2023 Society islands
July 10th to August 2nd
Tahiti is 220nm from Toau,Tuamotus or a day and a half sail. So we left Toau late afternoon and timed the sail to arrive at first light in two days time. The hassle with Papeete, Tahiti is that you cannot reserve a berth in the marina. It is first come first serve. I figured that, arriving early, we would have the best chance of finding someone making an early morning start. Our timing was perfect and we approached the marina at 06.30 - as two boats were leaving. Fortune favours the brave!
We had a long list of boat jobs to do and a motivation to finish them all before the Bastille Day celebrations on July 14th. We completed the planned jobs - but not the unplanned ones. Whilst doing the annual engine maintenance I discovered water in the gearbox oil. After checking with a Volvo engineer, there was no alternative: the boat had to be hauled out to replace the propellor seal on the saildrive. That was planned as a preventive maintenance action in NZ but it seems I waited too long. An expensive mistake.
As well as Bastille day celebrations, we toured Tahiti with a rental car, seeing the sites, did a mammoth hike up Mount Marou before sailing to Cooks Bay, Moorea. This island is nicer, quieter than the bustle of Tahiti - but with few facilities or shops (on the north coast). Hiking was great though, and I wish we could have stayed longer. But the wind was due to blow from the north for a number of days so we took the last day with following winds to move to Raiatea.
After a few jobs ( including seeing a doctor - my ear is healed!) we explored the Raiatea coastline. The island is home to two major yacht charter companies and there is lots of cruising inside the reef with numerous anchorages. There is a world heritage site at the centre of the 'Polynesian triangle', botanical gardens, a 'jungle river trip' and excellent snorkelling in the Coral Gardens, Tahaa
Finally, we moved to Bora Bora, an iconic tourist destination ( particularly for honeymoons).
Remember to double click on the pictures to get the story behind them. And the videos are all at the end.