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Ice Dancer
April 2005
March 2005
November 2004

May 27, 2005

Three days out of Raiatea, we moved north of a low pressure trough that had brought rain, lightning, high wind and bumpy seas. On Friday, the seas and wind calmed down, so the first order of business was to get the fishing lines into the water. As a result, we are having wahoo, also known as ono, sashimi for tonight's dinner.

We are standing three-hour watches at night, from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. During the day, the watch schedule is flexible and depends on projects on board. Geoff Curran rejoined us at Raiatea and is sharing watch responsibilities.

Some of the fuel purchased along our journey carried a fine particulate into our tanks. As a result, we are changing our 2-micron, primary fuel filters every day or two. Fortunately, we have a large supply of extra filters. Also, we are drawing from one tank and transferring fuel through a filter to that tank from the other three. This should extend the life of the primary filters.

Ambient temperatures are rising as we head toward the equator. It is 82 degrees this evening, with a brilliant view of the southern sky.

 

May 25, 2005

We finished grocery shopping, checked out with the Gendarme, fueled up and left Uturoa at noon, Tuesday (5/24). We are enroute to Christmas Island, shown on some maps as Kiritimati Island (01-58N 157-54W). It is 1,200 nm north of Raiatea. We will stop there for a rest and purchase fuel, if it is available. Before leaving Honolulu, we obtained required visas from a local representative of the Republic of Kiribati. It will be interesting, dealing with a new beauracracy.

We are back in touch with the Pacific Seafarer's Net, reporting our position and sea conditions by ham radio. The Net plots positions of all reporting boats and displays it on its web site, along with report information.

The French deserve credit for providing outstanding navigational aids, throughout French Polynesia. The system used and the extent of coverage is superior to the U.S. West Coast and Alaska waters. The whole experience of our visit to this territory deserves two thumbs up.

 

May 21, 2005

We are doing oil changes and routine maintenance in preparation for a Tuesday departure for Christmas Island. We have been a twosome since our college buddy returned to California, last week. Our pilot friend from Hawaii will return on Tuesday for the trip north. In the meantime, we are anchored behind a small island in Teavapiti Pass, off Raiatea (16-45S 151-26W).

The plan is to run at a slower speed until Christmas Island. That way, if we cannot get fuel, we will have enough on board to make it to Honolulu. If we can get fuel, we will run to Palmyra Atoll on the way back to Ko Olina.

Winter weather has taken its grip, here. Temperatures have plunged to mid-70's, overnight. We will miss the cool breezes when we approach the equator.

Ham radio propagation has been excellent. Last night, we listened to boats reporting in for the Pacific Seafarer's Net, from all around the Pacific. After, we talked to a station in Abilene, Texas, just to test our equipment. We will resume nightly check-ins on the net, which are posted on the YOTREPS web site.

 

May 17, 2005

Bora Bora's profile is remarkable and well worth viewing. However, we would recommend the view from the islands of Tahaa or Raiatea, rather than from within the island's lagoon. Bora Bora, in our view, is a victim of industrial tourism. It has been loved to death, resulting in opaque water and loss of coral within the lagoon. It is an environmental failure in progress.

In contrast, the low populations on nearby Tahaa and Raiatea give great cruising destinations with excellent water clarity and prolific sea life.

We plan to top off our fuel supply at Utaroa, Raiatea next Tuesday, and begin our northbound leg back toward Hawaii. In the meantime, we will do routine maintenance and visit anchorages within the reef that surrounds these two islands.

 

May 12, 2005

We experienced poor satellite reception for the past several days, perhaps due to high mountains. Here is a recap of our recent wanderings.

Today (5/12), we are enroute from Huahine to Bora Bora. Huahine is a sparsely populated and attractive island. We hunkered down there the past two days, as storms rolled past. Our overnight run from Moorea to Huahine was quite rough, with confused seas smacking us from time to time. Ham radio reports indicated strong gales in the Tuomotus, with boats unable to pass in or out of the atolls.

Moorea has been the high point of the Society Islands, so far. Visualize Catalina Island only ten miles off of L.A., instead of 26, but a profile like the spires at Monument Valley. Add coconut palms, lush vegetation, clear-blue water and you have it.

James Michener and others have said Bora Bora is the most beautiful of the Societies. We'll see how it compares.

 

May 5, 2005

Yesterday, we shopped downtown Papeete. We tied to a concrete wall with big truck tires and surge. That was the bad part. Our yacht services fellow, Laurent, had us dock at the quay, I think because it was conveniently near the offices where he had to take our papers. To get duty-free fuel in the Marquesas, we had to work through an agent. The good news is that we have avoided most of the paperwork cha cha.

We are now anchored a few miles south off Marina Taina, along with 45 sailboats and one other Nordhavn, a 47 named Bacchus, with owners Mark and Dan Johnson of Las Vegas. Several cruisers stopped by our boat while on the quay to say that they had heard our ham reports on Seafarer's Net.

Our back is to Tahiti, and looking west through the pilot house windows is large surf breaking on the barrier reef and ten miles beyond, the island of Moorea. It is quite a sight.


May 3, 2005

After two delightful days at one of Captain Cook's favorite Tahitian anchorages, we are enroute to Papeete (17-32S 149-35W), the population and economic center of French Polynesia. We expect a changed environment from an anchorage with no other cruisers, beside the quiet rural village of Tautira.

We plan to spend a few days in Papeete replenishing supplies before heading on to other Society Islands.

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