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Monday, July 18, 2011
The forecast was for winds 15 - 20 knots then 20 knots and stronger in a day or so-all from the east. There were no wind warnings, so it seemed as if the time to go was now, or else wait for the stronger winds and bigger seas to settle in a few days - but I didn't feel I had enough time up my sleeve to wait in Moora a few more days. So yesterday morning I lifted the dinghy out onto the foredeck to get it dried out, though this was frustrated by some rainy squalls that started coming through, and there were wind gusts to 23knots, which made me wonder if perhaps the stronger wind was already here. And so all morning I debated with myself the wisdom of leaving for Huahine, about 85nm away to the north East. At te same time as I debated, I put everything away, tidied up, made myself a filling lunch and then when the dinghy finally dried out after about the fifth squall, I quickly rolled it up and put it away. I had calculated that if I was to leave I should actually leave at about 3pm so that I would arrive at Huahine in daylight. And that's what I did - with some trepidation, hoisting only the mainsail, and even then with one reef in. This turned out to be more than enough as the wind was consistently over 20 knots and the sea built to 2 metres during the night which was pretty well sleepless for me, but we were almost going downwind so it was reasonably comfortable. I saw two vessels nearby during the night and at daybreak another Cruiseliner crossed a few miles behind heading for BoraBora. I motored in through Pass Avapehi and found some sand over the reef to drop my anchor into. I was too tired to get the dinghy back out but have just rested on the boat and had a little nap. Despite being on the lee side of the island, which is mountainous but nowhere near as rugged as Moorea, windy gusts of 15 to 20 knots are managing to spiral over the hills and keep me watching my marks closely to see we aren't drifting. The reef is beautiful and I can hear drumming in the village, and earlier, church bells. In the morning I shall go ashore and investigate.