Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mo’orea, Society Islands, French Polynesia Mar 11 – 17 2014

We arrived in Cooks Bay, Mo’orea with building winds and seas as a cold front bringing heavy west winds was due and we were exposed sitting on a mooring at Marina Tiana on the west side of Papeete.

With our hook firmly in place we settled in to wait for the bad weather.  We spent the first night without incident and then were visited by the French Coast guard who came knocking and told us that it would be safer for us on the east side of the island, as they had dragged earlier in the week sitting in the same spot we were anchored.

We raised anchor and sailed in a brisk breeze back to the eastern anchorage, entering thru the ferry pass with building seas.

As we entered the anchorage we noticed a very interesting site, it was a ‘Jet Boarder’.  This is akin to strapping on a boogie board and hooking up to a water jet.  It propelled the rider out of the water and with practice you could see how much fun it might be…however, give the height of thrust, it could also be a dangerous ride.  The young fellow we saw was screaming like a bangie and apparently having the ride of a lifetime, it did look like fun.

We spent the next three days hunkered down as the winds howled.  Three days of 30 + knots with gusts over 50 knots. 

I was up reading on the last night of the heavy weather when the winds seemed to have finally blown themselves out.  It appeared that the system had passed and the winds were down in the 12 – 15 kt range.  We had not had much sunshine for the solar panels, and I had tied off the wind generator to keep it safe.  I decided it was time to loose Winne and get some power back in the boat.  It was all good for about an hour and about 4 am. along came a microburst of undetermined strength, but it was strong enough that it latterly lifted our 30lb. wind generator off the mounting pole and away it went.  I mean it was gone.  We were anchored in 70 feet of shark infested water so murky you couldn’t see a foot.  All of the wave action of the past few days made it like soup.  For those of you who have followed the saga of our KISS wind generator, we have had it since the beginning and it was was a royal pain in the keester.  I completely re and re’d (rebuilt and re-installed) it 14 times in 10 years.  It was only the past year that it actually worked as advertised.  But it was gone!  And the next day so were we…as we made an overnight passage to Raiatea.

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