Moorea was hard to leave. The vistas were gorgeous, the anchorages protected, and there was certainly an adventure or two yet to come. But as we had just over two weeks left on our visas and excellent sailing conditions, Dominic and I raised the hook Saturday as the sun set and sailed to Huahine.
Neptune must have been smiling as conditions were excellent: we had 15 knots of wind and gentle seas. During the midnight shift, an orange, three-quarter moon set to a symphony of stars. The stars were then obscured by a series of misting squalls, and the night was lit only by phosphorescence. I was awake at 2:30 in the morning, but the celestial showcase felt like the most wonderful of dreams.
I was also listening to the Master and Commander audiobook at the time, so sound, sight, and scene were pretty perfectly aligned in our little nautical universe.
We arrived at 10:45 am, a few hours after we had originally planned. When organizing our sail, we prioritized arriving early in the day to allow for plenty of time and light while we’re anchoring, thus the evening departure and overnight sail. Due to the wind angle, we sailed around the windward side of the island instead of the more direct route around the leeward side, keeping our sails full while underway. We were grateful to have plenty of time to anchor as we arrived and faced a tricky situation: things were a little crowded, and the spaces available were either shallow (four feet below the keel), or deep (90 feet below the keel).
We tested the deepest and shallowest anchorages of our trip thus far within 100 yards of each other; we cruised the nearby bay; we considered a mooring ball; we dropped the hook three times in a row to have it skid over a scantily sanded coral shelf; we finally settled on a spot in 70 feet of water with good, sandy holding.
Huahine has been worth the effort. The water is gorgeous; we jump in every chance we get. The birds and fish are plentiful. The scenery is more rolling hill than piercing, volcanic spire, but remains luscious. Happy sailors, we are, all the way around.