Tuesday, 4 October 2016

10-2016 Huahine with friends

Hi from Clare,                                                    Monday 3rd October 2016

We left Moorea on Friday 24th September and had a very pleasant overnight beam reach sail to Maroe Bay on the east side of Huahine. This was Cheryl's first overnight sail and she stayed up 'till midnight enjoying the warm breeze, the sway of the boat and the star studded sky above. Patrick has previously sailed overnight with us in Italy but he too marvelled at the experience once again.

After breakfast we went snorkelling behind Motu Topati where the fish congregate away from the current. This Motu is written up in the Lonely Planet as “a magnificent place to snorkel” in Huahine. We saw many varieties of colourful fish but the coral is mostly dead, I couldn't help but think that the pretty fish deserved a nicer place to live. Since then we have snorkelled a few more times in various locations around Huahine and found the coral to be very disappointing.
Calm behind the Motu

That evening we had a BBQ on the beach as Aussie friends Sasha and Roger on 'Ednbal' and American friends Meryl and Walter on 'Flying Cloud' had arrived in the bay. Cheryl and Patrick opted to stay on the boat. I think the draw card was that I had introduced Patrick to the Jack Reacher series of novels by Lee Child and Patrick was deep in his own adventure. We had a great BBQ, a few drinks and a chance to catch up by the light of Roger's roaring camp fire. The following day we caught up with American friends Cheryl and Mark on 'French Curve'. The four boats travelled together for a few days and so we had plenty of company.

Roger, Sasha, Clare, Andrew and Walter at the BBQ

We took the dinghies a few miles up a channel to lake Maeva to the township of Maeva. On the way we passed ancient fish traps (see photo) which date back to the sixteen hundreds. These are V shaped rock walls in the water and herd the fish into the narrowest point where they are easily caught. In Maeva we went to the Museum which is a replica of an open traditional house (see photo) and read about ancient customs and traditions and archaeological digs a few miles away in the hills. On the way back to the yacht, which was anchored in Faie Bay, we called into the village and saw the blue eyed eels.
These generate some interest as their blue eyes are quite unusual. They live in the creek in the town and some are six foot long.

Old stone fish traps
Traditional building at Maeva
Blue eyed eels
We sailed around to the main township of Fare on the western side of the island. This is where the old meets the new. A large supermarket with everything in it and a main street dotted with open stalls selling fresh produce. We bought a lovely tuna fish for A$15 but passed on the lobsters due to lack of room in the fridge. With extra people holidaying on board the fridge is half full with the more important things like alcohol and chocolate.

Patrick, Cheryl, Andrew and I dived the pass with Mahana Dive. I am very pleased to say that after the very expensive and disappointing experience in Moorea, this dive was not only half the price but also more than twice as good. We saw sharks, schools of barracuda, eels, eagle rays and many schools of tropical fish. The coral wasn't great but it is the best we have seen in French Polynesia so far.

A&C at the safety stop
That evening the ten of us from the yachts previously mentioned enjoyed a happy hour at the Huahine Yacht Club. So much so that we all returned the following evening for dinner. Both Andrew and I had steak in pepper sauce with vegetables which was very good. Everyone enjoyed their meals and once again the company was terrific. I think Patrick has been surprised at how good the camaraderie is within the cruising community. Something we are used to but never take for granted. Here we parted company with Ednbal as they are travelling east, but we will see them again next season and take up exactly where we left off.

At dinner at the Huahine Yacht Club
Clare (curly) & Andrew

The good thing about Huahine is that you can travel down the west side of the island without leaving the flat water inside the reef. There are many very calm anchorages to enjoy and one could spend many months here exploring the bays. It is only six miles from the township of Fare to the southern tip of the island. We travelled half way and took up a mooring ball at Hana Iti Beach. Patrick, Cheryl, Andrew and I went for a bush walk up into the hills. It was lovely to be in amongst the greenery and the scenery from the top of the hill was worth the climb. There was also a lovely little beach there where tripper boats would bring small parties daily to enjoy a BBQ on the beach. Each morning before the anyone arrived a local man would rake the beach and burn any debris laying around. By the time the tripper boat arrived the area is picture perfect.

Views from our walk
We continued on to the southern point of the island to Avea Bay which is where we are now. Last night eight of us had drinks on Flying Cloud. It had a good night with lively conversation. Today Patrick and Cheryl hired a car and toured the island. They had booked motor bikes but as the company ran out of bikes they were given a Eurocar for the same price. Andrew and I opted to stay on the boat and have a quiet day. This is probably a good thing as I managed to get this newsletter done.

Views ashore at Avea Bay
Tomorrow we will sail twenty odd miles to Raiatea/Tahaa lagoon to continue the adventure. So until next time stay safe and have fun.

Love Candy xx