Global Voyage

A Story About Sailing Around the World

Ray & Jenny aboard the ketch Suka

3 years, 35,000 miles, Nov 1982 - Jan 1986

Ray & Jenny Jardine

Chapter 3: Tahiti And The Societies page 48 of 109

Sailing to the Island of Huahine

A full month after the final cyclone, we thought it safe to move on. We were eager to visit the Iles Sous les Vent, Tahiti's cousin islands "under the wind" (those in her lee). So after installing the sat-nav, we effected the necessary paperwork with the harbor officials, and visited the outdoor market and shops to replenish Suka's goodies larder.

With a northerly 15-knot wind, Suka gurgled along at a comfortable 5-1/2 knots under full press of canvas. Moving once again felt wonderful, even though the jaunt was but a single night's journey.

I had removed the self-steering auxiliary rudder soon after our arrival in Tahiti, in order to protect it from cyclone damage. The 100 mile excursion to the Leeward Islands did not warrant reassembling the devise onto Suka's transom, so we stood tyranny to the tiller. This soon put us in remembrance of our seagoing predecessors who had circumnavigated the globe prior to the advent of the self-steering mechanism or the autopilot. Those were the days when designers and builders placed far more emphasis on helm balance, seaworthiness, and seakindliness; and when the yachtsmen and yachtswomen knew how to trim those vessels. These days, the short-handed owner is expected to bolt on a self-steering apparatus as something of an afterthought, in an attempt to camouflage any deficiencies on both accounts.


Zoom out to see where we are.

In fact, Suka carried so much weather helm that we rarely flew her mizzen sail - it only exacerbated the problem. Additionally, she was fitted with hydraulic steering, so her rudder would not hold a trim setting for more than a few minutes. The hydraulic fluid, under the rudder's back pressure, would slowly seep back through the seals of the helm pump (despite my having it rebuilt). As the vessel lacked a big genoa, the only means we could balance her was by flying a loosely sheeted, deep reefed main, and a jib hardened well in. But this configuration provided minimal sail drive in normal trade wind conditions, so we seldom reverted to it. Instead, we normally flew the full mainsail, and left the self-steering gear to grapple with the induced weather helm.

Avaamoa

We reached the island of Huahine (who-ah-he'-knee) and rounded it to its north, and entered Passe Avaamoa. Inside we found placid and emerald-green water, white sand beaches, and the thatched bungalows of the Bali Hai Hotel. We set anchor into the sand, where subsequently it was to remain ensconced for two weeks.

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Fare, Huahini, at the wharf.

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Huahini

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Inspecting the mizzen mast aloft.

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The Bali Hai Hotel

Cyclonic desecration was in little evidence here. For some reason the fierce blasts had not ravaged this island as hard as they had the others.

Touring the Island by Motorbikes

As we had on Moorea, we toured the island riding rented motorbikes. Our first impression was how fecund the lush verdure covering the island. The Society Islands are a botanical wonderland, and Huahine was certainly no exception. The air was redolent of rich, earthy odors and of plants growing robust. The flora was larger than life.

Small, corrugated-iron roofed houses were surrounded by small, open plots and by gardens. As was the case in a few of the villages in the Marquesas, the yards here were impeccably well kept. Where there was grass, it was mowed neatly - despite what must have been a voracity of weeds encouraged by the warm, moist, and sunny tropical clime. Where the yard was bare ground, it was raked meticulously. Huahine was so well groomed, in fact, that rarely in our travels about the island did we find the smallest piece of litter.

The people, though, where what impressed us the most. Wherever we found them, they treated us cheerfully and amiably. They lived comparatively simple lives, without much avarice - although economically they were ages ahead of the Marquesans.

In short, we found the island a delight.

But the mood's insouciance was shattered one afternoon. In the company of a few other yachtees, Jenny and I were strolling along a dirt road leading through the village of Fare, there being no sidewalk to speak of, when a jeep skidded to a halt. "Off the street!" a gendarme ordered, in a tone so atypically unremitting that we only stood there, taken aback. At that, the Gestapo-like cop stepped from his jeep, (parked in the middle of the street), approached us most threateningly, and repeated his command, which was beginning to sink in. After we had complied, the fulminating, one-person task force withdrew into his jeep and sped away.

“As if acting a scene of the keystone cops, in our many side trips we had unknowingly eluded the SWAT team.”

