Friday, July 15, 2011


Last night a Swedish man rowed across to Sapphire to warn me that he might have entangled his anchor chain in mine. He could see I was making ready to depart in the morning - pulling the dinghy out, taking the shade screens off, putting my mainsail back on - but he explained that in the morning he had to go ashore to take his wife to the doctor very early but said if there were problems, they should be back by 9 or 10. Actually the water was so clear I had seen my anchor, the anchor buddy and all the chain at various times, and even the lines and patterns left in the sand by my chain so I assured him that I didnt think there would be a problem - and indeed this morning, there was none and I was motoring out of Marina Taina on a cloudless windless day by 0830. It felt great to be on our way again, even though we weren't sailing but motoring across towards Moorea , and I saw a turtle and a bizarre organism called - I think - a salp - a primitive creature about the size of a milk carton with a completely translucent body so that its innards are visible - something I have known about since my Zoology days but never before seen. A breeze slowly built till at last, after 3 hours I was able to switch the motor off and sail with a 12 to 14 knot breeze across the northern coast of Moorea and into Baie Opunohu, a place of legendary and breathtaking beauty on one of the worlds most beautiful islands, Moorea. I dropped anchor inside the reef at 2.30 pm and haven't done a lot since other than check my anchor is holding, and put the dinghy back in the water but I haven't been ashore or even had a swim. One would of course prefer to have Paradise to oneself, but unfortunately that cant happen, so there are another 15 or so yachts in this reasonably confined sandy anchorage. I'm 75 metres from a coconut palm shaded beach which was busy all afternoon with families picnicking and swimming, and at the far eastern end is one of those tourist places consisting of lines of thatched roof chalets snaking out onto the reef. At the other end the beach curves round a point and continues up into the bay at the head of which are those massive rock walls, cliffs and spires and jagged ridges that give this place its magnificence. A huge P&O liner - "Pacific Pearl" occupied one little bay but has now departed, for Bora Bora I would imagine, having seen the direction it went once cleared through the pass in the reef.
So how good can it get? Ive had a great day, some very nice sailing and now I am going to finish my wine up on deck in the early darkness of the evening. And tomorrow? I'll decide in the morning! Au Revoir

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