Wednesday, June 6, 2018

RUMPUS in the Society Islands - Isles sous le vent

Rumpus spent a few months out of the water at Raiatea Carenage. Highly recommended for boat care and friendliness.  There was plenty to do when Kristin arrived: refashion the spinnaker pole, antifouling, and the delightful job of disassembling, cleaning and re-plumbing the holding tank. Also seeing what could be done to the mainsail to repair some of the worst short,  preparing Rumpus for launch and racing! 

spreading the main out on the nearby basketball court...

Our time this year was in 4 phases….

Phase 1: 6 on board: Murray & Dale, Karen & Nick, Rupe and Kristin for the Tahiti Pearl Regatta – Five active racing days: two races per day with destination parties in Taha’a and Borabora. 
We won two of the passage races and one of the ‘banana’ (windward leeward) races. 

Highlight: being joined by French sailing legend Loick Peyron on one of our races. He spent most of the time on the bow shaping our genoa and, after we rounded the top mark…”We go downwind, this is time for a cigarette…”. 

Our haka as we crossed the finish line of this race was perhaps a little sketchy but the locals enjoyed it. 

L to R: Rupe, Nick Bullock, Loick Peyron, Murray Gilbert

Loick Peyron with the foredeck crew Kristin and Fiona 

There were some exciting moments as the fleet entered the passes with giant rollers on each side

Chilled out race official

Pre start excitement

We loved this regatta. Our Russian friend Alexei with his Shipman 63 "Vera", whom we’d met first in Panama and later in Auckland, raced with his friends and family including 3 young girls. Fiona Ryder from Auckland took the helm for the racing and they came 2ndoverall in the cruising division to their great delight.

Rumpus came 4thoverall and we were thrilled to win the award for the “Boat with the Best Spirit”!

Phase 2: Dale and Murray left to continue their world journey. Karen, Nick, Rupe and Kristin visited Borabora and some Taha’a anchorages. We relaxed with some market shopping and dinner at the Borabora yacht club. 

Phase 3: Karen and Nick returned home, and Guy, Katherine and baby Amelia joined us. This meant a complete change of pace as we worked around the best sleeping times for Amelia and found places ashore for her to run about. The change of scene and the heat rather unsettled her but she really enjoyed the water and all the special time she had with Guy at her beck and call!  

Phase 4: Just us: Kristin and Rupe. We stocked up at Uturoa. Here you can tie up to the fuel dock and take on water, fuel and groceries all within 50 metres. Then off to Huahine where we watched a stand up paddle race, discovered a paradise anchorage in the south (Avea) and met some new friends including Jennifer and Mark on their private dive boat Starlet.

These kids were all cheering for "Papa!" in the SUP race

Kristin had a great dive with Jennifer and Mark; then we rented a scooter and drove all around Huahine – there are some special treats: completely secluded bays, ancient stone Maraes, and giant blue eyed eels at Fitii. 

Marae Ma'anunu

Nous n'avons que d'oeufs......(we only have eggs)

Next day we decided to go to Maupiti, an island about 100 miles west of Huahine. Maupiti has only one, very narrow, coral-lined entrance pass. We ‘d been told that it was a truly magical place. After 4 hours motor sailing from Borabora, we assessed the pass. Huge rollers from the 3m southerly ocean swell were breaking at times right across the entrance and a current was flowing out at >6 knots. We decided that it was far too risky: Our chances of careening down a wave face beam on and slewing onto coral were extremely high. 
Somewhere behind this wave is a narrow entrance to the Maupiti pass

So……back to Borabora and then to Taha'a. We anchored in a little bay which was overwhelmed by the incredible sounds of a dance/drum rehearsal for the July festivities. 
We rowed across to watch. The entire village was there - we were the only 'popa'as' (pakehas). There were 16 drummers, dozens of dancers, and a choir. 

traditional nose flute....

Over the next few days another trip to Huahine. Stunning sunsets every night and very benign weather. Rumpus goes back to the Raiatea Carenage this weekend and we will be back for more sailing in October....