Sunday, June 1, 2014

I've arrived in Papeete, Tahiti

I arrived yesterday, late morning in Papeete. Luckness is anchored just north of Marina Taina, which is a few miles from downtown Papeete.

The sail from Fakarava was excellent. I motored to the north pass from the south, which was a little tedious, but I exited the north pass at 4:25pm, just around slack tide. Once out of the atoll I started sailing almost immediately in winds ranging from 18 to 28 knots, with the seas around 6 feet or so. I had the main deeply reefed and two reefs in the genoa and kept that combination for the entire way to Tahiti as the winds stayed in the mid 20s. Luckness was moving along nicely, and arrived just off of Point Venus, 230nm from Fakarava, in 35.5 hours. The average speed was 6.5 knots, about 155nm per day. Very nice.

I had planned to sail around the west side of Tahiti and to enter the pass close to the Marina, but just after Point Venus the winds became very fickle, dropping from the trades strength and direction into island influenced clocking weak winds. It went from 22 knots behind me to 6 knots ahead of me, then the side, then the other side within 30 minutes. I reduced sail and motored into Tahiti harbor, that was pretty sweet. From there, you actually have to cross over the runway twice as you motor around between the island and the fringing reef south to the marina. I called into VHF channel 12 asking permission of the Port Control to cross the runway, twice, and received it both times. That's a first for me, crossing a airport runway in a sailboat.

Anchoring here looks pretty easy, sand bottom, 45 feet of water with what looks like good holding and very little wind.

It seems there was a landslide or something a few days ago, and the island has been cut off from internet for a few days. It may be back tomorrow or the next day. Or the next, we'll see.

There are a few boats here I know, which is fun. I've also started to explore the immediate area around the marina. There is a smallish store here outside and to the right of the marina. It would have been the best store ever, if it was in the Marquesas or Tuamotus. Great selection, with veggies, eggs, lots of variety in all categories. However if you exit the marina and head left, there is a huge Carrefour which is a supermarket on steroids. Its better than a lot of the supermarkets in the states, although with a french slant on the products. Its going to be easy to provision here.

I'll head into downtown tomorrow, monday, and look around.

All is well. I'll upload photos when I get a chance.

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  1. Holy cow! You have landed and crossed a run-way twice and I hadn't replied to the first posting! And Tahiti. So cool! Go for the local produce. No, I don't know, just a gut reaction. It'll be hard to resist French goodies! Sounds like a fair sailing with 6' waves! What do I know! except I love you, Mum

  2. Way to go, Craig! I'm enjoying your photos. I swam in that mini-lagoon at Fakarava! Such a beautiful motu. Love your stories.