Ann, from "Charisma" announced that on the radio as she anchored. And it is the best description of where we are now settled for a few nights (we hope).
We are now at the Island of Taha'a - another of the Society Group of French Polynesia. We had a great sail today from Ra'iatea to Taha'a. We sailed the entire way on the inside of the reef so the water was quite flat and yet the breeze was steady for a nice downwind sail or a reach at times. We did a steady 5 knots and got to see the island of Ra'iatea which is very beautiful with its hills, mountains, plateaus and valleys. There were a lot of bays as we sailed by the island – many of them went way back. Our friends tried to enter a few to anchor but found them all very deep – 80 feet or more of water.
We rounded the top of Ra'iatea and were between it and Taha'a. We then came up the leeward side of Taha'a and looked for a spot to anchor. The goal for tonight was to be "windless" as the last few nights on the windward side, inside the reef was noisy from the howling wind and crashing waves. So we were looking to sneak into one of the bays and find silence. Unfortunately, the first bay was packed with lots of charter boats on moorings. The second very deep bay was like being in a wind tunnel as the wind came down the mountain sides and swooped down the bay. We were getting gusts of more the 20 knots inside the bay! Plus, we found no depth less than 72 feet for anchoring. So we then headed to a place Ile Tautau – a motu off the northwestern tip of Taha'a. It has a spot called the Coral Garden and we are anchored in 20 feet of water looking at beautiful azure water, a few bommies and Bora Bora's mountains as the backdrop. There is a lovely resort of thatched roof huts sitting on stilts over the water and we are facing the island of Taha'a in the foreground. It is absolutely beautiful. We hope to get enough wind protection from Taha'a across the way and it should be okay unless the wind switches or really picks up. The shallow sand bar is behind us.
Tomorrow will be a water day (weather permitting). There is good snorkeling here and we hope the sun is out so we can see what are supposed to be quite healthy and varied corals and the fishes that hang out within them. Unfortunately this is a spot where lots of tour boats will come – so we'll try to get an early snorkel in to beat the crowds of bottom kickers and sand shufflers.