Monthly Archives: Saturday June 29th, 2013

Testdrive, LosLocos style

After a few wonderful days in Bora Bora with our swedish friends we have to leave. Gui has an appointment with the immigration office to get her ‘carte de sejour’. And she really needs to be there in time as her flight to Argentina is only a couple of days away. I tell you that because actually – if I had the choice, I would have waited a few more days for a better wind. But we can’t and so we leave.
We exit the lagoon of Bora Bora through the only pass that is on the west side. And right here we can already see and feel the big, long swell coming in from the SW with a wave height of about 3 meters. In the beginning the wind is light and we glide along with four to five knots, slowly sailing southwards in the lee of Bora Bora.

As the night approaches the wind increases slightly but it stays quite comfortable during the first 16 hours. The ‘Fleming’ windsteering is holding the course very well and as the sun rises and Gui comes up we do the first tack and head ENE. The whole trip was not just to have some great time and see those wonderful islands but also to do a proper testdrive with the Suvarov. And now, on the second day we shall see what the boat can handle. A few small rain fronts pass overhead and we bash through them with full sails – despite having wind with 30 to 35 knots. On our old boat, the Rancho Relaxo, we would have sailed with the main in the second reef and probably the small jib. But the Suvarov with her longer and much wider hull doesn’t even need a reef. We stay hard on the wind and accelerate to 8.5 knots without any problems.
But the wind generally increases and the sea gets wilder on the second day. So additionally to the swell coming from SW we have now steep and choppy mix with the windwaves that come from the SE. The Suvarov smashes through the waves, the spray covers the whole ship and we see the first drops of water coming in through a small window in the bathroom and the two deck vents in the saloon. We push some towels into the vents and solve that problem.

During the night the waves increase and every now and then the whole deck is covered with white water. Later at night I’m downstairs at the chart table doing a logbook entry as I hear some weird watery sound from the kitchen. Can it be the water running by the hull ? No. That sounds different. There’s also that distinct noise that floating cans make. I open up the floorboard and my heart drops in my pants as I see all our food floating around in the bilge. We’re taking on water !!! Damn ! I wake up Gui and ask her to start her watch a little early while I use a portable pump to get the water out of the ship. A little bit more and our batteries could be buried in seawater. Not good. Not good at all.
After a while the water level sinks to a few centimeters and the rest I have to get out using a sponge and a bucket. While I’m at it I see where the water comes from: a deck vent in the kitchen acts as funnel and with every wave we get a few liters of saltwater. *rrrr*
The vent we close with a rag and some duct tape, that’s no problem. But we have lost a lot of food and also some of my spare gear that was stored further in the front. A little more than three hours later the bilge is dry again and we don’t take on more water.
That’s one thing to do in the next days: to get rid of the leaking vents. And rinse the whole boat with freshwater. Uuuuh. A lot of work. But – hey – otherwise we had a good trip. The Suvarov proved herself as a tough ship that can handle some beating. The sail upwind was good, actually better than with our old boat. And we were quite fast as we did 234 miles in a little more than two days, going against rough seas and a wind with 20 to 30 knots average. Now we feel like sailors again and we know we also have a good ship ! Yay !

Posted in Learning for life, LosLocos, Pics, Sailing | 3 Comments

Midsummer and Brunos seventh birthday in Bora Bora

The most important day in Sweden is Midsummer. It’s also Bruno’s – and on the next day – Caroline’s birthday. So we had a lot to celebrate. Our friends made proper costumes and we made some lovely shots with the main island in the background. In the afternoon we drove the dinghies to the other motu where we danced around a decorated pole, sang swedish songs and had a endless drinks.

The beach on that motu is private and owned by a polynesian called Bruno. As all locals he was extremely generous and welcoming and we had a great time, making a bonfire, barbequeue, jumping into the water, eating and drinking again, singing and so on… On the way back I somehow ended up in the water (at two in the morning) and lost my sunglasses. But as the water is crystal clear it was no problem finding them seven meters down in the water. – Oh and that is again my last pair of glasses as I lost my NEW pair of sunglasses on the way to Raiatea. Meh.

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Next island: Tahaa

After two days in Raiatea we said good bye to our friends and set sail again. We had a beautiful cruise through the lagoon that connects both Raiatea and Tahaa. In the north-east corner of the lagoon we found a free mooring in the lee of a little motu and spent the night there. There was too much wind and the distance to the motu too big to row there with our dinghy so we went snorkeling and spent the night there.

Next morning we got up early to continue our round trip of Tahaa. Unfortunately a winch stopped working right in the middle of a jibe and we managed to create a big sandclock with our Genoa. So we rolled it in as far as we could and searched for a little valley to drop the anchor and get the sail working again. A little wind from the front and a few tries of rolling in and out did the trick and soon after we continued sailing around and back south again on the west side of Tahaa. We exited through the pass in between the islands and found ourselves in the Pacific again.

Sailing towards BoraBora only took a few hours and just before sunset we sailed through the only pass on the west side and into a little anchorage in the lee of a motu where we found all our swedish friends again.

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Diving at the southern pass and on towards Raiatea

On the last day in Huahine we decided to make a little dinghy tour down to the pass in the south of the island. We ride in our dinghy through the crystal clear water of the lagoon and arrive about half an hour later. There are two reefs in between us and the pass. After the first one, the snorkeling gets more interesting and we find some beautiful clownfish.

