Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Twenty Shades of Grey (and Brown)

The rainy season in the Pacific has arrived with a vengeance. Two weeks ago, Mark and I hoped to take advantage of the “perfect” weather window (N-NW winds) to sail back to Raiatea (SE) from Maupiti. Despite the favorable predictions and us waiting for them, reality turned out different again. We ended up motoring the whole way, with little wind from behind and one squall after another. A very wet ride, but at least the decks were rinsed and we reached our destination safely, after waiting out another shower before entering the NW pass of Raiatea. And, it beat beating into the wind!

Since then, the sky has turned every shade of grey and we have been able to collect a lot of rain water, while working on our computers indoors and on projects outdoors, during the random dry spell. The times to be frugal with fresh water are over, while the times to be careful with electricity have begun. Our plan was to spend a couple of weeks in Raiatea with reliable WiFi access to finish up the final work and arrangements for the launching of our new Wirie products and head to Huahine for Christmas.

Then, about a week ago, the weather models went berserk and turned very colorful, meaning something serious was up. Two gales (major storms, one with the possibility to turn into a cyclone) were predicted to come our way and we swapped our pretty and convenient reef anchorage near the town of Uturoa for a more protected, but remote bay in Taha’a. The incessant rain has since turned the water of this deep bay brown and browner and the first storm has passed without too much trouble. Irie handled the heavy, erratic wind gusts like a charm and, once again, we are so very happy with our trustworthy, over-sized Manson Supreme anchor.

Our friends on SV Heartbeat and SV Namaste are in the same anchorage, for the same reasons, so we are in good company. As always – but this time in our benefit – the weather forecasts keep changing and we are keeping a close eye on the developments. The second storm seems to have lost some of its viciousness, but is still going to hit us tonight. As of now, the nasty weather will last about 48 hours, so it will be a quiet and vigilant Christmas on Irie this year! 
  Motoring back to Raiatea  
  Time to use the foul weather jacket

  Squalls approaching Irie     
  Replacing a seal on the outboard engine

Monique and Garth in their new, home build dinghy

 More rain
Deep and protected Haamene Bay in Taha’a       

 Merry Christmas (Uturoa)
 Muddy water in the bay     

 Waiting in Haamene


Lisa Dorenfest said...

I am glad that you are in a safe spot with good friends (say hi to Namaste from us) and am hopeful that the second storm continues to lose it 'punch'. Ho Ho Ho

Unknown said...

Rock on Oceana !!!!

Unknown said...


Liesbet said...

Thank you, Lisa! We had a nice dinner on Irie for Christmas and other than some annoying rain, all stayed quiet!

Liesbet said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too, Murray!!