Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sailing Westward

Hauling Out
After a wonderful time in Rangiroa with my father, we sailed SSW for the hub of French Polynesia, the island of Tahiti. While only 235 nautical miles, we were becalmed one day, and had to face headwinds another, extending our voyage to four days. After four days at sea, we arrived in Papeete, and tied up at Marina Taina for a little refresher.

Dad had to go home as soon as we arrived, and Tine was coming back to join Echo and continue or voyage. First however, we had to do all of the things that are only available in a big city like Papeete. We bought fancy cheese and wine, re-provisioned at the large supermarket, and put Echo on the hard for a bit of varnishing.

Any time I come into a harbor heads turn. People point at the boat, and marvel at her grace and beauty. She's easy to describe, "It's the pretty wood one," and people light up "OH! What a great looking boat," Usually followed by, "looks like lots of work!" She is. Maintaining Echo's beauty is a full time job, and only a few months after stripping her hull bare and applying ten coats of varnish it was time to do the varnish work again. I had her hauled out at Technimarine in Papeete, and Tine and I went from lazy days to 15 hour work days quite quickly. A couple thousand dollars and lots of hard work later, Echo was gleaming and ready to set out again.

Fresh Varnish
We splashed her in, bought some more wine, and took her sailing again. It felt great to be at sea again. While Papeete is a great place to work and get provisions, it is an urban metropolis. A big dirty city that shocked our senses after being in tiny little Polynesian villages for so long. All of a sudden we had to worry about crime, smell smog, and wouldn't consider a swim in the dirty commercial harbor. But it was all over, we were headed back to paradise. To the WNW was Bora Bora, famed for it's undescribable beauty.

Echo sailed well, we made 6 knots with only the genoa flying all the way to Bora Bora, and arrived at a mooring in front of the Yacht Club amongst old friends, once again in paradise.

1 comment:

  1. Rob, Echo is a beautiful boat, a real head turner for sure. Really enjoy reading about your adventures, keep it up old friend..