A Little Warning to Fellow Cruisers

by Margie on April 30, 2009

We two day hopped it over to Teahupoo from Papeete hoping to snag a good spot for the surf competition starting next week. It’s only 40 to 45 miles and easily could be managed in one day. We decided to “bebop” (as my dad may say) our way over. There is a reef that runs pretty solid from the time you leave up until you get here so for the most part it is green light/red light the entire way here. For those who might not spend much time on the water, green and red lights mark the channels and are a guide for where to go and where not to go.

Advice for those who may be headed this way next week or anytime in the future, approaching Teahupoo (right now you can’t miss it because there’s a massive Billabong tower built on the reef in front of the wave for the judges), the channel markings fade out. It’s a curvy little channel right in front of the Teahupoo marina. At the end of the markings headed easterly we suggest you cut a hard left (but not too hard) and head towards the point of land that juts out. Dead ahead….coral reef. We found this out the hard way and spent an hour stuck right on the edge of it. Not so bad with the usual calm lagoon waters. A little more difficult when a storm bringing winds and rain up to 25 knots hits a few minutes after you do though! Drew fended us off by standing on the reef pushing the boat back against the storm. That kept us from going any farther into the coral while the wind broad-sided us. Me…well I did what any first timer would do in this situation…I panicked.

When the wind and rain died down some nice fellas came and gave us a little tug and we were off in two seconds and moving again. A couple of small scratches on the bottom paint but other than that she pulled through just fine. Drew’s a little worried that I’m going to start to think that things like this happen all the time on the boat. Ahhh…I’m not too uneasy about it. A little scare every now and then as a reminder to always stay on your toes and keep a good lookout. There goes Dosia with her damn upperhand again….

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