Our next encounter, or rather a near miss, with this diabolical character occurred a few days later. After riding motorbikes about the island most of the afternoon, we had returned to the hotel for refreshments. The friendly bartender, who by then knew us reasonably well, related that the SWAT team of one, (not his exact words) had been out scouring the island in search of our whereabouts. It seems that we had been riding motorbikes illegally, by not wearing helmets. Why the fellow renting the motorbikes had not supplied helmets, and why he had not so much as mentioned that helmets were required - remains a mystery. Perhaps he was also oblivious to this newly fabricated law. And conversely, how the polizei knew that we were in violation of his law was another question, and one that might have suggested a collusion there somewhere. Nevertheless, as if acting a scene in the furthering episodes of the keystone cops, in our many side trips to explore roads leading into the jungle we had unknowingly eluded the nemesis.

The story has 109 pages. This is page 48.
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Page Links
GV 001: Title Page
GV 002: TOC
GV 003: Dedication
GV 004: Preface
GV 005: Prologue
GV 006: Beginnings
GV 007: Work Done
GV 008: Making Ready
GV 009: Departure
GV 010: Sailing Credentials
GV 011: First Lesson
GV 012: Sextant Navigation
GV 013: Safety Harness
GV 014: Murphy's law
GV 015: Spirit of Adventure
GV 016: Holding On
GV 017: First Big Storm
GV 018: Storm Intensified
GV 019: Rolling Violently
GV 020: Mizzen Sleeping Bag'sl
GV 021: Freeing the Propeller
GV 022: Visits by Birds
GV 023: Crossing the Doldrums
GV 024: Nearing First Landfall
GV 025: Land Ho
GV 026: Fatu Hiva
GV 027: Trek Inland
GV 028: Anchor Watch
GV 029: Passage
GV 030: Hiva Oa
GV 031: Skin Diving Circus
GV 032: Almost Like a Jungle
GV 033: Polaris Missile
GV 034: Taiohaie Bay
GV 035: Cascade Hakaui
GV 036: Taipi Bay
GV 037: Cyclone Lisa
GV 038: Cyclone Nano
GV 039: Passage of Patience
GV 040: Tuamotu Archipelago
GV 041: Tahiti
GV 042: Cyclone Reva
GV 043: Secret Sharer
GV 044: Moorea
GV 045: Cyclone Veena
GV 046: Aftermath
GV 047: Good Weather in Papeete
> GV 048: Huahine
GV 049: Raiatea
GV 050: BoraBora
GV 051: Rarotonga
GV 052: Tonga
GV 053: Fresh Air
GV 054: Tongan Feast
GV 055: Excursion to Maninita
GV 056: Mariner's Cave
GV 057: Fiji
GV 058: Ndravuni Island
GV 059: Mara Island
GV 060: Aneityum
GV 061: Noumea
GV 062: St Elmo's fire
GV 063: Breakwater Reef
GV 064: Bundaberg
GV 065: Life on the Burnett River
GV 066: Engine Sabotage
GV 067: Flying
GV 068: Aground in Round Hill Creek
GV 069: Gladstone Confinement
GV 070: Tropical Queensland
GV 071: Trip into Townsville
GV 072: Cairns Sojourn
GV 073: Cramped Cooktown
GV 074: Lizard Island
GV 075: The San Michelle
GV 076: Lost Mummy Cave
GV 077: Land's End
GV 078: Darwin
GV 079: Christmas Is
GV 080: Passage
GV 081: Cocos Keeling
GV 082: Crossing the Indian Ocean
GV 083: Rodriguez
GV 084: Mauritius
GV 085: Reunion Cirque de Mafate
GV 086: Reunion Cirque de Salazie
GV 087: Passage to Africa
GV 088: Kruger National Park
GV 089: Richards Bay
GV 090: Durban
GV 091: Port Elizabeth
GV 092: Cape Town
GV 093: Storm Passage
GV 094: St Helena
GV 095: Passage to Brazil
GV 096: Fortaleza
GV 097: Passage to Caribbean
GV 098: Bonaire
GV 099: Passage to Panama
GV 100: Panama
GV 101: Panama Canal
GV 102: Medidor
GV 103: Costa Rica
GV 104: Passage to Acapulco
GV 105: Acapulco to Cabo
GV 106: Baja
GV 107: Home Port
GV 108: In Retrospect
GV 109: Next Time
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