‘Sailing is a Bliss',
After sailing around in the Marquesas Islands for a few weeks we
got word from Shelly. She had gotten a cheap ticket to Tahiti and could be there
in about ten days? Well we were getting tired of these islands after all so why
not get a move on. The decision was mede to meet here on Rangirora the biggest
atoll in the Tuamotos just before Tahiti and the Society Islands. We fixed the
engine (again) and got (stole) a bunch of fruit. The fruit here are all over.
Most of it belongs to someone but they seldom bother to pick it. Since the
sail would be maximum 6 days and Shelly was arriving in the evening on day 6 the
timing was easy. Six days, ha,ha,ha. On day three Darryl looked in
the book we have that describes the different cloud formations but we decided it
was all bullshit. According to the book all we could see was bad omens while the
weather was in fact great. It was so good that we got to use the spinnaker
properly (for the first time) but after that the bad omens from the book started
to come true. On day four the wind completly f***** off and on day 5 the storms
hit us. Not only was it rain and squalls but the wind came 100% from where we
were supposed to sail. With this boat it is impossible to get a good angle into
the wind so we ended up doing an average of 1,8 knots for 24 houers. Because of
this we were now one day too late to pick up Shelly, we could only hope that she
did not have to pay too much for a hotel.
As we snailed ouerseslf to Rangirora
we were also trying to figure out the tide thing. The tides of the world is
affected by the moon, the sun and the earths rotation. Since we dont have a tide
table for Rangirora we would have to figure it out by ouerself. Coming to a
lagoon that spits out the water at a speed of up to 6 knots with a sailboat (and
a shit motor) that can do maximum 5,5 is not a good idea. A good idea is to get
there on an inflow and get sucked in but to do that one needs to know if the
water is flowing out or flowing in. According to ouer knowledge a good time to
arrive is 5 houers after moon rise and that was within ouer reach. In fact we
were a bit early but we diddent really think we were right after all so why care?,
well we should have cared. We were right about the tides and since we had
arrived a little early the tide had not stopped flowing out and was now at it's
strongest. Of course when one realices this it is way to late to turn around.
Once you are in the channel (and the two smashed up sailboats on the port side
is clearly visible on the reef) the waves coming from the sea meets the outflow
and you get to be tossed around in the power struggle between waves and current.
With the engine beeing unreliable we did not want to push it either so we crept
in as slowly as we could fighting the current for about 40 minutes. (500
meters). Now here comes the funny part. When we thought we were clear of the
tide we put the sails back up,.i shut the engine off and handed the steering to
Darryl as we prepared coffee and snacks. Darryl held us bang on the compass
course but as we happily chatted away i suddenly realiced that we diddent seem
to move?. The current was still strong even around the bend where we had been 'sailing'
for almost 20 minutes without notising that we were standing still. hehe, after
such a shitty sail and a nervous pass it was great to laugh again.
We anchored up outside the Kia Ora resort and for the first time i had a look at
the lagoon with it's chrystal clear water and got that good feeling again.
Sailing is sometimes tough, hard and shitty business but the worse the sail the
better the rewards, Rangirora here we come...
'Hiva Oa Anchorage'
'Beer outside the Pub(store)'
'Darryl working ;-)