Central Pacific Ocean
Position 16 ° 26 ′ S 160 ° 14 ′ W
Miles traveled 570 missing to Fiji 1187
Miles covered in 24 hours: 180 at an average of 7.5.
Wind from east south east from 20 to 32 knots, swell from south east of 3 meters, period 8 seconds, wave from east wind of one and a half meters, then there are other waves coming from the low southern pressures to create a confused ocean , arrhythmic, where to find the breath is sometimes difficult, because it is a rarely regular breath, more often in fits and starts, never relaxed, nervous. The croups occur frequently and are different from those of the Atlantic, these are more extensive, less angry and more regular as the direction of the wind, although always harbingers of rain at times torrential and reinforcements of 10 knots (from 20 to 30 and so on ). Ariel is at home, she doesn’t suffer in the least and lets herself be led. It does not forgive so much the errors of adjustment of the sails, and slows down the race, suffering more from the wave.
The absolute best set-up with wind on port tack, with a wind angle of 149 degrees, from 20 to 30 knots of wind is the following: genoa tangonato to port (on its tack) reduced by one hand, staysail on the opposite side, with modified sheet point, and mainsail with 2/3 hands. Incredible stability, enough to see the autopilot make minimal excursions to correct the displacement of the bow given by the waves, while at the rudder it is as soft as there were 10 knots. Exciting.
We travel at peaks of 10 knots, but what matters is the average, because 10 knots gliding against 6 in ascent on the other wave.
The rest of our flotilla follows us, we are the flagship and we set course. This stretch of the Pacific is usually beaten by this wind from the south east, especially generous in July and August, while very often the low pressures of the New Zealand “winter” hit hard, bringing fresh air but above all shaking the poor great sea.
But let’s go back to the discoveries of French Polynesia, now 1000 km away from us! From Raiatea, within the same lagoon, we headed for the nearby Tahaa, not lost, less noble, but certainly very coveted, both by a more elite tourism and above all for the exotic and wilder scent. It is the vanilla island par excellence, where the most precious varieties of vanilla are exported all over the world. The scent is felt in the air while cycling to discover the most remote corners of the island, and we choose “Vanilla Tour”, because in Huahine we had already had the opportunity to learn everything about this very particular crop, which is very similar to that of pearls, in terms of time and methods. The vanilla plant grows rapidly and luxuriantly in these lands that have brackish in their hearts,however, if not pollinated by hand, it does not bear fruit. The insects that could do this naturally do not live in Polynesia, therefore the man inserts the seed into the female that after 9 months will make the pod change color from green to ocher before, until it becomes brown, to sanction the maturation and the moment. of the crop. From the first sprout of the vanilla plant it will take from 1 to 2 years to have an adult plant, ready for pollination, and from there the fateful 9 months of gestation. Wonder and magic of nature.From the first sprout of the vanilla plant it will take from 1 to 2 years to have an adult plant, ready for pollination, and from there the fateful 9 months of gestation. Wonder and magic of nature.From the first sprout of the vanilla plant it will take from 1 to 2 years to have an adult plant, ready for pollination, and from there the fateful 9 months of gestation. Wonder and magic of nature.
In Tahaa we also discover a corner of Europe, a restaurant run by Bruno, a French Chef who has managed to offer an absolutely good level of fusion, Franco-Polynesian cuisine, a great lover of wine and spirits, offers one of the best wineries in French Polynesia .
We find that coral can also be replanted. Perhaps disturbed by excessive tourism, pollution by sea and air (25 flights a day reach Bora Bora from Tahiti in the non-covid era), without calculating all the other islands with an airport, and without calculating ferries and water vehicles. in abundance. The coral therefore dies, as if it does not accept all this, perhaps also due to global warming, but here for centuries it has been 30 degrees, so perhaps only the intervention of man is the main suspect; however it runs for cover, and through research it has been possible to replant live coral, more resistant, where it died, restoring over time the life of an ocean and the life of many reefs in extinction, especially near the most conquered centers. Here is the Coral Garden in Tahaa,a completely repopulated area, a natural park, in the vicinity of one of the most precious resorts on the island, now free from swimming tourists and vice versa, very rich in a life one meter underwater that brings us to primordiality and lights up a hope of seeing again over time re-flourish the reefs colonized by stilts and luxury hotels. At Fakarava (Tuamotu atoll) in the wild southern part, the reef was extraordinarily alive, populated and colorful without human intervention.At Fakarava (Tuamotu atoll) in the wild southern part, the reef was extraordinarily alive, populated and colorful without human intervention.At Fakarava (Tuamotu atoll) in the wild southern part, the reef was extraordinarily alive, populated and colorful without human intervention.
Occasionally we allow ourselves a guide, to learn something more, to learn about habits or plants or flowers; since the beginning of this journey, when we were allowed to sail towards the south of Taihti, one sweet afternoon, in a deserted bay inside the reef, we were struck by countless orange flowers that suddenly shaken by the wind abandon the tree that has them generated, to escape free in the lagoon to float placidly, giving an idyllic image: we did not know what it was, we simply observed how the earth gives flowers to its sea. The guide who took us in a canoe on the river to Raiatea explained to us that ‘The Hibiscus, which lives 24 hours, blooms in the morning with an almost phosphorescent light yellow, so much so that it lights up the plant that generates it, then in the afternoon it turns orange and loses strength,it lets itself be carried by the wind to fill the lagoons, and the night turns dark purple, to die; so every day of the year.
Here on board, torrential rain will soon unleash, the sky at the stern is increasingly black, the wind strengthens and the air becomes humid, I have to go and prepare our shelter, the “capsule”, or our cockpit that becomes an extra room, where air enters, but not rain. But I’ll tell you about it later. Now I have to go to not get all soaked
To the next from Ariel.
Paolo & Cecilia with Lorenzo