Bula Bula from Savu Savu*

*hello from Savusavu – our port of entry in Fiji

I don’t know why they say everything twice in the South Pacific, but it’s catching. So Bula Bula from the Boatblog Boatblog ® ®

We had our permissions to go to Fiji, our exit documents from French Polynesia, the tanks were filled, the boat was stocked, and we were ready to go. Except the weather wasn’t right.

Eventually after a week of mooching about, checking the weather forecast every thirty minutes hoping that something would change even though it only updates every 12 hours, and having more farewell parties than Elton John, we slipped the mooring ball and were off.

At first we headed slightly North to find the winds and then it was Westward Ho! Unfortunately not All Points West, as the Cook Islands and Tonga were still closed because of Covid, so it was going to be a non-stop passage to Fiji of about 1,700 miles. Roughly two weeks at sea, and our first long passage for just over two years. So we weren’t even sure if we could remember how to do it.

And what a passage it was. We did it all. Close hauled, reaching, broad reaching, goose winging and even a bit of motor sailing. The reefs were in and out, the screecher got an airing, we gybed, we tacked. It was like doing a yachtmaster exam. Sometimes we were virtually becalmed, and others we had over 30 knots of wind and were sailing at more than 12 knots.

Which is not going to win us the Americas Cup, but it’s fast enough to make your bones rattle. Domini was in her element with the difficult weather as this is exactly what she has been built for. (The crew on the other hand have been built for sipping cocktails on a balmy sea as the wind pushes them gently west. But they coped too.)

Sailing by moonlight is very nice.

Simple everyday things can become difficult when you are constantly rockin’ and rollin’ on a boat. Jenga for example is out. Even cooking can be dangerous and Lyn scalded herself once when the boat suddenly tipped – not too badly we’re glad to say. And shaving can leave you looking like you’ve had a date with Sweeney Todd. At one point after a particularly unexpected lurch Ju managed to squirt himself in the eye with his aftershave – not something he recommends – even though his eyeball did smell lovely afterwards. (We are pleased to say that both of the ship’s company have made a full recovery.)

I was given a drone by a very generous friend (you know who you are) but we haven’t dared to use it yet. The problem is that it this feature that means it always lands in the same place as it took off, which is a bit tricky when you’re on a boat that keeps on moving. So this is the best drone photo we can manage right now.

Watch out for some more fabulous drone footage in future editions of the boatblog.com ®

You can’t bring food from abroad into Fiji, so we had to make sure that we ate everything before we arrived. Ju was put in charge of eating the cheese and salami while Lyn specialised in biscuits. I think it’s fair to say they both did a fine job. Lyn was particularly conscientious and we actually ran out of biscuits three days before we arrived.

Like Phileas Fogg we forgot about the International Dateline – which for the landlubbers amongst you is not the local version of Tinder. It’s where East meets West and you can skip a day just by crossing a line. This is the actual moment of crossing…

and is exactly halfway round the world from Greenwich.

We had thought we would arrive on Thursday which we did. French Polynesian time. But unfortunately on the other side of the dateline it was already Friday. Mr Fogg gained a day because he was going round the world the other way, but we lost one. All very confusing, and part of the rich tapestry that is the happy lot of the international yachtsman.

But before we go, a big shout out to the genius that is Chris Tibbs. He did our weather routing for us, and managed to usher us through the ITCZ*, the troughs, the fronts, the highs and the lows and thanks to him we managed to miss the worst of weather. Which even though we are out of the cyclone season can get quite nasty in this part of the world.

Thank you Chris. Great job.

*Inter Tropical Convergence Zone – they used to call it the Doldrums. And as you know being “…in the Doldrums” is not nice. Much better to be “…in the ITCZs,” even if it doesn’t sound quite so sawlty dog.

And this edition’s Arty Farty prize goes to Lyn for her photograph, Rainbow Smudge.

First impressions of Fiji are very nice.

