Thursday, 20 July 2017

6-2017 Fun and Games

Hi from Clare,           6-2017 Fun and Games                         Monday 17th July 2017

We had a fun week on the beautiful Island of Moorea meeting many new Cruisers before the eighty odd boats participating in the Pacific Puddle Jump continued on to New Zealand and Australia. Fortunately for us our very good Dutch friends Martin and Ellen are staying in French Polynesia for a while. We are enjoying their company sharing meals, drinks and activities. One of the highlights was going to Stingray City together. There were plenty of sharks, stingrays and people in the water and much thrashing about as the local operator feed the fish. At first it was a bit intimidating slipping into the water with so many sharks swimming close by but we soon came to enjoy this unique and wonderful experience.

Follow the leader

Look out for these!

Fresh prawns from the prawn farm was another highlight. The raw prawns, sweet and juicy, were so fresh that they had absolutely no odour to them even after being boxed in the fridge for a few hours. Ellen and I joined together and cooked two separate dishes and hosted a dinner party fit for Kings, namely our kings Martin and Andrew.

Beautiful Moorea
We sailed back to the Island of Tahiti as our friends needed to fly home to the Netherlands for a few weeks. We also decided to return to the city as our HF Radio broke down after thirteen years of excellent operation. The relays were chattering so badly we couldn’t hear or transmit. For those of you who know Andrew and his love for the radio you will understand that this was a minor disaster. Fortunately we are not planning an ocean crossing this year or the breakdown would be escalated to a ‘major disaster’. When at sea and away from the internet, this is how we get daily weather reports, emails and communicate with the world. Since returning to Tahiti we have researched every avenue for a replacement. We considered having a new radio flown in at great expense and or advertising for a second hand radio from another Cruiser. However Martin came to the rescue and lent us his radio for the period he is away. At present Andrew is happily listening to a Radio Net in the States and we are back on air and in daily contact with our friends on the Polynesian Magellan Net. Today we spoke to an Aussie who has two broken radios on his boat that he keeps for spare parts. Andrew might be able to source some relays from him and repair our radio; this possibility is still developing.

The Papeete City Market

Papeete City Marina
In the month of July Tahiti is celebrating it’s 135th Heiva Festival. Papeete (Tahiti Capital City) is alive with competitions of dancing, drumming, singing, traditional sports and arts and crafts exhibition. We enjoyed watching the Fruit Carriers Race. The competitors from both sexes are barefoot and across their shoulders they carry a pole (log)with fruits tied onto it. The race is 1,705 metres and the weight of fruit varies from 15 kilos for the women to 20, 30 or 50 kilos for the men. As you can see from the photos the men are dressed in only a loin cloth which was a bit interesting:) Other events include Javelin Throwing, Stone-Lifting, Copra Preparation and Canoe Races.
The Men are ready

The fruit is ready

The dancing, drumming and singing competitions are staged over six evenings with a total of 2,260 artists performing to celebrate the Polynesian Culture. Each performance has hundreds of dancers on the floor. The men are fierce and athletic and the woman supple and graceful. The solo performances showcase the best dancers, what a treat.

The musicians are on an elevated stage and drumming with a number of different drums to produce rhythmical and powerful music that penetrated our very core. At one performance apart from the musicians on stage there were about fifty drums around the edge of the dance floor. The hairs on my arms were standing on end.

A sneak photo

We have tickets for Saturday night which is the last night. We will see the 2nd and 3rd place winners. The 1st place winners will be performing the night before but that concert has been sold out for some time. We have already attended two concerts however as it is a competition, photographs are not allowed. I did sneak two shots on our iPhone. One is of the woman who sat in front of me; the biggest woman I have ever seen and with a massive head of hair. Although the seats are tiered, when she sat down it was like a total black out. In addition the seats are allocated and the auditorium was packed, how’s that for bad luck:) Andrew was standing next to her at intermission and said she was about six foot four inches tall. Fortunately for me she changed seats with a friend after intermission.

