I’ll start by quoting the opening line from the most recent post by Behan Gifford of SY Totem, one of my all-time favorite sailing bloggers.
“There’s a Yiddish proverb: “Man plans, God laughs.” The cruiser’s equivalent is to say that our plans are written in the sand, at low tide.”
While the circumstances resulting in changes to our recent sailing plans were nowhere near as challenging as what Behan and Team Totem are currently facing, they were challenging none the less.
Initially, we had planned to leave Bora Bora with our friends Pierre and Ann and stop over in the Taha’a Coral Gardens on our way to Tahiti. Unfortunately, Pierre injured his back the day before departure, and they were not able to join us.
Fortunately, our friends John, Ivy and John from Ruby Slippers decided to sail along with us not only to Taha’a, but also on to Tahiti.
We set sail a bit later than planned on June 24th. The wind direction and force were not as planned either, and we began to question whether we could make in to Taha’a in time for a snorkel that same day. Then Ruby Slipper’s engine stopped working. We hadn’t planned on that at all.
Given the new circumstances, we agreed to alter course to Raiatea as it was an easier point of sail in the conditions and John could have Ruby Slipper’s engine looked at by a mechanic there. This would also allow Fabio an opportunity to schedule a future haul out in person in Raiatea and more time to pick up and install our newly repaired primary autopilot. All was good.
After a lovely sail to Raiatea, the Captain executed a flawless tow of Ruby Slippers through the pass and right up to a mooring ball. Ruby Slippers did not even need to use their own dinghy engine for propulsion as initially planned. The Captain’s maneuver was legendary!
An added bonus to going to Raiatea was running into our two favorite solo sailors (and brothers as well) Al and Phil Donnatto. We met Al in Galapagos and Phil in Hawaii and hope to meet up with them several times in the coming months as we are all headed to New Zealand.
After John fixed Ruby Slippers engine and The Captain reinstalled our primary autopilot, we were ready for our sail to Tahiti. It was gorgeous the morning of the 26th when we left Raiatea. The beautiful weather would not hold out very long.
The weather system that created the northerlies we needed to sail to Tahiti also brought lots of strong winds and rain. To add to the fun, Amandla’s muffler began leaking water from an old injury (originally caused by me in Gambier…but that is another story), so we could only use the engine sparingly.
These factors along with our knowledge that Tahiti would likely be filled with Pacific Puddle Jumpers until July 4th lead us to yet another change in plans. We agreed with Ruby Slippers that we would alter course to Moorea and anchor there until July 3rd.
The fun continued as we sailed to Moorea on a dead run in winds of frequently changing direction and speed. About two hours before arriving in Moorea, Amandla’s main sail traveler broke while executing a gybe. This didn’t cause any alteration to our newly formed plan, but it was certainly unpleasant.
We arrived wet and tired in spectacular Moorea early the morning of the 27th. I don’t have any pictures of our arrival because it was pouring down rain.
We are now enjoying a little downtime before starting with the latest round of repairs and learning more valuable lessons about inevitable change.
Sending good wishes Team Totem’s way. May you sail into your new backyard soon.