This years's adventure for the Bliss crew is reaching it's final stage. Thinking about the whole trip, we can divide it up in 4 parts: 2 months of prep for the ocean crossing in Mexico; almost one month underway to reach French Polynesia; 3 months of living, boat schooling and maintaining/fixing the boat in these amazing islands; and finally prepping the boat again for long term storage. Bliss will go out of the water in less than two weeks in Raiatea, and will be stored on land. After all these years, Tod has become an expert in putting Bliss to bed. The female crew will stay in a house close by until we all fly to Tahiti at the end of the month, and catch two flights back home the next day. Amazing to think that it will "only" take 18 hours of travel time to get back versus the 24 days it took us to get to the Marquesas!
No doubt Tod will be happy to end the "cruising is working on your boat in exotic locations" part of this adventure, and go back to the ease of land/home living. But I'm sure we will also miss the beauty of these islands, the friendly people, and the joy that jumping off our floating home brings to see amazing sea life. As I'm writing this, we are anchored all by ourselves in just a spat of shallow water in the midst of deeper water, with spectacular views of the volcano mountains of Raiatea on one side, and an enormous infiniti pool on the other side. We are in kayak distance of the largest marae, ancient Polynesian temples.
We got to this anchor spot by eyeball navigation, searching this part of the lagoon for patches of lighter blue, but not too light of a blue, indicating too shallow water. You need clear overhead sun to do that, and fortunately we had that today. We had been holed up for a week with a bad weather storm, the only bonus was that Tod discovered some sources of our leaks, and fixed them. With the winter in full swing here, we have noticed the cooler temperature at night, no more just a sheet for sleeping, and the water temp has dropped a few degrees from 85 to 81.
Most of the boats we have met this season are leaving French Polynesia now and heading west to sail another 4000 miles to spend cyclone season, starting in November, in New Zealand or Australia. It will be fun to follow along our cruising friends, and getting some ideas of what we plan to do during the summer months of 2020, when we plan to make more westing as well.
At 2019-July-15 06:40 UTC the position of Bliss was 16°38.27'S 151°25.78'W, on the east side of the island Tahaa, in the Society island group of French Polynesia