We started the day of departure from Cook's Bay with a long list of things to do, which is the norm before setting sail (and it always takes longer than you think to get the boat ready for sea). It soon became clear that we were not alone in grasping the weather window (between the heavy winds of the past week and some big southerly swells forecast for Sunday) and moving on as three other yachts from our morning net were preparing to go as well as our sailing partner, Stormvogel.
So, back to the list! The generator was running to ensure everything was powered up for an overnight sail (the sun wasn't shining brightly enough to rely on the solar panels for once) and Graham headed ashore to top up the water supplies (remember, we're still minus a water maker). As he started the dinghy, the generator changed its tune and Graham spotted that there was no cooling water through-put at the exhaust. On board, Dianne switched it off immediately, hoping we'd caught it in time before the engine overheated. The list had another item added, and not a small one: to mend the generator. Graham found the problem - a faulty and damaged impeller where the rubber vanes were intact but the central boss had become detached so was spinning without turning them.
The law of sod started to intervene when checking the two spare impellers which came with boat when we bought her, they were the wrong size. Were we to be faced with a ferry trip across to Papeete to search around the chandleries? First a VHF call around the boats in the anchorage to see if anybody by the remotest chance had a spare to fit. Other skippers kindly offered to have a look but we weren't holding out much hope. Within ten minutes, Graham returned with a spare from Chris on Yindee Plus and it was, miraculously, the right size. Then we had a call from Andrew on Sirius who'd found one that didn't fit his generator but was perfect for ours. We thought all our Christmases had come at once (you should remember that such spares take on a new value out here!) So Graham got the generator working again with the added bonus of being able to give our wrongly-sized spares to Sirius as they fit their generator. So maybe it wasn't time for the law of sod after all!
We completed our list of preparations, including wolfing down a huge lasagne followed by fruit salad, and were ready to set sail along with Stormvogel.
On the way out of the lovely anchorage, we chatted to Matt & Charlotte on Gallinago who had just arrived and thanked Patrick & Amanda on Egret for hosting sun-downers the previous evening, then headed out through the reef. Here we spotted Arii on his Va'a (a racing outrigger canoe and this one was particularly smart). As we motored past, he paddled immediately to sit in our wake and then effortlessly paddled to remain there, staying with our 6.5 knots.
We think he would have followed us all the way to Huahine if given the chance but the offer of our boat card with our blog details on it and the promise of appearing on the website brought him alongside. So we hope you like the photos, Arii!
After that we left Moorea behind us and sailed off into the night towards Huahine, some 90 miles away.
It was quite a rolly passage at times but we made good speed in a steady Force 5, arriving off the island as the sun rose over the hills and dropping the anchor at 9 am this morning. We may need a little sleep before going ashore to explore.