Bye for now Boatbloggers ®

Ju & Lyn

Bye Bye Bora Bora

Welcome back Boatbloggers ®

It’s been a long time since our last blog, but that is because there hasn’t been very much to report and here at theboatblog.com ® we are very conscious of not boring our readers. Like most people, our plans were quite badly disrupted by Covid and it has been something of a Groundhog Year. We came back home for Christmas, but apart from that we have been stuck in French Polynesia.

Which to be honest, hasn’t got us a lot of sympathy from our friends.

It’s been a relentless round of drinking,

Bonnet de douche Rodney, bonnet de douche.




Happy Birthday Clare. (Note:- If you want to enter the “Guess the Age,” competition, the editors suggest you do it very carefully.)

Lyn was particularly hungry…

Didn’t you do anything else but eat and drink? – Ed

We also did some watersports. Every day Ju and Troels from Atreju entered the Paddle Board vs Va’a challenge. 

A va’a is one of those Polynesian canoes with the outrigger to help you balance. Though it is still quite possible to overturn it, as Ju proved three times in twelve minutes. 

It would be rude to say that Ju won every race, so we won’t do that here to save any embarrassment for Troels.

We went out on quad bikes with Andy and Clare from Tintamarre.

The Riders of the Lost ARC. Though we didn’t look quite so cool once we took off the helmets.



But without a doubt, the highlight was that Rory and Emma came out to join us.

Yes..all in all it’s been a pretty tough lockdown.

We celebrated our Wedding Anniversary

More eating and drinking – Ed

And though it’s hard to believe given his youthful good looks, Ju turned 60. Yes. SIXTY! That is not a typo. Old enough for a bus pass. Who’d have thought it.

But it wasn’t all fun and games. We had to prepare the boat for the next leg of the journey. The anti-foul needed doing as the Great Barrier Reef had decided to move onto our hull, and the prop was in desperate need of some TLC


And after…

When we say we had to clean the prop, of course we mean we had to pay someone else to clean the prop. Good job CNI Boatyard in Raiatea.

Then the engine needed repairing. It was all a bit beyond Ju, but fortunately Carlos, Troels and Karsten all came over to lend a hand.

Thank you chaps. We couldn’t have done it without you.

And now, before we set sail for Fiji there is just time for the Arty Farty competition. We have only one entry from Ju called “Stripey Fish.”

And Stripey Fish is the winner. Well done Ju

All being well on Saturday we set sail for Savusavu in Fiji, about 1,700 Nautical Miles west. If you want to track us – and if you’ve read this far you just might – you can go to…


We’ve had a fantastic two years here in French Polynesia, and will be sad to leave. But it is time to move on and we are really looking forward to the next stage of our adventure.

Bye Bye Bora Bora.

Ju & Lyn

Bora Bora to Brentford Brentford

Hello again Boatbloggers ®

Over the last few days we have navigated our way from Bora Bora to Beautiful Brentford. Some of it by boat – Bora Bora to Raiatea and Taha’a, then Huahine and on to Tahiti. But most of it with Air France – Tahiti to Vancouver and Paris, and then good old London Town. Air France was quicker but we travelled steerage. The good ship Domini is slower, but we have a First Class Cabin.

So here we are, back in Blighty for Christmas. The views are a bit different,

IMG 3480 3


IMG 3597

…and though we love French Polynesia,

B B heart  Ju

…and miss the snorkelling,

Shoal 1

…and the eagle rays,

Eagle Rays 1

…and finding Nemo,

Nemo 1

(Can you see him yet?)

…it’s quite nice being on dry land for a while, having the little luxuries that the average landlubber takes for granted. Like a proper flushing toilet, a shower with unlimited hot water, and marvel of all marvels – a DISHWASHER! Not to mention if I drop my phone it lands on the carpet instead of sinking to thirty fathoms.

But fear not dear reader. TheBoatBlog is not about to become TheBrentfordBlog or even TheBabyBlog – which is jockeying for position – especially now Orson has got his passport and flown back from Spain for Christmas.

Image 3

“Shame it’s blue Mum.”

