Date: Sunday 07 October 2007
Position: Baie de Opunohu, north coast of Moorea
After five weeks day tripping around the Isles du Vent (The "Windward islands" include Tahiti, Moorea, Tetairoa, Meetia and Maiao) of the Society Island Chain, Khulula is itching to continue her voyage towards New Zealand, and so are we! This afternoon we set sail to Raiatea, 105 miles downwind (or "to leeward"), and Khulula will be on the open seas overnight for the first time in 35 days. Also, for the first time her crew roster comprises of more than just three smelly guys who know each other far too well. In addition to Hugh and I, Andy Paine (of Sitka Surfboards) and his fiancé, Nancy Weddell, flew into Tahiti a week ago to get a taste of the OceanGybe lifestyle. Bryson is still in Canada, enjoying an extra week with the family after our younger sister's wedding. Alex and Jarret, that was a beautiful wedding, thank you!
Over the past week we have surfed 4 reef passes (including the fearsome Teahupoo) and been moving around far too much, and have so far been re-visiting places we have been to before. I can almost feel Khulula yawning beneath my feet!
The Isles sous le vent comprise of Huahine, Raiatea and Tahaa (share a common reef, and the legendary Bora Bora. If all goes well we will raise Raiatea tomorrow morning, pick up Bryson and spend 10 days or so exploring Raiatea, Tahaa and perhaps Huahine. Andy and Nancy fly out of Papeete on October 17th, getting there via the semi-reliable Tahitian fast ferry network. From there, Khulula will set sail with a mission: To get to New Zealand.
Here is how we plan to accomplish this mission:
October 16th: Depart for Bora Bora, spend a couple of days preparing for the 600mile passage to the Cook Islands. Andy and Nancy catch a fast ferry to Papeete.
October 17th: Andy and Nancy fly out of Papeete.
October 22ndish: Arrive in the Cook Islands (Rarotonga), spend a couple of days exploring and recouping, and preparing for a 700mile passage to Tonga.
November 3rdish: Arrive in Tonga, pick up Matt Delaney (the next guest aboard Khulula, who for some reason thinks that 1000 miles that approaches the roaring 40's will be fun! Just Kidding, Matt, it is going to be a blast…), spend a week or so recouping and preparing for the 1000 mile passage to New Zealand.
November 20th ish: Arrive New Zealand, haul Khulula out of the water and repair, fix, modify, update, lubricate, paint, varnish, seal, sew, flush… All the way till Christmas
December: Jessica Kippan arrives to the glee of Bryson, we all celebrate Christmas on the beach.
January: Thea Roggeman (soon to be Thea Robertson!), joins us much to the glee of Ryan, and we spend 3 months traveling, working and exploring New Zealand together.
On the topic of New Zealand, my condolences to the supporters of the Australian and New Zealand Rugby world cup supporters… South Africa, you GO boys! These opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the entire crew, Hugh would like to say that his support is contingent on the opinions of the largest and scariest person in the bar. Or the most beautiful…
Next blog from Andy and Nancy, watch this space!