Circumnavigating Grande Terre: Touho to Heinghene

Anchor up in Touho at 0645 at sunup. We set the jib and reacher, but jib was by the lee so we furled the jib. Reacher only now, no engines, peaceful and quiet ride. Beautiful morning with rain showers out in the ocean to the northeast . Anchor down at Hienghene in 4M with 20M chain + bridle = 25M rode. Tide -0.4/+0.7. We dropped the hook smack on Splinter’s reported mark

The closest charted bit of the Les Tours Notre-Dame (la Poule) bears 29°M at .209nm. Nice sandy bottom, good holding. Wind is from about 75T ENE. Very nice anchorage except for N winds – completely open to the north. The black rocks along the coast and at the entrance to Hieghene are quite dramatic: tall columns and spires clustered together and worn into shapes like a nesting chicken, or the towers of Notre Dame, and on the other side of the entrance, the Sphynx. We watched a very small cruising sail boat come in and follow the red and green floating round buoys into the river and towards the tiny marina. We will take our dinghy there later. It was helpful to see how it is done. Clouds cover the entire sky, with bits of blue over the hills ashore. Wind is out of the SSW. This was not in the weather forecast. Baro has fallen 3 points since this morning. Sky has cleared half way. Today we visited Hienghene (pronounced “yen-gen”). The town seemed asleep, waiting for the cruise ship to come in, when they entertain the tourists. Even the pottery and wood carving sheds at the cultural center were closed. Hienghene is the birthplace of Jean-Marie Tjibaou, and the location of a cultural center that he organized.

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