What a fun treat! We will shower & spiff up a bit.
We will probably stay here only a couple of days. Our life will change once we dock at Marina Taina in Tahiti. In some ways our \”vacation\” will be over with much work to do. My heart is already in California. As we get closer to Papeete, I feel a few steps closer to seeing my loved ones.
Cindy & Scott