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Bora to Blighty

After a glorious week in Maupiti it was time to turn to windward and head back to Tahiti. We had a couple of weeks before our flight back to Blighty (England) in preparation for my sons wedding scheduled for the 18th October.

We had a very fresh sail into wind back to Bora Bora. After studying the maps in detail we reckoned it would be a good challenge to take Saorsa down the east side of the island. With only inches below the keel we edged our way past the luxury holiday resorts and were treated to yet another paradise anchorage.

We waited for the wind to go northly to enable us to sail back to Huahine where we bumped into friends and had a lovely stop over in another beautiful anchorage in the south of the island.

Enroute our last good Lure was eaten by a monster fish. Not to be deterred John fashioned a new one out of a toothpaste tube, (now our new standard), and yes, we did catch a fish but sadly a barracuda which is not to be recommended in these parts due to ciguatera.

Back in Papeete our mission was to get Soarsa ready for the trip to

NZ before we left her in Tahiti for six weeks. After seven weeks out cruising there were plenty of jobs to turn our hand to. Holes in exhausts, windless issues and the most rewarding was the main engine impeller.

It is always a difficult task to get a new one in, but boy is it worth checking it. We took ours out to find it had cracked just hours away from disintegrating.

In just a few weeks John has started to get a reputation for enjoying a challenging fixing task. As our list of repairs began to dwindle other friends enjoyed bringing their yachtie puzzels to our cockpit for him to have a look at. You can see he loves it.

With Saorsa well secured in Papeete marina, our bags packed, and excitement building it was time for us to leave on a jet plane for the UK via Vancouver and Paris. Armed with masks and prepared for a rough 29 hour trip we headed for the airport. Much to our surprise it was a spookily fabulous journey.

I have spent many years experiencing plane travel around the world and have never seen anything like this. No queues, airports with nobody there, wine, food and a lie flat bed as we had 7 seats to ourselves. Air France travel was a real pleasure.

No one around, huge terminals closed down, just deserted, and those few planes there was were operating less than ¼ full.

Although it turned out to be a very enjoyable trip back it was a shocking introduction to the covid effect. Living in French Polynesia I had been so sheltered from the devastating effect that Covid 19 has had on industry, the economy, and most importantly, people.

My own family are directly affected: My sons wedding was planned for 80 close friends and family, it was now cut to 13. My niece is in lock down at Manchester university. John, my daughter and I are making the most of isolation with our elderly parents desperate to see us, but our whole family are trying to ensure we don’t affect them.

Many UK citizens are trying hard to make sense of the rules and are trying to take sensible precautions while others just totally ignore any covid recommendations. Watching BBC TV news, trying to speak to government departments, banks, insurance providers – it just fuels disbelief. Confusion about rules (guidance!!), hours on hold with excuses of covid , and experience after experience of lack of joined up thinking (testing, NHS App, Immigration procedures on Isolation).

We are lucky we get to see our families and then return to French Polynesia (subject to a covid test). My sympathy goes to my kids and many families in the UK that are enduring, not covid, but the shocking inability of the UK government to manage effectivity. On the upside a real thumbs up for Amazon – Over 21 items delivered, a majority the next day, and ASDA home delivery – thank you. At least some folk have there act together.

As we start on week two of our isolation – sooo looking forward to Christopher and Rachels wedding – despite covid a truly lovely couple get to become the new Mr and Mrs Lamb. ( Hopefully – only three weeks to go).