I climb the second reef and enter the channel but the waves are too big and snorkeling is dangerous. But the surf waves are absolutely amazing. The swell enters the pass and the waves continue to run forever it seems. There are quite some surfers here and they are haveing a lot of fun. Next time we pack the board instead of the snorkel. But it was fun anyway…

Next day we leave to the neighbor island of Raiatea. We want to meet the SY Gobo and the SY Yasoo who both seem to be a little bit stuck here… ;-) The sail is beautiful and very fast with a nice wind of 17-20kn coming from the south. When we approach the peer in Oturoa, the crews of three boats fight to take our lines. After a chaotic maneuver we shut down the engine and have a beer in our cockpit. The crew of the SY Shambala is also here and just around the corner are the boats of our swedish friends.

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Treasure hunt on Huahine

Somehow Bruno found out that there is an old treasure buried here in Huahine. Rumor has it that Coco, the man working in the restaurant has one part of an old map showing the way. Everybody got their pirate outfits on and we set out on the voyage. I’ll let the pictures tell the story:

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At last – underway again

The short trip to Huahine (approx. 90nm) was amazing. Our friend Jean-Claude from Moorea came with us and also did one watch during the night. The SY Ninita, SY Orkestern and SY Lady Lustress (??) followed a few minutes after us. The first hours out on sea were a little bouncy as the waves in lee of the island overlap and amplify each other. But later in the night the sail was smooth and fast.

At sunrise the island already revealed itself underneath our Genoa. We changed our plan and decided to stay on the windward side of the island and sail around the northern end. It proved to be a good idea as we had wind all the way and could even enter the lagoon under sails. A little further down we met Kid from the SY Lady L. and he followed us down to the southern end of the island.

Soon later, the two other swedish boats arrived. The anchorage is a treat and the island is georgeous. We had some great days here in Huahine. More pics and stories follow…

Posted in LosLocos, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov | 4 Comments

On the way towards Huahine !

Nach acht (A C H T !) Monaten in Moorea werden wir heute mal probieren, den Anker aus dem Sand zu klopfen. Die letzten Tage waren wie immer gepraegt von diversen Reparaturen. Namentlich wurden der voellig korrodierte Kutterstag-Spanner entsorgt, die Windsteuerung adaptiert, geschmiert und getestet, das Radar ab- und neu montiert, das Grosssegel geflickt, der Rutscher fuer’s Schothorn am Baum repariert, der Bord-PC installiert, das alte Dinghy abgebaut und verstaut, usw.

Im letzten Posting hatte ich ja schon die SY Ninita erwaehnt, die letztens hier auftauchte. Zwei Tage spaeter sind noch zwei weitere schwedische Schiffe eingelaufen, so dass wir uns hier einer kleinen skandinavischen Invasion gegenuebersehen. Wir feigen Alpenlaendler ziehen uns da zurueck und fluechten also nach Huahine. (Scherz, nein. Unsere Schwedenfreunde kommen allesamt auch mit !)

Heute am Nachmittag segeln wir also mal ein Stueckchen weg von Moorea und Tahiti. Machen auch endlich mal wieder eine Nachtfahrt und sollten morgen Vormittag da sein. Ein paar Tage spaeter wollen wir noch nach Raiatea und dann geht’s wieder retour nach ‘hause’, nach Moorea. Juhuu !!

Natuerlich gibt’s auch einige Erledigungen. So sollen wir in Huahine unser zweites Tauchequipment aufnehmen, in Raiatea unser Gaestebuch wieder einsammeln und die SY Gobo sowie die SY Yasoo besuchen. Viel Programm fuer ein paar Tage…

Posted in Freedom, LosLocos, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov | 2 Comments

Waiting for the whales and new neighbours

As discussed in the last (german) post, we decided to stay in french Polynesia until mid August. A researcher at the Criboe institute told us, the Humpback whales already reached the Austral Islands and seem to be early this year. We hope to see them in a few weeks here in the Society Islands. It’s said that the whales also frequent the Opunohu bay. I can’t wait to see them live in our neighborhood !

Life on the anchorage is also getting a bit more interesting lately. A few days ago the french boats even became a minority for a day or two. That hasen’t happend since we’ve arrived here.  Yesterday we had an austrian neighbour: The catamaran ‘Wild One‘ anchored next to us and together with Martin and part of his crew I went for a dive at the outer reef. Unfortunately there wasn’t much to see. We spotted a lemon shark and a few reef sharks, a big mooray eel and a few fish but missing the colorful coral it wasn’t too exciting. The best was that I got to test our new diving equipmet which was a lot of fun !

The day before a conspiciously small, red yacht entered the bay. Only a short time later Gui, when coming back from a bike ride, ran into Ola und Nina from the SY Ninita !! It’s been a long time since we met each other. One and a half years ago in the Carribean, Bequia it was. So now that crazy swedish couple really crossed the Pacific in their 26 foot yacht. Incredible ! That evening we spent drinking pigwater and telling our stories on the Suvarov.

Also positive: With the parts I brought from Europe, I could repair the LUNAWlan antenna that got damaged during our wreckage in October. Now we finally have a good internet connection again – and WLAN on board. Yay !!

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