Because even here in darkest Brentford we can still get our nautical fix. Rory’s boat is moored just outside our flat.

Image 2

See you next year when we will be bringing you more thrilling tales of adventure and derring-do on the High Seas.

Happy Christmas!


Ed:- What, no gratuitous sunset?

Oh, go on then…

IMG 3481


The Magic of Maupiti

la Orana again Boatbloggers ®

Blogs are like buses. Nothing comes for ages and then all of a sudden, three turn up. Sorry about that. And sorry to rub it in – but while you’ve all been locked down, we’ve been travelling between the Society Islands and there’s just so much to tell you about.

We are in Maupiti, which is about thirty nautical miles due west of Bora Bora. It’s an easy downwind sail, so we put up the two foresails and let the wind just blow us along.

Maupiti 1

It’s famous for two main things. The first is the pass, which is notoriously tricky to get through as it’s quite narrow. And since it is the only pass into the lagoon, the currents can be quite strong between the reefs.

Maupiti Pass 1 2

But as you can see, it was pretty calm the day we came through.

It’s a lovely place to ‘drop the hook,’ as us nautical types say.

Maupiti anchorage 2

The second thing that Maupiti is famous for is the manta ray cleaning station. This is a rock in the middle of the lagoon where the mantas come so that the little fish who live on the rock can clean all their gills and inside their mouths and so on.

Thanks to Rob and Frances ‘Blue Planet’ Lythgoe for these fabulous pictures.

But it’s not just mantas. We also saw this little octopus. It’s amazing how he changes colour to match the sand as he swims away.

No more garlic pulpo for us.

Happily we met up with Rob and Frances from Alia Vita once more.

Group photo

If you remember, we last saw them doing a gargantuan walk up the mountains of Moorea which nearly wiped us out completely. Unrepentant, they suggested that we climb up the little hill at the centre of the island as the view would be amazing.

Screen Shot 2020 10 06 at 14 54 33

And as luck would have it, this time we would be joined by Alex and Carla from Ari B  who we had last seen six years ago in Portimao in the Algarve just before our first Atlantic crossing. It’s a small world!

What Rob failed to mention is that Alex is Austrian, and so is half man, half mountain goat.

Walk 9 Alex

No doubt from an early age he has been bounding up alpine slopes wearing little other than leather shorts and a hat with a feather. Carla climbs to olympic standard too.

We should have known it was going to be tough.

Nevertheless Ju, completely forgetting Einstein’s advice that insanity was doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result, accepted the walking invitation. Lyn rather more sensibly said that she wouldn’t come because her shoes didn’t have enough grip and it would be too slippy. Everyone very politely pretended to believe her.

It started off pleasantly enough.

Walk 3

But it wasn’t long before Ju started to get that deja vu feeling he had the last time he did this.

Walk 10

It was starting to get tough.

Walk 8

But the view was pretty amazing when we finally got there.

Walk 7

But was it worth it?

Walk Top

(Editors note:- Ju would like to point out that this photo was taken by Frances who has a panoramic setting on her camera. This has the unfortunate side effect of making Ju’s stomach also look panoramic. He would like to assure our readers that in real life he is still the same ripped Adonis that you all know and love.)

But as any mountaineer will tell you, going up is the easy bit. The hard bit is coming down.

Glad to see Ju’s overacting skills haven’t left him.

Rob is currently thinking of climbing Kilimanjaro, but only so long as they can helicopter him back down. Ju has agreed to go with him, but only so long as they can helicopter him up and down.

All in all, lunch felt very much deserved.

Walk lunch

We could have filled the blog with photos of all the different fruits of Muapiti, because they are just growing along the roadside; pawpaws, mangoes, pomme etoiles, pineapples, breadfruit – all there for the picking in this little bit of paradise. But we’ll spare you all that. Just time for one arty farty photo to give you an idea of what you are missing, which is imaginatively entitled “Avos.”

Fruit 8 Avo

That’s all for now Boatbloggers ®.

