Bora to Maupiti to Maupiha’a: 130 nautical miles

Daily Log Notes & Observations by Leslie and Eric

Good friend Bowman Puahio from Bora took the boys spear fishing & scurfing of a jet ski!! Woohoo!

5-5-2017 Friday

We cleared Bora Bora Customs & Immigration after a bit of a run around from the local gendarme (a newby officer misdirected us on several accounts) by 10:30 am and departed Vaitare at 11h30 for a 17h00 arrival in Maupiti. The passage was straightforward yet enlivened at the end while heading through the Maupiti reef pass. It was like ‘Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride’ motoring through the deep but somewhat narrow pass into the lagoon. Trent and Bryce and I were all posted on deck to watch for coral heads while Eric maintained as straight a motor forward as possible.

Maupiti Island, French Polynesia.

We rode in on the substantial swell at a 6.5 knot over-the-water clip with a 3 knot exiting tide, giving us 3.5 knots of forward way, plenty to steer by. The conjunction of swell and exiting current made for a tumultuous yet thrilling entry. Sometimes Kandu rowdily slid left or right, even under Eric’s steady hand. We were all exhilarated and relieved to have passed successfully into the lagoon, to easily navigate through the lagoons’ large coral heads and to find an empty mooring. Once settled, fellow cruiser comrades Walter and Meryl from s/v Flying Cloud (first met them in Atuona, Hiva Oa, Marquesas) dinghied over to share some refreshments. It was great to discover they were in Maupiti and to catch-up on their latest adventures.

Trent Rigney proud of his part in the Bora Bora spearfishing catch.

While preparing Bryce & Trent’s spearfishing catch from Bora for dinner, the boys and I played a few rounds of our new favorite game, Cribbage, taught to us by Ron and Michele while Eric borrowed Flying Cloud’s dinghy to head ashore in order to meet up with contacts for whom the next day we would be transporting items and mail to atoll Maupiha’a aka Mopelia by French sailors. We slept comfortably in the calm lagoon. Leslie

Maupiti island with s/v Flying Cloud in the distance as seen from Kandu.

5-6-2017 22h00 Maupiti to Maupiha’a (Mopelia)

First night-watch since what seems to be forever. It’s clear out with more than a ¾ moon illuminating the clouds and rolling dark sea. We have the genoa out, but probably only gaining a knot of speed as we’ve got the engine running. Engine sounds normal. Kandu fairs well, but it is pretty rocky and rolly since there’s no wind. Yet we are blessed with light swell and no rain. We have our cockpit canopy up which during the day provides much needed protection from the blazing sun. Hard to believe we’re on the road again after so much time being stationary. I’m not yet adapted to the constant movement. My stomach is a bit off. Leslie

Eric Rigney sending Delorme satellite texts while enjoying the open cockpit air.

5-7-2017 Sunday 2h40 am

Nice motorsail. 5+ knots making good time. Nice stop at Maupiti. Swam with 2 mantas at their cleaning station near pass: beautiful majestic creatures. Picked up supplies for Mopelia families. Had ice cream and spent the last of our French Polynesia money on souvenirs and gifts. Shopkeeper gifted Leslie earrings and a matching purple pencil urchin bracelet!

Ice Cream store/Souvenir shop where Maupiti locals naturally congregate.

Bought our last baguettes for awhile and eggs too. In the center of the very small town, young boys hailed Bryce from Lycee d’Uturoa. (Those boys were home from the high school’s boarding school for the weekend.) Enjoyed visiting with Flying Cloud. Borrowed their dinghy. French elections yesterday. Interesting to see how the small community was buzzing with energy as a result of the elections. Excited to motor through Mopelia’s extremely narrow pass and to meet the families. It’s a Fr. Polynesia site I’ve never visited. Due to our connections, we may just get to gorge on some of their local lobster and coconut crab. We’ll see. Eric

Bryce Rigney, the eyes of Kandu.

5-8-2017 Monday

Motored safely through the narrow Maupiha’a pass with Bryce up the mast at the first spreader to direct us around coral heads. Anchored at 10h00 am quite a distance from the shore to avoid the large coral heads. Due to storms or squalls, shifting winds could blow the boat in any direction dragging our chain and possibly wrapping it around coral heads. Later bringing up anchor tends to be tricky. Right away, a local fishing panga motored over to us by two young women. They had been eagerly anticipating our arrival us being laden with their packages sent from their Maupiti families. Cordiality extended on both sides, we unloaded their things onto their boat brimming over with smiles, happy to have been of service.

Goodies that Kandu offered to each of the two families knowing they rarely get supplies.

They invited us to dinner that evening in thanks. Shortly thereafter, a darling couple, Norma and Harris, motored over to greet and thank us for transporting their belongings. Offering us lunch of island delicacies: seafood coconut cucumber salad and steamed whole fish, they were excited to get to know us and asked us to join them for dinner the following evening also mentioning that they’d like to take us on a 4×4 tour of the atoll. Wow! Trent took one trial bite of the seasnail salad saying, “That’s interesting…” Eric, Bryce and I found it to have a delicious taste with an intriguing texture. Leslie

Norma and Harris from Maupiha’a.

Maupiha’a Coconut crab captured and cooked – ready to eat.

6 thoughts on “Bora to Maupiti to Maupiha’a: 130 nautical miles

  1. Rosie Dennis

    Friendships gained from all over the world. … People are kind, helpful, and eager to exchange
    customs. Your generosity reaps huge benefits. Just looking at all those smiles and reading
    your interesting blogs lets us know of the happiness your all are experiencing. Loving U,
    Nani and Papa

    Reply
  2. Betsy and Gary

    Dear Rigneys all, On the “road” again, is it? It sounds blissful and delightful. Just remember how quickly the time passes when you are having fun! I wish we could roll up in one of your sails and be there for part of
    the trip. xox, betsyandgary

    Reply
  3. Curtis

    I’m sure you will miss French Polynesia. At the time of writing this, you’ve left Samoa and are on your way to Fiji. I’ll me interested to learn from you the similarities and differences you discover among the Pacific Island peoples. Safe travels, Curtis

    Reply
  4. Annie Kohut

    Bryce took the position on the spreaders like you did 45 years ago Eric, as we inched our way thru that pass to Maupiti! I remember it well as it was pretty intimidating seeing all the boat carcasses scattered around that entrance. To me it has always been the most beautiful island on our French Polynesian adventure with you when you were a sweet 16 teenager.It’s the only island where every home had in it’s front yard a tomb of some relative. We did n’t have the connections and friends you made there but I will never forget the small quaint island of Maupiti with its pretty church along the main island road and the watermelons growing on the corral. Auntie Annie

    Reply
  5. Pat

    HI
    I havnt written in a while however I do keep up with the Kandu adventure. When reading your exploits including interaction with the locals I feel a sense of envy. Excuse me for not being much for words. i will try to write more often

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Pat,
      So pleased to hear from my childhood hero. I try to provide a window into my head, what if “feels” like and the thought processes, good and bad. Leslie paints the “what it’s like to be out here” picture more than I do. Bryce and Trent write about what they’ve experienced and/or studied about the places we visit. Together, I hope we are able to feed yours and the adventure appetites of others. If you’re not on Facebook, I’d recommend it if you want more frequent updates and photos. RigneysKandu’s page, mine, Leslie’s, Bryce’s and Trent’s. Hope all is well with you and Michelle. Cheers! Eric

      Reply

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