About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard the two BRAVO's; the first boat a Kelly Peterson 46 with homeport in Seattle, Washington. The second is a new Boreal 52, launched in Treguier, France in February 2020.

We headed south from Seattle in 2010, and have been voyaging in one form or another since. Cheers, Adam and Cindi

"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844

Saturday, June 15, 2013

'BRAVO' exits the Tuamotus, and arrives in High Society.....

Arrival at Tahiti, village of Tautira
.....Society Islands, that is, the island group including Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora among others.  After an amazing 3+ weeks in the Tuamotus, it was time to move on, as our 90 day French Polynesia clock continues to wind down.  But what a great few weeks it was!!

Typical motu

As you saw in the last post, the Tuamotus are known for their lagoons, surrounded by low motus, or coral islets.  This means generally calm waters, with no ocean swell, though often the wind blows hard for days, uninterrupted by any real land masses for hundreds of miles.

And with the lagoons come passes into them.  And in the passes are fish....thousands and thousands of fish of all sizes and shapes.  And with the small fish are big predators.....we're talking top of the food chain here...the men in the gray suits.....hundreds and hundreds of sharks hang out, white tips, black tips, grays, and others, all enjoying the smorgasbord that the incoming tide presents to them.  I mean, why cruise aimlessly all over the damned ocean, when any shark worth his teeth can just hang out in the pass, and let the tide bring him his food?  We HAD to check this out!

So after a great tour of the Hinano pearl farm, we left Fakarava north, where we posted last, and headed to the south end of the lagoon, about 30 miles away.

Black pearls ranging from a few bucks to a few hundred

Found a great gang of boats there, all with water play time on the brain.  For this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site is world famous for its diving and snorkeling.  It's also a top spot for kite boarding on the calm lagoon waters in steady (usually!!) 15-25 knot winds, and when the winds (occasionly) lightened up, it's a great place for kayaking and paddle boarding as well.

Cindi explores a new motu

And underwater, well, it was truly a world class show.  We wound up snorkeling the pass a total of 9 times, and diving it twice....and every time was different.  From our anchorage on the west side of the pass it was a long wet dinghy ride to the pass itself, as we made our way around the reef....so once there, we would ride the incoming tide again and again.  When snorkeling, one of us would hold the dinghy line, so we'd have the dink at the end of the run, climb aboard, head out and run it again.  When diving, we'd anchor the dinghy near the entry of the pass, at a bit of a tidal backwater near shore, then walk back after the dive and retrieve the dink for the ride back to the anchorage.  It was never boring, as we'd see new critters on every dive, and we could have run it many more times before tiring of it.  Here, in no particular order, are some shots pulled from the critter cams....

"I'm too sexy for my face....."

Shoreside, the motus were great to hike around, and some of the cruising gang built a hanging bar for BYOB beach fires.

BRAVO at anchor at lower left
But eventually it was time to move on...and so, after several days of waiting for a good weather window, we headed out the pass on an afternoon slack tide (with our new fishy friends swimming below),  bound for Tahiti, about 230 miles to the west.  The first day and night were rolly indeed, with 10 foot swells and 20-25 knots of wind, but then it settled down nicely, and we arrived at the little village of Tautira on the eastern end of the island just after dawn after the 2nd night.  What a difference a couple of hundred miles made!!!  Much more like the mountainous islands of the Marquesas, the Society Islands have incredible relief, and the green mountains shrouded in mist welcomed us in to the calm anchorage.

A couple of ukes, a guitar, and a few beers...what more does a Sunday afternoon need?
After a couple of days exploring the village, including a great steep hike to the hill above (where the above photo was taken), we set sail for Papeete, the capitol of French Polynesia about 30 miles away.  

Your basic 160 foot cruising sailboat leaving Papeete harbor
And Papeete is indeed the "Big City" for the BRAVO crew...hundreds of fellow cruising boats of all sizes, repair facilities for us to get some much needed projects taken care of, grocery stores with more than the veggies that came in on yesterday's supply boat...a bit of sensory overload to be sure, as we haven't seen a real city since we left south America over 6 months ago.  Good fun, as we're enjoying meeting up with friends we haven't seen in months or even years, as Papeete serves as a kind of crossroads for all south Pacific voyagers. 

Island of Moorea, across from our mooring on Tahiti

All for now from Tahiti....we'll be in the area for the next couple of weeks....as a place to work on badly needed boat repairs, this place doesn't suck, not one bit!!!