Nana from Maupiti

Ju & Lyn


Bora Bora – so good they named it twice

la Orana again Boatbloggers ®

Bora Bora – incredible!  One of those names like Timbuktu that is known to the soul but really only as a by-word for things mysterious, far away and possibly never to be known except for the brave few far-adventurers…

So wrote our friend Steve when we told him we were here. And we couldn’t put it better ourselves. After an overnight sail, we finally saw the famous outline on the horizon.

Bora 1

The crossing from Moorea was pretty uneventful, apart from being dive bombed in the night by what must have been a giant albatross with the trots.


Bora Bora only got prettier the closer we got.

Bora 3

They have these lovely little huts, where the rich and famous come to relax.

The digs

We thought we might treat ourselves to a couple of nights on land. They are very nice inside and we felt that we deserved a little break.

£9 200 a night

We asked how much they were.

“Seventy five thousand dollars,” they said.

“We’re not buying it, we just want to stay for a couple of nights.”

Seventy Five THOUSAND dollars for a WEEK!

And that doesn’t include breakfast.

We decided to stay on a mooring ball. Which is $30. Much nicer.

The good news was that Andy and Caroline on Kari of Lymington were here, so we met up for dinner at the very exclusive Bora Bora Yacht Club.

Bora Bora Yacht Club

Where the sunsets are particularly lovely.

Bora Bora Sunset

It came as a bit of a surprise to discover that this side of the island, the west, is not generally considered to be that nice! Apparently it’s all a bit commercial. There’s no pleasing some people – it seemed pretty good to us. But the nicest part is supposedly on the east. So the next morning, we let slip of the mooring ball and took the treacherous path round the island.


Ok, so it’s not treacherous like Cape Horn is treacherous, but when the depth starts reading 1.0m and going down, it does cause your heart to beat a little faster.

But it was definitely worth the effort.

Lagoon 3

It’s all very romantic. As they say over here, Boa Bora is ideal for the Newly Weds…

Bora Romance  1

..and Nearly Deads. (No clever comments about which category we fit into thank you very much.)

All in all, the perfect place for a couple of old swingers.

Old Swingers

The snorkelling is spectacular.

Diver Lyn  1

It’s fair to say that we have done a lot of snorkelling over the last few years, and so consider ourselves to be something of experts. In our considered opinion, we have to say that this is some of the best.

Coral garden 3

They call it The Coral Garden.

Coral Garden 2

The water is so clear it’s like swimming in gin. And Ju should know.


There’s lots of fish. Little ones…

Fish Swarm 2

and big ones.

Sharks 1  1

But the one thing you miss out here in paradise, is a decent curry. So we decided to turn Domini into the Bora Bora Balti House for a night.

Bora Bora Balti

With chicken saag, daal, rice and all the trimmings. Including Patak’s lime pickle. Woooo woo! Couldn’t get any popadoms though. But we did have the perfect guests.

And a trip to Bora Bora wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Bloody Marys. Restaurant to the stars. Anyone who is anyone has eaten here, from Marlon Brando to Barry Gibb.

Bloody Mary s

And now us.

Bloody Mary s 2

Eat Out To Help Out. We’re a long way from home, but I think we can all agree that we’re doing our bit.

Before we go there is just time for this edition’s Boatblog ® Caption Competition.

Caption Competition

“Just ‘cos you’re wearing a mask, doesn’t mean I have to.”

Better ones than that to the usual address on a ten pound note. And we have a last minute entry for the Arty Farty prize.

“The Clams,” by Ju – featuring the newly discovered underwater setting on the camera. It took five years, but now he’s found it.

Arty Farty Clams 1

And a special tribute to Andy, for his dramatic attempt to win A Darwin Award*, with a giant moray eel.


Nana for now Boatbloggers ®

Ju & Lyn

* The Darwin Awards salute the improvement of the human genome by honouring those who accidentally remove themselves from it in a spectacular manner.

