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Walkabout - La Ora Na from Tahiti

S17:32.4 W149:34.2

As the more astute amongst you will have realised - we are in Tahiti!!!

We arrived 24 hours ago, and as usual, the first day after we arrive somewhere is a bit of a blur, as we try to get the boat and ourselves a bit straight.

Yesterday was a big blur, and quite frustrating - but everything is fine now.

Arriving here on this date has been a year in the planning - to ensure that we can fly back for Jamie’s wedding. Ever since we knew the dates we have been trying to find a secure berth for Walkabout whilst we are away. There are just 2 marinas in Tahiti and we have been in contact with them over many months trying to secure a berth. The response has always been - we are full and you can’t book, it is first come first served, and you must trust your lucky star!

Long story short, we arrived in Papeete and headed straight to the marina. John and Susie on Casamara were already here and indicated that there was one empty berth. We headed straight there and tied up. Success was short lived. We went to the marina office to check in and they told us that it was an annual contract berth, we couldn’t stay there and must leave immediately. Not what we wanted to hear after a very tough couple of nights at sea.

So we left. Not before getting in touch with the other marina that is about 6 miles away. They responded to say they had just one slot, and if we got there before anyone else we can have it. So we headed that way quickly.

Between the first and second marinas you have to negotiate a channel between the island and the reef that passes the airport. All this area is controlled by Papteete Port Control, and you must get permission via Channel 12 to proceed at various stages - particularly passing each end of the runway. Don’t want to get a Twin Otter wrapped around the top of the mast!

Over the next 4 hours the guy at PPC became my new best friend - I spoke to him so many times!

Arriving at Taina Marina it was blowing old boots. On Ch9 the marina told us that it was too windy to attempt to come in to the berth and we should find somewhere to anchor, with no idea of when the wind was likely to abate. Having seen the marina we concluded that Papteete Marina would be our preference. Therefore we needed to anchor closer to there in case a berth became free. So past the airport we went again, heading toward Point Venus (Historical and literary reference - Captain Cook and Mutiny on the Bounty).

We left the protection of the reef and headed around the north of the island. When all at once we saw a boat on AIS that seemed to be leaving the marina and messages arrive from J&S and Hanna & Sam (Zissou) saying a boat had left! U turn, another chat with my new best friend, through the pass and back to where we started 4 hours earlier. It was a sketchy berth at the end of a pontoon, but we were in! Now time to relax…

Dinner with J&S, followed by coffee and cake back on Walkabout, and another empty berth was spotted. So at 2100 we slipped our lines again to move into the newly vacant spot. Hopefully this is it for the next couple of weeks.

Tom and Bron will be in charge whilst we are away…. What could possibly go wrong! There are 3 Norwegian sail training boats in the marina, full of young blonde women. Think there could be some partying going on…

Today the long list of boat jobs start. And in the next couple of days we will start to enjoy this mythical South Seas beauty.

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