Winter is coming

Until three days ago it was really hot and calm, but then southerly winds set in, sending up chilly air masses with best regards of the icebergs down there ;-) The weather forecast had predicted light westerly winds, so we were anchored off the western motu Tenoko when a procession of squalls approached, hiding Taravai and Mangareva behind a dark grey wall. When the squalls reached us, the wind shifted south (not so nice being suddenly with the stern towards the outer reef and fetch building up over the lagoon), so we decided to head to the shelter of the village anorage of Taravai. We motored there against 25 knots of wind and heavy rain, reached the channel into the anchorage just before dark and the helmswoman was surprised and relieved how smoothly the manoeuvre through the tricky corners of the entrance went, despite gusts on the beam and the barely visible landmarks. Good that we’ve practiced that narrow, shallow entrance so often in good conditions before…

The cool southeasterly’s still blowing and many boats that have spent the cyclone season here, use it for a downwind ride to the Tuamotus or straight to Tahiti. Pitufa and her crew are also ready to go, but as we’re still hoping to make it to Rapa in the Iles Australes (the southernmost island of French Polynesia) this weather window didn’t really work for us and we’ll wait for the next one.

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