More-ish Moorea

la Orana Boatbloggers ®,

It’s been a long time since we last put anything up on TheBoatBlog ®, and that’s because we haven’t actually been doing much boating to blog about. When Alice and Ben had their little baby boy, now called Orson, Lyn of course wanted to go straight over to Madrid to see him.


Aaaaaaaaaaaaw…Orson is Awesome.

Ju had to stay in Tahiti with the boat. He didn’t really get up to very much while Lyn was away, preferring a quiet time in with a few friends.


A truly international lineup at Domini Scott’s Jazz Club, featuring Carlos El Tambor from Barcelona on cajon, Javier “Knuckles” Ramon from Islas Canarias also on cajon, Richard “Cookin’ Haig from Wales on blues harp. And of course the one and only Jelly Roll Ronnie from Brentford. 


As well as starting a Divemaster course, Ju also learned a new way of getting into the dinghy.


Not bad for an old sea dog. (9.5 points for execution and technical merit. What do you reckon Paul?*)

But eventually Lyn managed to get back to Tahiti despite all the restrictions, and soon we were able to head back to Moorea which is only a few hours sail away. We even managed to pick up some crew for the voyage. 

To Moorea 3

Lyn with Clare from Tintamarre, and Kate from Barracuda. It’s fair to say, it was a pretty easy trip.

We also met up with our friends Rob and Frances from Alia Vita.

Domini  Alia Vita 3

They suggested we went for a little hike. To start off with we were all very keen.

Hike  Before

Only three and a half miles Rob said. What he didn’t say was that it was also half a mile up.

Hike route

At first it was quite easy…

Hike Road 2

But then the path started getting steeper…

Hike Road 3

And thinner…

Hike Road 4

And less like a path…

Hike Road 6

Till eventually it petered out altogether…

Hike Road 7

But we fought our way through, and eventually came across what we were looking for.

Les trois pinus.

Hike 3 Pinus

The Three Pines.

The view from the top was pretty breathtaking. 

Hike View

Not that we had any breath left to take.

Hike  After

And no wonder.


SEVENTY TWO FLOORS! That’s like climbing up the Empire State Building.

It’s not surprising really. When you live on the sea, any walk is up.

The one thing that Moorea is famous for at this time of year is whale watching. Hundreds of humpback whales come up to mate, and to have their babies. We have to be careful on a boat, because one thing that can really clog up your watermaker is whale sperm. We kid you not.

But off we went to see them


We tried to slide in and snorkel alongside them, but every time we did, they swam off before we could get near. Even as a trained rescue diver, Ju couldn’t keep up with a thirty tonne, fifteen metre whale. It didn’t help that at one point when we were getting close to the whales and about to jump in, the dive leader said, “We could get into the water here, but this is where there are a lot of oceanic white tip sharks. But don’t worry. If you see one, all you have to do is maintain eye contact while you swim back to the boat. If you do see it roll it’s eyes back into it’s head, it probably going to attack because that’s what happens when they open their mouths. But that’s very rare. Though last year a woman was attacked…”

Whale 1

We decided to stay on the boat.

It was fun watching the mother whale training the baby. The mother would jump out, and flap her fins around, and then the baby would copy it exactly.

Ju didn’t come back unscathed.

Wetsuit tear

It wasn’t a Great White Shark. More a Great White Bum.

Probably caused by eating this…


A peanut butter, Nutella and squirty cream crepe. A traditional Moorean favourite. And only 4,000 calories.

But all too soon it was time to leave More-ish Moorea and head for distant shores.

Leaving Tahiti

Bye Bye Moorea. We’ll be back soon.

But before we leave you, there’s just time for the Boatblog ® competition, which is called…

Where’s Wally Rob?

Hike  Where s Wally

Answers on a large cheque please, to the usual address.

And it wouldn’t be a proper Boatblog ® without at least one Arty Farty entry. This one from Ju, called “Strange Fruit.”

Arty Farty 1

Nana for now.

Ju & Lyn

*Paul Miller. International gymnast (among many other things) and very old** friend. 

