Day One: Sailing with Tahiti

Breakfast
- On our own

Lunch
- Sliced mild chorizo on baguette
- Handfull of spicy tortilla chips

Dinner
- Smoked turkey drumsticks
- Sliced tomato

Snacks
- Cashews
- Pear
- Tahitian avocado

Carol woke up at dawn, slipped the line from our mooring at Marina Taina and motored around the corner to the North side of Tahiti, winding his way through the channel at the airport after contacting "vigi" (harbor control). I stumbled out of bed and joined him as we exited the main pass of Papeete and unfurled our sails.

Not long afterwards we hit a good squall. Our friends aboard SV Cariba had set off recently on a "belle fenetre" (good window) for the Marquesas from the Tuamotus and had a convergence zone form on their heads. During the squall, we sat there hoping that the same wasn't about to happen to us. Not the case, as we have had nothing but beautiful blue skies since.

We're going upwind again - another leg of upwind sailing against the tradewinds. This is the story of most of the boats we know of that are moving around on passage in this section of the ocean at this time of year. Boats beating their way to Hawaii, or to the Marquesas. This tack fest led us to sail all of the way down the east coast of Tahiti which was a visual treat and amusing because at sunset, after a full day of sailing, we could still see the island that we had departed. Tahiti is oriented NW-SE and so our SE tack took us to the tip of Tahiti.

The stores in Tahiti are stocked with special Christmas foods which in France apparently means a lot of unusual types and preparations of meat. We scored by finding an entire smoked (pre-cooked) turkey just before leaving on passage and it is delicious.

The wind angle is a bit changeable, forcing us to tack more often than we would prefer but with mild but steady winds, mellow seas, and blue skies, we aren't complaining. With the mellow seas keeping the boat moving gently, the day was a mellow mix of keeping watch in the shade of the bimini and napping down below. The night brought a full moon, rising right at sunset, and staying with us all night.

(If you haven't read it already, the format of this passage diary is an homage to "The Care and Feeding of the Sailing Crew by Lin Pardey.)

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