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 50 of 109

The Island of Tahaa


Zoom out to see where we are.

Anxious to explore nearby Tahaa, we reluctantly decided to press on. So with the benefit of high tide, and with an impromptu contingent of rescue personnel standing at the ready, Jenny untied our dock lines and I gunned the engine. Suka's keel planed across a few high spots and slowed momentary, but without further mishap she carried her jubilant crew into the lagoon's deeper water.

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Tahaa

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Suka lying quietly in the little Hurepiti Bay.

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A fern leaf noticed while hiking.

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Suka in Hurepiti Bay.

Sailing within the fringing reef to Tahaa (tah-ha'-ah), we entered a placid bay called Hurepiti, and anchored near its head in 5 fathoms, close to a steep-to coral reef.

The following morning we paddled ashore and went for a long walk, following a dirt road that surmounted a mountain pass and descended the far slope to Baie Haamene. Here was a small village, suitably removed from the tourist's well-trounced expressways. Thoroughly enjoying the day, we retraced our steps and returned aboard.

The anchorage was deep and fringed with dangerous coral reefs that would genuinely threaten Suka's hull in the event of a blow. So we weighed and exited the Passe Papei, discernible only as a narrow gap in the wall of enormous surf otherwise crashing headlong onto the barrier reef. Outside the lagoon the swell was considerable. So ours was a wild ride until we had negotiated the confused seas rebounding from the reefs.

Bora Bora


Zoom out to see where we are.

Bora Bora would be our final Polynesian stopover, and we motor-sailed all afternoon in light airs to reach it.

Racing the setting sun, we entered Passe Teavanui and joined half a dozen yachts anchored before the yacht club. Belaying the chain around our padded foredeck bitt, I eased Suka's Danforth and 200 feet of chain into 80 feet of water. This was by far the deepest anchorage of the voyage.

We rented bicycles and peddled around the island, and we lunched among the tourists at the larger hotels. Mainly, though, we enjoyed plying the encompassing waters of the immense lagoon, to snorkel about the outer motus, and to fossick for sea shells. It was there that we found great beauty and serenity.

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Heading for Passe Teavanui, Bora Bora.

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Surf bashing into Bora Bora's fringing reef.

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“The feluccas of the flamboyant flotilla barely missing us and not always missing each other.”

Even so, there was one curios phenomena. Any private yacht found lying quietly - her crew enjoying the solitude - the bareboat charter clientele considered fair game. Based on weeks of experience, I could only surmise that the charter companies must advise their customers that to be safe they need only anchor near other yachts, and the nearer the better. To whit, these neophyte skippers would come flying down on us, two or three in formation with full sails billowing gallantly. Then once in our immediate proximity they would panic. Crews would scurry about, desperately dropping sails into piles on the decks as their helmsmen would roar close around under full power. Anchors were dropped while under way, and the feluccas of the flamboyant flotilla would commence barely missing us and not always missing each other. Oddly, as familiar with this routine as we eventually became, Jenny and I never did grow accustomed to their infernal dragging under-scoped anchors and colliding into each other, and to their hollering at the tops of their panicked and frustrated voices. And I wondered if they considered us unsociable when invariably we weighed and moved elsewhere.

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Exploring the reef.

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Reef crab

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Looking down from the masthead.

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From the masthead looking across the lagoon.

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Feeding the reef fish stale bread.

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While touring the island with rented bicycles, we came across this interesting catamaran pirogue.

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Suka off the Club Med Motu

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Sunset

Having been in French Polynesia six and a half months, and now after lingering in Bora Bora for two glorious weeks, we were eager to move on. So when El Nino had spent itself, and a favorable wind had resumed, we presented our paperwork to the Gendarmerie and collected the bond money deposited in Hiva Oa.

June 25th we weighed and set sail to the south-west, bound for Rarotonga, the principle isle of the Cook Islands. The trade winds? They returned with unexpected vigor.

The story has 109 pages. This is page 50.
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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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