**That’s old as in we’ve known him a long time, not as in ancient.




Huahine Heaven

la Orana Boatbloggers®

And welcome to your latest edition of The Boatblog® brought to you direct from Huahine, a little piece of heaven in The Society Islands, French Polynesia.

Huahine 1

And where better to enjoy a few drinks than with friends than in a little beach bar…

Bastille day 1

or a little hotel bar…

Drinks Lyn

or a little pool bar…


or a little restaurant…

Bastille Day 2

or even on a boat.

Party Boat

(Did you do anything else but drink? – Ed)

Yes of course! We did lots of healthy things. Just one example, we cycled all the way round the island. 65km in total.

Ebike 1

(Is it just me, or does that look like Lyn’s got a very butch right arm?)

It would have been completely knackering, if they hadn’t been electric bikes. 

Ebike 4

A little turn of the pedal and you’re off like Lance Armstrong on speed. Or cocaine. Or whatever else he was on. (We could have done with one of those on the Cape Argus, Nick.)

But we still couldn’t walk the next day.

We went swimming.

Bomb 1

Watched the Huahine Boat Race.

Race Day 1 2

Which is very like the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race but with less oars. They only have one each, but they still zoom along,

There are some rather unusual boats.


These are traditional ways of trapping fish. The idea is that the fish swim up this long stone maze and then can’t find their way back out. Very clever – might come in handy if we’re ever shipwrecked on a desert island.

Fish Trap 2

Sadly this all that is left of the maraes, which are the traditional Polynesian churches. Unfortunately the missionaries came and destroyed them all, because clearly these people were worshipping the wrong God.

Marae 1

We went to the shell museum, which is more exciting that it sounds. Some of these shells can kill you. They shoot out a little harpoon which is more poisonous than a cobra.

Shell Museum

Ju even performed at the Huahine Jazz Festival.

Huahine Jazz Festival

(Isn’t that another bar? – Ed)

All in all, it’s a very nice place.

The Bay 3

And as always, we like to end with a gratuitous sunset. And this one was followed by a green flash. (Alas, I didn’t get it on film so you’ll just have to believe us James.)

Dinghy Sunset

And now we are off about to set sail for Tahiti, because there is a very special event happening very soon!

To find out more, don’t forget to look out for the next edition of The Boatblog, coming to a computer near you.

Nana et a bientôt,

Ju & Lyn

Graham – I suppose you don’t believe this is the moon either.

Banana Moon

Tuamotu Catchup

Bonjour et la Orana Boatblog® fans,

Welcome to our Catchup from Tuamotu.

Here we are again, reporting back from the very heart of the centre of the middle of nowhere; the Tuamotus a series of coral atolls somewhere deep in the Pacific. They really are the quintessential tropical islands with turquoise waters, coral reefs and palm trees.

Ju  Lyn

Our first stop after Fakarava was one of the smaller, less visited atolls called Kauehi (pronounced Kah-oo-eh-hi – it’s quite tricky, but you say all the vowels in French Polynesia).

There are only about 100 people living on the island, so it feels very deserted. All of the young people get sent to school in Tahiti, or make their way to Papeete for work, so there are only very old people and children left here.

High Street

(Not saying these are very old people. Actually it is Jeremy from Next Step and Andy from Kari of Lymington.)

The only industries here are tourism which has died because of Covid, copra – which is getting oil and other things out of a coconut, and black pearls which they farm. Not a lot of people know this, but a black pearl starts it’s life being seeded on a tree.

Seed Oysters

Who’d have thought this is how a pearl earing begins?

It is sad that when you get to the windward side of the island, the beach is absolutely covered in plastic. This is not from the locals, but has drifted here from civilisation.

IMG 4678

 “Sunview – The Best From The West.”

We did our best with Caroline and Andy from Kari of Lymington to clean it up a bit, but it’s a daunting task.

