It goes against the very nature of cruising to have to be someplace on a particular date. But well over 100 South Pacific cruisers made special efforts to attend this year’s Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous, held last weekend (June 22-24). Because we’re sitting in a thatch-roofed bungalow with sketchy wi-fi and our laptop is about to die, we’ll just give you some highlights here and save the full-blown report for the August 1 edition of Latitude 38 magazine.
When we arrived in Papeete last Thursday there was good news and bad from local weather prognosticators: Plenty of wind was predicted for Saturday’s sailing rally from Tahiti to Moorea (roughly 16 miles), but rain was expected throughout the weekend. Luckily, the forecast was only half right. We had booming 22- to 25-knot winds for the crossing with rowdy seas which made for spirited sailing, but the rain gods held their water until after dark each day.
The annual Rendezvous has a dual purpose: to celebrate the fleet’s successful crossing from various points along the West Coast of the Americas, and to introduce the arriving sailors to highly revered traditions of Polynesian culture in music, dance, sport and cuisine. Thus, it becomes a memorable benchmark in the travels of all who attend.
In addition to our full report in next month’s magazine, we’ll have a recap on the crossings of the entire Pacific Puddle Jump fleet in September. Online sign-ups for the 2013 Puddle Jump will begin in December, and next year’s Rendezvous will be held again in late June (dates TBA soon).