Wednesday 30 June 2021

Raiatea and a Chance to take a Trip back to the UK


Amazing good luck and a bit of persistence on our part got us a spot in one of the boat yards on the island of Raiatea (about 110 miles west of Tahiti), and therefore an unexpected opportunity to take a trip home to the UK. It was a surprisingly unpleasant sail from Tahiti to Raiatea.

On arrival  we enjoyed a few days of exploration, including a visit to the marae ruins of Taputapuapea at the southern end of the island. This Unesco heritage site was the Pacific centre point for learning and culture c 1000AD, where priests, navigators and the learned would gather to share knowledge and offer sacrifices to the Gods....Human sacrifices were apparently a thing here.   - for more information!

A hike up the hill behind the ruins gave us a fantastic view of the reef surrounding the island, and making clear the pass for boats through the reef (light coloured sea is reef, darker blue is deeper (safe) water)

We also took the dinghy up the Faaroa River...which felt wonderfully the botanical gardens. 

Preparing Tintamarre for a long spell in the yard is always hard work. We are used to having a marina conveniently close to the haul out yard, for easy removal of canvas and lines. But The Carenage doesn't have this facility;- our first challenge. Our second challenge was that the boat lift was super small. Can you see the problem Tintamarre will have being removed from the lift?

Both the wind generator pole and the back stay had to be removed to extricate Tintamarre. (Very happy to say that the yard now has a super new lift!)

We spent a few days preparing Tintamarre for her rest here. Sails, lines, solar panels, bimini and storm hood all packed away.

Meanwhile another covid lockdown looked like it might scupper our plans to travel completely, with the threat that all inter island transport would be suspended. We needed to get to Tahiti to get the plane home. Fortunately we were able to bring our flight from tiny Raiatea airport to Tahiti forward. 

We caught our flight back to the UK ok...albeit running late by 24 hours....but that's another story!

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