Picking up plastic

It’s very expensive here. If it’s not a fish or a coconut it has to be imported. For example, a bag of crisps is thirteen dollars. OK, so that was a big bag, but even for a dedicated crisp-oholic such as Ju that’s a bit much, so we had poisson cru instead. Which is raw tuna marinated in coconut milk. Very tasty, and sadly a lot healthier than a bag of salt and vinegar.

Unfortunately, for much of our time in Kauehi it was raining, and we spent a lot of it on the boat sitting out a storm. 

Rainbow 2

And when it rains, it rains.

When it rains it rains

But at least it’s warm rain.

As soon as the weather let up, we set off for Rangiroa, about twenty-four hours’ sail to the north west, where we rejoined a number of other Sailors of the Lost ARC.

Sola in Tiputi

Nick from Maximillian and Alan from Island Wanderer had rigged up their paddle board as a water ski. It was brilliant fun – just like water skiing but slower. 

The next day we went to a place called The Blue Lagoon which is a lagoon within the lagoon, and even by Polynesian standards is stunning.

Blue Lagoon 7

It’s probably not the most original name that they could have come up with, but it seems to sum it pretty well.

Blue Lagoon 8

It really is somewhere that should to be on everyone’s bucket list. (With the possible exception of Alan. The only way here is by boat, then another little boat Al. Not good if you get seasick.)

We went spearfishing for lunch, and caught a parrot fish.


…or as Monty Python would say, an Ex-parrot fish.

Ex parrot fish 2

You don’t throw your scraps to the dog in French Polynesia. 

Not a good time to go paddling.

While we were waiting for lunch our guide showed us some of the local skills.

Start with a leaf…

Do you know what it is yet 2

Make a few folds…

Do you know what it is yet 3

Do you know what it is yet?

Do you know what it is yet 4 3

Eat your heart out Mr Gucci.

Just time to go to the spa with our friends before we had to go back to the boat.

Blue Lagoon 4 2

The next day we went diving and saw our first manta ray.

Manta 1 2

And then the dolphins came to play.

And like most of us, they love nothing more than a tummy rub, which seems to put them into a sort of daze.

Dolphin 4

Then it was back to the boat with the crew of Volunteer to put the evening’s cabaret together.

The Band 1

…with dancers from Easter Island.

The Cabaret

But now the winds are building…

Windy 1

…and the forecast tells us that a storm is heading our way, so it’s time to move on. Next stop, The Iles de la Societe.

Nana and au revoir for now, as they say over here.

Ju & Lyn

PS – Have we got time for a gratuitous sunset?

(Go on then – Ed)

Gratuitous Rangiroa Sunset

South Pacific

la Orana et bonjour Boatbloggers®,

And welcome back to another action packed edition of The Boatblog®, this time being sent to you direct from Fakarava (be careful how you say that) in The Tuamotus, a series of atolls in the heart of the South Pacific. This is of course where Rogers & Hammerstein’s great musical was set, and as a tribute we will be gratuitously shoehorning in as many song titles from the show in this blog as we dare. Dites moi how many you can find. (See what we did there?) Answers at the end…no cheating!

All in all we spent nearly two months in Tahiti, as travel between the islands was banned because of Covid 19. But on the island itself most restrictions were lifted, so there was plenty to do. We went to an evening of traditional dancing…

Dancing  audience participation 2

Our night at The Belvedere Restaurant up in the hills turned out to be some enchanted evening…

Infinity Pool  Some Enchanted Evening

Even the view from the loo was pretty spectacular.

A loo with a view

We found time to go surfing. We’ve never done it before, but Lyn is quite a cock eyed optimist…

Surfing  Lyn  Cock Eyed Optimist

so we jumped straight in. It’s harder than it looks.

Surfing  Lyn falling

But lots of fun.

Surfing  Lyn laughing

There is nothing you can name, that is anything like a dame – or better still, four dames surfing.

Surfin Girls  There is nothing like a dame

They look like they’ve been washing men right out of their hair all morning. (OK – stick with it, that was a difficult one.)

