Rays, rain and referendum results

Tuesday 21st June 2016

I watch as two coconuts bob by, or is one a turtles head popped up for a breath of air, so common place are these occurrences that we hardly acknowledge them any more. We no longer sit in blue clear water, we are surrounded by a thick brown soup. Waterfalls have appeared in the mountain sides around us, the rivers at the head of the bay’s gush thier reddy, brown contents into the sea. We have had 3 days of rain, our whole world is soggy and damp and I have a cold, we have been remarkably healthy since we left the UK hardly a sniffle between us,  unfortunately I seem to have caught one in Tahiti and as it has poured with rain outside, my eyes and nose have streamed inside. 

On Saturday the wind began to pick up but the sun still shone, in an attempt to clear my head a little we dingied over to a sting ray feeding area. A patch of shallow sand in the lagoon where the tour boats come armed with tinned sardines to hand feed the large ray’s and inevitably the local black tip shark population. Today there were no tour boats but the sound of our engine was enough to attract attention, we were immediately surrounded by over a dozen or so black tip sharks and four or five large sting rays. We hadn’t bought any food with us but to be honest with sharks outweighing the rays by about four to one the prospect of jumping in the water hands full of sardines seemed rather foolish. We were happy enough to just see them at such close quarters sitting in the dingy.

Sting rays mobbing the dingy

That night the combination of my sneezing, the rain clattering on the hatch and the wind howling through the rigging made for a rather sleepless night. The next day we decided to up anchor and move to the protection inside the bay. The wind still gusted down through the mountains spinning us this way and that but the holding was good and the scenery, when we could make it out through the gloom was fantastic.

By Monday with the weather still not good enough for the crossing to our next island Huahini (pronounced Wuahini, we are told) but unable to make drinking water from the muddy water  around us in the bay, we decided to go off shore for an hour, make water, empty black tanks and then re-anchor in the other deep bay on the north coast of Moorea, two miles to the east, Cooks Bay. 

Cooks Bay is slightly wider and the surrounding mountains less steep giving it a more open feel and it is slightly more built up. Next to our anchorage is the Bali Hai Hotel, yes Moorea is yet another island that claims to be the setting of the movie South Pacific, they have a dingy dock, a bar, restaurant and book exchange, with a small supermarket up the road there was everything we needed.

Clouds building over the peaks in Cooks Bay

Thursday 23rd June

The weather broke Wednesday afternoon so we departed for Huahini that evening, we left at ten, the light of the full moon guiding us out of the bay. The crossing was 87nm so we were sailing through the night to arrive to enter the pass in the reef surrounding the island in daylight. There was little wind and the night passed without incidence however as dawn arrived the sky darkened and we had an extremely wet last few hours. We are anchored off the pretty town beach and coincidentally  we have the best internet we have had since the Carribbean, enough in fact to watch the unfolding drama of the UK vote to leave the EU. Blimey that wil take some digesting!

A wet arrival in Fare , Huahini

7 thoughts on “Rays, rain and referendum results

  1. Lovely photo Roz and I see the furling system is working A good picture of it, Sorry about the rain but thlngs are bound to get better soon It says it never rains in Fiji and your getting nearer to that island What a time you are having Best wishes and safe sailing. Doug

    Liked by 1 person

  2. we are living through interesting times to say the least – but I would rather be with you for the time being ! hope the weather clears up soon for you and for us

    Liked by 1 person

  3. if it was not for the background in the last picture you could easily assume you where back in the solent – waterproofs and wet weather, grey and cloudy – thought we had monopoly on that right now – cant wait for barcelona next week. C


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