On the way to Maupihaa

This month we have to leave beautiful French Polynesia after 3 wonderful years, firstly because import tax on the boat would be due now and secondly because there are many more interesting islands further out in the Western Pacific.
The next island group west of Fr. Polyn. are the Cook Islands that are spread wide from north to south, but they don’t have many anchorages where a keel boat like Pitufa can enter and the fees are very high, so we decided to skip them generally. Further west lies Niue (1100 nm from Tahiti), a raised atoll also called ‘The Rock of Polynesia’ and the smallest independent nation of the world. It has no pass and no anchorages, but a few moorings off the main town where yachts can stay–given the weather situation is stable. 100 nm east of Niue lies Beveridge Reef–a reef surrounding a lagoon that has a pass, but no land at all.

Each morning of the past week we got up at 6 o’clock, got all available weather forecasts and considered our options. Would the wind stay stable all the way to Beveridge reef and then calm down enough for us to have a good time there (it shouldn’t be too rough or the waves make it over the reef)? Or should we just sail to the westernmost island of French Polynesia, the tiny atoll Maupihaa, also known as Mopelia (entry only in calm conditions possible)?
Yesterday morning we were ready to set out for Maupihaa, but then the sea seemed too rough for our arrival a day later and we chickened out and only sailed the 25 nm over to Bora Bora, where we planned to spend the afternoon relaxing and swimming in the turquoise lagoon. Instead we discovered that the seams of the lazybag were falling apart, took off the mainsail and the lazybag (the bag where the mainsail falls into when lowered and where it stays covered and protected from UV light in anchorages) and spent 5 hours on the sewing machine repairing it.

This morning we considered all options again, but the weather situation looks too insecure to head to Beveridge Reef or Niue, so we got on the way to Maupihaa instead where we’ll arrive some time tomorrow, the wind is more fickle than exprcted. Yesterday a 2 m high swell from the Southwest still thundered against the outer reef of Bora Bora, today it’s going down, so tomorrow morning it should be calm enough to attempt the pass into Maupihaa which is only 20 metres(!) wide and is notorious for very strong currents.

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