Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Next island - Raiatea

Current position, Baie Faaroa: 15 degrees, 49.4 minutes south, 151 degrees, 24.5 minutes west
We left Huahine yesterday morning, after filling the tanks with fresh water at the town quay (the slowest hosepipe in the world, we can't wait to get our watermaker back). It's just a 20 mile hop across to Raiatea and, once we'd cleared the reef pass, with surfers and body-boarders enjoying the surf break, we had a perfect Force 3 broad reach with the gentlest of swells so hoisted the 'Irish Flag' spinnaker and really enjoyed the crossing; Di prepared some fruit salad en route with some juicy, sweet pineapples bought on Moorea.
We're anchored at the head of the long Baie Faaroa which has a river, navigable for two or three miles by dinghy, so we plan to go and explore later this morning. Once again, there's a fair amount of wind blowing (the northern tail of a big anticyclone that's passing a few hundred miles south of us) but this anchorage is perfectly sheltered and we can just hear the dogs and cockerels ashore in an otherwise silent place. Dogs and cockerels are indeed the soundtrack of the Society Islands – the chickens here are actually classed as wild birds and so are everywhere (and it's almost impossible to buy eggs here as there can't be many domesticated flocks) and every household seems to have a couple of scruffy-looking dogs, usually asleep in the sunshine.
The other boats of our radio net have been moving west when the weather allows so there are quite a few of us in Raiatea and its sister island Tahaa (the two islands share a common encircling reef) whilst one or two have already made the three-day passage across to Suwarrow atoll in the northern Cook Islands. We'll spend a few more days exploring Raiatea before crossing to Bora Bora which will be our last chance to buy French Brie, baguettes and excellent tinned Cassoulet before we head to the less-developed, but cheaper, Cook Islands.

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