Mischief - A certain amount of Mischief Log 23 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Day 45 Friday 13 April 2018 - Avatoru Quay, Rangiroa

A very slow morning on the good ship Mischief - coffee, a quick swim and a sausage sandwich for breakfast and it was already 1030. We were expecting the 20km canoe race to pass by us at anchor by now but then noticed a flotilla of speed boats heading our way from the other anchorage by the Kia Ora Hotel accompanying a number of three-man canoes in full flow - the race was indeed coming! In seemingly no time at all the leading two boats were upon us with the guys in the yellow hats marginally ahead of the All Blacks but all over each other; if this had been the Oxford and Cambridge the umpire would have been having fits over his megaphone and waving his flag frantically in vain. They passed by our stern by 10 meters going twenty to the dozen, the next boats some way astern. The last canoe passed some ten minutes later, all alone.

The leaders made it around the corner of Avatoru Quay, round a big yellow buoy and back again this time passing by our bow by only 5 meters, the All Blacks inches ahead of the yellow hats. They were well in the distance by the time the next three boats arrived followed by the stragglers, the last boat entirely alone some twenty minutes behind - the leaders no doubt had already finished! Wendy felt very sad for them. I do wonder who won though as that last 500 meters or so would have been truly epic.

Afterwards we went ashore leaving Dave on board for a sleep to get a few more beers and some steak to barbecue for tea. I took the opportunity to go for a run although it was past 12 noon and hot, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. On the way back I dropped in on the pearl shop again where Wendy said she was heading to have another look and maybe buy a pearl for her daughter. She did make it out of the shop with two pearl bracelets one for her and one for Annabel. Me, I just was sat in the corner chair leaving a pool of sweat on the floor which was a little embarrassing when we left.

So, salad and steak for tea, a quick chat and bed all by 8pm! We had time to discuss our slight change of plan as we are now due in Tahiti on Tuesday 17th when the boat is being lifted and we are going to re-antifoul the bottom, our marina berth for the 16th having been canceled. So, we have another day to kill before we leave here; we therefore may spend tomorrow visiting the "Blue Lagoon" on the East side of the atoll, famous for being blue apparently. We shall see.

Day 46 Saturday 14th April 2018- Blue Lagoon trip

I went ashore early before 0630 to get some bread and a good job too as a lot of it had already gone. Other than baguettes there was one loaf with my name on and went to pick it up when a local woman grabbed it - she was bigger than me so I didn't argue.

After breakfast we upped anchor and away to the Blue Lagoon albeit the weather was a bit cloudy and there were a few rain squalls about. We were concerned that the anchor may foul on coral heads as had that of a French boat next to us yesterday who spent half an hour trying to free it, but it came up without a hitch…that was a good job too as the tripping line we set to the end of the anchor just in case had sunk!

Approaching the lagoon you could definitely see the stunning turquoise water on the other side of a sandy palm lined beach. However, the waves were such that even with the best will in the world the dinghy would never make it back against the wind and swell in combination given that the designated anchorage was at least half a mile off shore. Thus a decision was wisely made to abort and head back to Avatoru Quay but it's going to be a long hard slog upwind under motor to get there.

We made it back around 1530 and Dave decided to try another marked anchorage off the quay to allow for a quick getaway in the morning. However, the tide rips around here peaking at 4 knots but seems more. We pumped up the dinghy and took it ashore for our tea but were an hour too early for the café places to open so we went off to the store to get a couple of tins of beer to while away the time - no beer! So, we took a long walk to the other store and again, no beer! So, we walked back to the first café that at least had just opened and ordered five beers - they only had three! So we had those and went across the road to the other café that was also now open and ordered five beers - they only had two! They did manage to purloin another case after half an hour from somewhere so we stayed there for tea.

The journey back to the boat in this new anchorage was another epic although not of the proportions of the other night, but not far off. I thought as a precaution I would walk over to the dock wall and drop a palm frond into the water to see what it did in the tide and shone the torch on it only to be met by many reflective green eyes looking back at me from huge reef sharks patrolling the wall; some of them were real monsters! It completely took my mind off the palm frond disappearing off in the distance - can't think why!

We jumped into the dinghy anyway and set off downstream to the channel marker we had to round before heading out to the boat and when we turned we felt the force of the tide across the dinghy then right on the nose as the engine struggled on full revs to make any way at all. But we inched forward and I eventually managed to leap onto the stern platform with the boarding ladder streaming almost horizontal in the weight of water to tie the painter around the backstay, and we were in. Phew, again!

We are off to Tahiti then tomorrow, if the anchor comes up without a problem. Slack water is supposed to be at 10 am but the way the current was whistling around the boat at 2315 this evening I doubt it will be anything like slack tide then. Once again, we shall see what happens!