Movin On

We filled with fuel and propane and we’re ready to go. First however I have to tell ya. We had two smallish issues doing both. The bronze bolts were close to frozen in place. I had thought (mistakenly) that as they

Bunged Up Bronze Diesel Fill

Bunged Up Bronze Diesel Fill

were bronze I really didn’t need to lubricate them. They are “Silicone Bronze”. That was a mistake. I nearly tore up the slot in the fuel fill getting the cap out and I damaged some of the slots in the manhole loosening the bolts that hold the cover down. I may replace the fuel fill cap but till I do it is usable and needless to say I’ve added some Lanolin to the bolts and the fuel fill cover. Never again. It’s the subtle things that mostly appear to get me now on maintenance. For the fuel fill cover it looks like Ms. Dremmal and I have a date!

So….as I said …we’re ready, we’ve said good bye to sv SunRise and sv NorthStar and we head out the West Pass to Cooks Bay, Moorea towing our dinghy. We figure to prepare there for our 100 nm  trip to Huahine. We like the bay we spent a week with my mom in;  it’s nice and quiet, walking distance to grocery, good restaurants, Magnum Bars 🙂 ,  and some hotel wifi.

We exit with very little wind and believe we’ll be motoring the 15 nm from anchorage to anchorage. But as soon as we resign ourselves to motor we feel a puff of air and then another. Five minutes later we hoist our sail and shut down the engine. Pauline tells us (she’s a cruising friend from Florida days) that the sail is now called a geriatric sail as it is most often the only sail that geriatrics raise. We chuckle at the truth of the statement because it is our workhorse sail and we used it solo in about 80% of the miles we’ve traveled in the Pacific. We’ve been down wind so often that the mainsail is more a pain than an asset, adding weather helm to the boat and not adding enough speed to make the effort worthwhile.

As we near Moorea we observe some distinct splashing off in the distance and soon we watch a mammoth creature rise out of the water and fall backward into it. We’re both so mesmerized by the experience neither of us moves and soon we see another display of enormous power. This time much closer. We can talk now and believe it’s a Humpback whale but again neither of us makes a move, both just feeling the awe of what power a creature  has that can move 50 tons 50′ in the air. A third time; same one or another, rises out of the water I would estimate 100′ from us and crashes down like a school child doing a cannon ball in a swimming pool and finally we move. Quickly now we disconnect the autopilot and steer 90 degrees from our course and where we last saw the whale. I don’t believe one would ever breech on top of us but should that happen (and there are documented cases of it happening) the damage it would incur on our boat is more than either of us could bear, so we go running away. As we’ve turned now we see the whale surface behind us and we imagine he / she is looking us over as much as we are it.  Who knows, maybe it was warning us that a baby whale was in our path.  A few minutes later we change  back to our course and are on our way….of course now we’re seriously on whale watch.

As we round the NW corner of Moorea we see and hear another one off in the distance, it too  breeches. In all honesty I can’t say we heard the others crash back in the ocean as we were too shell shocked to acknowledge anything more than the visual but this time I heard the “whomp”  as the whale fell back into the water. And this time the event was slightly aft our beam so we were comforted by not needing to vary course.

Outside the Cooks Bay markers we furled our one sail, started the engine and motored into the bay, anchoring close to the Bali Hai Hotel saving on dinghy fuel and time in trips ashore.  Now in two days we expect to head to Huahine but that adventure would have to wait as we never expected what happened next.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long


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