The ports of call have been coming thick and fast, hence my inability to post for a few days. Early mornings and busy days left me little time to sit here and write.
Now we have a sea-day, having departed Moorea late last night we are now on our way towards Rarotonga, one of our more ‘challenging’ calls. I use this term because the main harbour, Avatui, is situated on the north coast of the island and is subject to large swells and wind; we have to ‘drift’ on joystick here as it is a port where we tender guests ashore.
There is an alternative area, on the west side of the island, however, as some of you are aware, several of our officers, myself included, had to take an involuntary ‘paddle’ there in 2016. A tender went aground in the narrow ‘cut’ and guests needed to be evacuated before we could pull it off. The resulting paperwork and, in my case, flight to the Netherlands to discuss the occurrence with our Flag State leaves me with but one choice, not to use it again.
Papeete, Tahiti is one of the few ports in French Polynesia where we actually berth. We arrive in the early morning and stay until 5 a.m. the following day. We take stores here, unloaded from containers that have been shipped by commercial vessels; the logistics of our Grand World Voyage is complicated. We also take fuel as it is Fort Lauderdale where we last did so. Crews are drilled in a ‘General drill’ and lifeboats lowered to the water and taken away. As you can gather, ‘no rest for the wicked’ even though we are ‘parked’. My evening is free though and I enjoy a dinner ashore with acquaintances of Hazel.
We leave at 5 a.m. for the short journey to Moorea, similar to many of these islands, a volcanic centre is surrounded by a lagoon and coral reefs.
Leaving Moorea at 5 p.m. we then set courses for Bora Bora, arriving the following morning (24th)
I managed to put my feet on dry land here, (in shorts, not uniform :-)). K1, Hazel and I having been invited to go to the St. Regis hotel for a while. Having tendered ashore, we jumped in a taxi for the 25-minute journey to the boathouse, where a boat from the hotel would meet us and take us across the lagoon.