Last of the Societies

After a very speedy trip back to Sydney to catch up with family and friends, we flew back into Raiatea.

IMG_8817The small Opoa hotel was a perfect place to enjoy lunch on our last day on this lovely island.


IMG_8827The weather for the next 10 days was superb, the calmest and sunniest stretch we’d had in this part of the world. The calm weather enabled us to anchor over lovely white sand, just off the Coral Garden on Tahaa.

IMG_6497IMG_6521What a beautiful spot. The days were spent snorkelling amongst the coral and many colourful fish. Some say that the best thing about Bora Bora is the view from Tahaa. We’d yet to visit Bora Bora, but they may be right.


The wind came up enough for a slow sail across to Huahine. As we threaded our way along the inside of the reef to Avea Bay we were joined by a local in his Va’a, obviously training for the big race between Huahine, Bora Bora and Raiatea which occurs in November. He had no trouble keeping up with Sea Cloud.


Avea Bay at the southern end of Huahine is such a beautiful anchorage. After months of avoiding coral heads and trying to find a spot with good holding, it was wonderful to drop the anchor in sand holding in beautiful clear water. It was a week of exploring by dinghy, enjoying happy hour and local entertainment at the Mahana Hotel


IMG_6575cycling around Huahine Iti, and driving around the larger Huahine Nui.


Huahine is known as the wild one because of its rugged lush green soaring hills. As well as being a spectacular island, it is also incredibly friendly and laid back.



IMG_6590Unfortunately the good weather ended the day before the Diana and Alex arrived to join us on our next adventures down to New Zealand. We met them at the dinghy dock in pouring rain which continued relentlessly for the whole day.

IMG_8996Provisioning complete, we sailed to Raiatea for the night, then on to Bora Bora the next morning. Luckily the rain had stopped so we could enjoy approach to the famous Bora Bora to check out of French Polynesia.





The good weather didn’t last for long, with very strong winds and lots of rain for our first few days in Bora Bora where we anchored off the very bumpy MaiKai Hotel. This used to be a haven for yachties, but the new management certainly wasn’t welcoming.  We moved to the much calmer and friendlier Bora Bora Yacht club where we met up with a number of cruisers also heading west to Tonga.

Although we haven’t seen much of Bora Bora we are keen to move along. The weather is looking pretty good, so on to Tonga, hopefully breaking up the 1200nm (8 day sail) with stops in the Cook Islands of Palmerston and or Niue if weather allows.



Society Islands – Tahiti and Moorea

Although it was hard to leave Rangiroa and the Tuamotus, we were excited to be heading to Tahiti to meet up with Bron and Tim, my sister and brother in law.

The Bay of Venus where Captain Cook spent time to watch the transit of Venus was a perfect anchorage. It was peaceful, calm and had stunning views of the green hills of Tahiti.

IMG_6166 It was a shock to the system to be back in the ‘big smoke’ of Papeete. Marina Papeete is right the middle of town, conveniently located close to the central market.

We had a relatively calm day to sail to Moorea. As we rounded the top of the island, Ian thought he spotted an uncharted reef, only to realise that it was a whale. The whale seemed quite interested in Sea Cloud, diving under the boat, surfacing just nearby and breaching so many times. An incredible welcome for Bron and Tim, we had to tell them such a display is not a normal part of our daily cruising life.



IMG_6232IMG_6234IMG_6211We spent a week anchored behind the reef in the beautiful Opunohu Bay in Moorea.

IMG_6258IMG_6249It was a week of relaxing,


IMG_9454swimming with the sharks and rays

Frame-06-08-2018-15-18-08Frame-06-08-2018-15-11-31Frame-06-08-2018-14-39-31Frame-06-08-2018-15-06-29Frame-06-08-2018-15-35-12walking ashore through the pineapple plantations and numerous Marae to the Belvedere overlooking Cook and Opunohu Bays

IMG_8674IMG_8678IMG_8686Bron and Tim had a taste of the cruising life, meeting some of the friends we’d been cruising with over the past few months,


and sampling some of the local cuisine. We ate a lot of tuna!


Snorkelling with the whales was one of the experiences of a lifetime. Looking down through the water you realised the large shape slowly appearing then rising below you was a pair of whales. Such beautiful, graceful and gentle creatures.


Tim thinks we should be trading in Sea Cloud for a catamaran such as Panache! Price and Benny cooked a feast of dumplings for our last night in Moorea.



We all (including Bron) enjoyed a lovely sail back to Papeete



We rented a car and circumnavigated Tahiti. We’d hoped to see some of the Billabong Pro competition at Teahupoo on Tahiti Nui. Unfortunately there was no surf that day, so no competition.

I can’t imagine that there are many places where you can anchor your boat so close to the really big waves.

IMG_6276IMG_6295IMG_6278this is how the waves should have looked..


Lunch in this part of the world was a very casual affairIMG_6297IMG_8722We farewelled Bron and Tim and sailed overnight to Raiatea, where we’d planned to haul out and leave Sea Cloud for the cyclone season. The day we arrived we were told that Sea Cloud was too big for the lift at Raiatea Carenage.

We had non refundable flights booked home and family and friends looking forward to seeing us. Luckily, we were able to leave Sea Cloud for a week in Marina Apooiti. We flew back to Sydney to catch up with family and friends. On our return, we will prepare for the 2500Nm sail to New Zealand. Not what we’d planned for this season, but it is our only option. You need to be flexible in this cruising life!