We have spent a few days in the City Marina at Papeete giving us access to the festivities and the city. It is very convenient and close to a very good fresh food market. The variety of vegetables is limited. I could write a whole paragraph listing the vegetables I haven’t seen since leaving home. The one I miss the most and hardly ever see is Capsicum. We can get peppers but they are far too hot for our taste. Whilst in the city, Andrew has a few dental appointments as he chipped a tooth earlier in the season and is having it crowned. We have both had a clean and check. The dentistry is of a high standard and a bit less expensive than Australia.

I also had a chance to wash all the covers off the settee in the saloon. We dried them on the boat and then spent a morning wrestling with the cushions putting the covers back on.
They came up beautifully and I am very happy.

We are now anchored outside the Tahiti Yacht Club. We know the cruisers on four other boats here, Ednbal, Pitufa, Alcyone and Monkey Fist. Tonight we are having drinks at the bar and a together. Thursday we will travel into the city and visit the dentist and Saturday we will take the boat back into City Marina. From there we will join fellow cruisers from Cinnabar, Pangaea and Shindig for dinner and the Heiva Concert – how exciting.

Love Candy xx

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

5-2017 Business in Tahiti

Hi from Clare,          5-2017 Business in Tahiti                Monday 26th June 2017

We came back to Tahiti mainly to shop for the boat, but at the same time we have enjoyed good company, lovely sunsets, snorkeling on the reef and secluded anchorages. We watched from our boat a thousand Polynesians participate in a canoe race which took a number of hours to complete. A thousand canoeists coming towards us look like ants on the water. But close up we could see the muscles in their arms, shoulders and back working hard; very fit people and lovely to watch.

One of our recent highlights was the arrival of Dutch friends Martin an Ellen on Acapella. We spent six months with them in 2014 cruising the Caribbean and diving in Bonaire. They, like us haven’t aged one bit over the last three years:) We will spend the next few weeks together before they return to the Netherlands. Our Aussie mates Roger and Sasha on Ednbal are here also, it makes all the difference having fun play mates. Also there has been no shortage of drinks and dinners out, giving us the opportunity to met the other cruisers in the anchorage.

Andrew, Ellen and Martin

Clare and the gang

We had a busy time boat shopping in Tahiti but now we have full supplies of cooking gas, diesel and petrol for the dinghy. We had our life raft serviced and bought spare parts for the fridge motor and a length of spectra to make a new backstay. Andrew is currently running a larger wire from the battery bank to the fridge - more grunting:) I have done quite a few loads of washing at the Tahiti Yacht Club as it is the first public washing machine I have found since we came here in May. We also went to the Polynesia Trading Company and stocked up on bulk nuts and breakfast cereal. More trips to the Supermarket carrying heavy loads – my turn to grunt:)

Andrew talking to wires

Yesterday we had a lovely twenty miles sail with a fifteen knot wind behind us, from Tahiti to Cook’s Bay on the island of Moorea. The Pacific Puddle Jump Rendezvous is being held here with some forty boats attending. These are the boats that came from the west coast of the USA and through the Panama Canal earlier this year and have now arrived in Tahiti. This is an annual event but we missed the rendezvous the year we came through as we went home for nine months and left the boat in the Marquesas. Martin and Ellen on Acapella have been having a ball participating in the Rendezvous and yesterday we went into the Bali Hi Resort and joined them for the last of the celebrations. We met a number of people we have spoken to on the Radio Net and so now we have the beginning of new friendships.

Puddle Jump Rendezvous

Cook’s Bay is a lovely calm anchorage and things a fairly quiet here today. I think all the cruisers are recovering from two days of partying. Stephanie, the French lady organising the Puddle Jump Rendezvous, we met in 2000 when we competed in the Tahiti Off-Shore Cup. She hasn’t changed a bit and she immediately mentioned Trevor Joyce the Australian co organizer of the event back then. To our Aussie friends back home Colin and Denise you will be pleased to hear that baguettes and croissants are still being delivered to the boats early each morning. This was one of the highlights of our experience back in 2000 and yesterday Stephanie commented “It works, why change it”. Who can disagree!

Cooks Bay, Moorea

We will stay here in Moorea for a few days enjoying all that this wonderful island has to offer. Stingray City, Belvedere Look Out, the Agricultural College with its home-made ice cream, the Tropical Garden, ancient Mares, fresh prawns from the prawn farm on Wednesday morning and just gorgeous sunshine and sparkling water.

Love Candy xx