Z E N I T U D E
Blue Water Dreaming
At Sea - Tuamotus to Tahiti - Sailing towards Papeete, capital of French Polynesia
Passage - 05 to 07 July 2010
05 July 2010 - 15.33.50S-146.14.50W
Leaving Apataki with good winds we are having an excellent sailing. Main sail in second reef and are going about 7 knots. There are squalls with 20 to 25 kn wind, but not too many and the seas are still ok. We are making good progress.
06 July 2010 - 16.50.41S-148.36.52W
Good winds stay with us and we've done 162 miles on the past 28 hours . It's been a good passage so far, faster than we thought it would be so it seems we'll be arriving at Papeete at midnight.
07 July 2010 - 17.32.38S-149.34.26W
It's midnight and we are arriving having done another 70 miles. As we get closer to the island conditions start getting rougher and it seems we have chosen a good weather window, generally easy when the trip is less than 3 days long.
We've been told it's possible to enter Papeete port in the dark as long as you head to the City docks once you are inside.
Our C-Map charts seem to be off, but the Garmin seems perfectly right, but of course we can't blindly trust it.
We decided that we can try getting in as there is always the chance to turn around and go back to sea if needed. The entrance is well marked, this is a busy port, but still it is never easy to get in at night in a place for the first time.
Navigation lights in the entrance are confusing while mixing with the city lights. As we get closer we get in touch with Port Authority, they say we can proceed but once we are in we have no idea where the city docks are.
Lost in the middle of the entrance channel, Port Authority wants us out of the way for the big ship that wants to get out. No doubt they are in a hurry, they send a pilot boat to escort us to the city docks. They are most probably not impressed but we think, what a service!
Finally we can dock Zenitude and tired but happy we go to sleep.