Friday, 16 June 2017

4-2017 East Side of Huahine

Hi from Clare,                 4-2017 East Side of Huahine            Monday 12th June 2017

Since our last newsletter we have spent a wonderful week on the east side of Huahine French Polynesia, one of our favourite islands in the Society Group. The scenery is lush and mountainous, the bays are large and secluded, the water is flat calm and vivid blue. The night breeze is pleasantly warm, the stars are dazzling and we are under the Southern Cross; what more could we ask for?

Behind the Motu on the east side of Huahine

New friends Steve and Rose (Emerald Seas)

We met a new couple Steve and Rose on Emerald Sea and together we took our dinghies up the shallow river to see the old fish traps. This is a traditional fishing method still used today by the villagers. Many traps have been built along the river by mounding rocks up to form a funnel shape with a pond at the neck. Each pond has a small shed where the fisherman waits. The current sweeps the fish along the funnel to the pond and bingo, the fisherman strikes. The villagers live right on the river face and happily wave and give directions so you don’t run aground. We spent some time at the museum in the small village of Maeva. The museum is situated in a traditional Polynesian Meeting House, built from palm leaves and native timber. All the beams are lashed together by palm fibre and the floor and roof are woven from palm leaves. It is truly a work of art, beautiful to see and a hundred percent water proof, which is really saying something as the rain can be torrential.

The ancient fish traps


Emerald Sea left for Bora Bora so our playmates were replaced by long term friends David and Kim on Maluhia and Chuck and Linda on Jacaranda. We spent quite a few months with these two boats in the Tuamotus last year and since then spoken regularly on our Radio Net, so it was good to catch up. We had sun downers together and a lovely dinner hosted by Chuck and Linda. Together we took our dinghies and visited all the snorkelling spots. The many varieties of fish were fascinating to watch but I was struggling to photograph them as the current was strong. I took what I thought to be some exciting photos floating past schools of fish, only to end up with photos of the sea floor. When I did find a piece of coral big enough to protect me from the current, the fish all took off and left me with camera in hand but nothing to photograph; better luck next time:)

Chuck, Clare, Linda, Kim and David

Clams on the seafloor

There were also some good afternoon walks along the road shaded by the hillside. It is a good way to see how the locals live. Their houses are modest but they have waterfront property which we would pay a fortune for at home. I wonder if they realize how fortunate they are. The community is close knit and any function brings the entire township out. On one of our walks we think we witnessed a funeral. It was a sombre affair at one of the homes. Everyone was dressed in their best. Various people acknowledged us as we walked by but they did not speak. In French Polynesia it is not unusual to see a family cemetery in the front garden of the home. Housed under a structure like a carport, each grave is lovingly cared for with flowers and photos. Although this is not usual in our society, it strikes me as being very accepting of death and somewhat comforting for the family.

Our shaded walk

Nearby resort
So we planned our next adventure to be Tahiti. Huahine to Tahiti can be an unpleasant trip as it is generally against the wind. However our luck was in, a better weather pattern presented itself and on Saturday night we had a comfortable sail to Tahiti on a beam reach averaging 6 knots. An added bonus was a full moon providing plenty of light and a picturesque moon beam stretched out across the water.

We are now tucked up behind the reef outside the Tahiti Yacht Club. We came here to catch up with long term friends Roger and Sasha on Ednbal and Geoff and Katie on Mezzaluna before they head west to Australia and New Zealand. Since arriving we have also met Larry and Sue on Serengeti with whom we have spoken on the HF radio during our time in the USA and Steve and Alice on Ocean Star, new acquaintances. These are people we have been speaking to on our Polynesian Magellan Radio Net and so it is now good to put faces to names. It’s funny how some people look exactly as you imagined and yet others look nothing like you imagined. Tonight we plan to have drinks on shore together. On Thursday our good friends Martin and Ellen on Acapella are arriving. We haven’t seen them since 2014 in Bonaire. We are so looking forward to their arrival, they are great company.

I think we have a very social time ahead. Certainly a change from secluded bays in peaceful locations. We both have some boat shopping which is best done here in the city. I learnt today that the nearby reef offers some good snorkelling with no current, so I will be off with the camera.

So until next time stay safe and have fun.

Love Candy xx