Tuesday 21 May 2019

Leg 5 : Bora Bora to Tonga

After 2 months exploring French Polynesia (it's huge!) we are approaching the next
leg of the World ARC rally: Bora Bora to Vava'u, Tonga, via Suwarrow
(Cook Islands) and Niue. It's 690 miles WNW to Suwarrow, an
isolated uninhabited atoll and a National Park, then 540 miles SW
to Niue, and finally 230 miles to Tonga. Niue is a bit like Makatea: a
very steep-to island where it's too deep to anchor. There are limited
moorings there, so the World ARC fleet has been divided into 2 groups
for this leg.

We arrived at Bora Bora yesterday in time to watch the start of the leg
for group one - see photos. Many boats had their coloured sails out for
the start in Bora Bora lagoon, and it was a spectacle. Swade and
Stefano in their yellow shirts were organising the start. Gemma is the
figurehead on Aurora B's bow.

We are getting familiar with our pre-ocean checklist, and I think you
are too! Jobs for the next 2 days before we leave in group 2 on
Wednesday: Rig check, engine check, diesel in tanks, fill water
tanks, buy provisions, stow stuff away, rig wind steering, check
weather forecast...

We need to fill the water tanks here from the dock for the first time
in ages, because 2 days ago the water maker had problems. Shortly after
turning it on on we heard BANG!

Investigation revealed that the high pressure hose had burst. Maybe due
to chafe secondary to engine vibration. No high pressure hose and
fittings are to be found on Bora Bora, so we have changed to water
conservation mode. Tintin's tanks hold over 600 litres, so we will fill
to the very top before we go and use water carefully. No more luxury of
daily fresh water showers - but
today we all had a great shower on the
deck in a heavy tropical downpour. We can also harvest water from the
mainsail via the sail cover if needed. Other ARC boats with water
makers have generously offered to give us top ups via jerry can in
Suwarrow and Niue - so we will be well looked after.

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