Our destination to Tahiti was changed to Bora Bora, when we realized just how close we would have to pass the Island, to land at Tahiti. The decision was unanimous,,, Bora Bora here we come!
During the passage, a few “FIRST’s” were introduced.
- we navigated past the 10,000 mile mark, earning us the Nordhavn 10,000 mile pennant.
- our 1st equator crossing, in which we dutifully carried out a transient “Crossing-the-Line” ceremony.
- our 1st time in Southern Hemisphere with INFINITY
The transit to Bora Bora was coincidently more-or-less, the same milage as the Oahu-Kiribati leg, (around 1160 nautical miles each). The weather for the Bora Bora run was much kinder to us this time, winds 15-20 kts and 2m seas. However, the transit was not without incident.
4 days out, right in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, we lost our Stabilizer belt. The belt (which runs a hydraulic pump off the main engine) parted, and could no longer power the Stabilizers. Of course the incident occurred in the early hours of darkness. Chloë woke me up to say the Stabilizers alarmed, and indicated lost pressure.
So the usual Chinese-Fire-Drill ensues. I jump out of bed and check out the hydraulic reservoir; that’s OK. So as I’m scratching my head on what to check next, I see the parted-belt hanging off the main engine.
I’ve done this before, so we commence the drill.
Turn on wing engine, put power to the wing-engine prop, and forge ahead at 3 kts. Next, turn off the main engine (1000 miles from anywhere). Then Chloë and I start dismantling the Belt-guard, and loosening the pump. I had ordered brand new belts in Hawaii, so we were prepared. The new belt went on easy enough, and we tightened it up in good time. Now came a moment of prayer (I’ve got God on speed-dial these days), and we flashed up the main engine. It jumped to Life!! Thank you God. We engage the clutch and resumed our normal 7.5 kts. Once everything looked OK, we secured the wing engine.
The remainder of the transit was rather pleasant & uneventful — until we put the anchor down in Viatape, Bora Bora.
We had dropped the anchor manually, and set it. A while later, we decided to reposition our boat, so we flashed up the hydraulic system only to find nothing operational. Uh oh…
I pulled out our Iridium SAT phone, only to find that not making calls to the USA (I’ll investigate that once we get to Tahiti). The only external comms we had was the Iridium-Go text system. So I text ABT (American Bow Thruster) on my iPad, and say “help!” Perhaps two or three minutes later, I get text responses from both David Wright, and Darryl (from world wide Tech-Support) asking what’s up?
I continued answering texts, one-by-one, going through our system, and twenty minutes later we find the problem!!
It’s almost embarrassing for me to admit I’d missed the actual fault, but the point right here is the ABT TRAC support team are truly with you anywhere in the world. Any trawler I own will have ABT stabilizers,,, the support is that good. BRAVO.
Our fault? The electric COIL had vibrated off the wing-engine clutch. No control signals were getting to any hydraulic equipment. It was a simple matter to slide the coil back onto it’s rod, and we were back in business. This time, I used blue loctite to secure the single nut. You live and you learn. Ain’t boating great?!
The sunsets experienced enroute to Bora Bora were the usual ‘phenomenal’.
A few days before we left KIribati, we met a couple on a Catalina 42 (Bob & Marge) who mentioned a joint interest — Palmyra Island— and gifted us a book about the skullduggery that the Island is infamous for [“AND-THE-SEA-WILL-TELL”]. Julie read the first few pages aloud,,, and we were hooked! I took over as orator, and read a chapter aloud to my audience whenever the mood took us. (perhaps 3-4 Chapters a day). The story had us rapt, as we were cruising around the very Islands under discussion. It turned out to be an intimate and fun family occasion.
As you can see from the next series of photos,,, the scenery in Bora Bora was simply sublime!
So, once we found our bearings, we started to venture into town. The main town is Viatape, which we ended up anchoring right in front of. Perfect for excursions to shore by dinghy.
As we were painfully aware that Chloë & Kal would be with us, for which could be the last time, (in a long time,) we hit the Island in style and did not shy away from the local Restaurants.
For a different vibe, we picked up anchor and moved to the Bora Bora Yacht Club (had to do it!) It turned out to be a great place, and the food was fantastic.
Looks like Paradise right? Yes it was,,, but our time there also had a few mishaps. I managed to polish some rocks with our Z-Boat’s prop (good thing we had a spare), and we lost of of our cockpit cushions during a squall outside the Yacht Club. Julie and I spent a few hours looking for it at daybreak, but no luck. Both incidents were totally avoidable, so we should have known better. This yachting lifestyle is about constant learning and improvement, and never fails to teach us new lessons (and old lessons),,,
KIRIBATI – BORA BORA
Total trip time: 164 hours (6 days, 20 hours)
Total trip distance: 1173.7 nm
Total fuel used: 920.4 gals / 1.27 nm/gal
On to TAHITI!!