Sailors have a lovely term for when they get stuck somewhere – they add the word glue to the destination. So we are stuck with Bora Bora Glue. Usually it’s a case of really liking somewhere and not wanting to leave and in fact not leaving because you like it so much! In our case unfavourable weather is stopping us moving. Not that we don’t like Bora Bora – sitting waiting for better weather when you have white beaches, palm trees and snorkelling in crystal clear water is certainly no bad thing.
But it is eating into our planned time in Tonga and Fiji before we are due in Vana’atu mid November for Adina to come out of the water for hurricane season. And it is a little frustrating as we’re keen to get cracking and there is no sign of any favourable weather for the next week. We had hoped to leave at the beginning of this week but took a call it was a little risky. Two boats went and sadly they have had a bad time of it reporting F8 gale winds, rough seas and both damaged sails and wind generators. Not good. This stretch of water is called ‘the dangerous middle’ due to the volatile weather and we know it will not be an easy ride.
We can recall two previous episodes of waiting for weather. Right at the beginning of our trip in April 2013 we got stuck in Falmouth for three weeks waiting to cross the Bay of Biscay and so ate Cornish pasties each day. Then in September we were weather bound in Gibraltar waiting to cross to Las Palmas but luckily had lots of sailing friends to pass the time with.
As for our next steps – well the destination is Tonga. To get there you can go direct or stop off on various islands en-route. Go north, you stop off in the remote atoll of Suwarrow (Cook islands). Go south, you stop off in Rarotonga (Cook islands). Go down the middle you stop off in Palmerston (Cook islands) and Nuie. It all depends on what the weather is doing! Our preference is Palmerston but we have to be completely flexible.
In the meantime there is a little island called Maupiti nearby which we will probably move to at the end of the week to join the mass of boats waiting to cross. It’s described as Bora Bora 20 years back – sounds like a good place to go and wait for the weather to improve.