Finally the restrictions on travel between the islands were lifted, and most boats left Tahiti straight away to go exploring. It’s amazing to think that French Polynesia actually covers an area bigger than Europe, so there’s quite a lot to explore. Unfortunately we still had some engine trouble, so we had to wait to get that fixed before we could set off.

Engine 2

Quite a big job, but soon it was back in and working, and we were ready to set sail. First stop Moorea.

This is where they filmed South Pacific.

And this is Bali H’ai.

IMG 4569

We climbed up the hill, and we think you’ll agree it’s a fabulous sight.

Moorea  Up The Hill 2

And the scenery’s not bad either (Boom! Tish!)

After only a few days we saw a weather window that could get us east towards the Tuamotus, so we set of for Fakarava – about two days sail away. 

It’s a beautiful atoll, and in normal times can get quite crowded with tourists, but we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Where better to relax with a bloody Mary or two after a hard day eating?

Fakarava  Cocktail hour  Bloody Mary

Or enjoy some happy talk on the beach with our friends from the World ARC. 

 Fakarava   Happy Talk

Or as we now call ourselves since the ARC was cancelled, Sailors of the Lost ARC.

It was a bit disconcerting when we arrived to hear about the storm which hit the atoll a few days before we arrived. Lots of boats were damaged – some more than others. This nearly was mine, but we were lucky. If we’d arrived only two days earlier…

Fakarava  Beached Boats  This Nearly Was Mine

But the main reason to come to Fakarava is the diving, and in particular the “wall of sharks.”


We are told that sharks don’t eat divers because they don’t like the taste. Apparently we have too much iron in our blood, so if you ever decide to do this, eat lots of spinach before you go.

The water is gin clear.

Diving  Lyn

And there are more sharks than a lawyers’ convention.

Diving  Sharks

Ju then made tiny error of judgement. He agreed to go on a night dive, while the sharks are out feeding. Quite what made him sign up for this, he is still not sure. It was like being in a shoal of fish except it wasn’t fish – it was sharks. Black tip sharks and white tip sharks.

And they were hunting.

Diving  Night shark

There were sharks in every direction, and the torch just picked out millions of eyes as they went on the prowl. The were at least 300 of them, and Ju was in the middle of the pack. Then just when everything seemed to be slowing down, suddenly they would all go berserk as they saw a fish and went after it. It was fantastically terrifying, or terrifyingly fantastic – one of the two. But either way, it was very exciting. Though Ju is not sure he’s going to do it again. It didn’t help to find out that when they filmed this exact same dive for the Blue Planet, all the divers wore chain mail.

Thanks to Jeremy from Next Step for all the underwater photos.

BTW – do you know what a pack of sharks is called? Answer below…

We had a lot of parties. We have a better social life out here in the middle of nowhere than we do in the middle of London. This is a bootleg recording of one of our boat jams. All the players were very carefully taught by maestro Ju.


We celebrated Petra’s birthday.

Fakarava  Petra Birthday  Younger Than Springtime 2

I’m sure we all agree that she looks younger than springtime. And that bloke wearing the traditional Fakarava table decoration looks like a wonderful guy.

So – just time for the arty farty competition, both submitted by Lyn. The first is called “I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts,” which wasn’t from South Pacific, but perhaps it should have been.

Fakarava  Arty farty 4

And the second entry is called “Amazing Roots.”

Fakarava  funny tree 2

And the winner is Lyn! Well done Honey Bun!

That’s all for now Boatbloggers®.

A bientôt!

Ju & Lyn

How did you get on with the South Pacific song competition?

Here’s the answers…

Dites Moi, Some Enchanted Evening, A Cock-Eyed Optimist, There Is Nothing Like A Dame, I’m Going To Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair, Bali Hai, Bloody Mary, Happy Talk, This Nearly Was Mine, Carefully Taught, Younger Than Springtime, (I’m in love with) A Wonderful Guy, and last but not least Honey Bun.

A pack of sharks is called a shriek – presumably after the noise a diver makes when he sees one.