Hi from Clare, Wednesday 16th August 2017
WE ESCAPED THE CITY
It is two weeks today since we left Tahiti and sailed to the Island of Moorea. We anchored near the Soffitel Hotel on the eastern side of the island where the water is calm and the snorkeling good. We enjoyed peace and quiet, sunny days and welcomed shade late afternoon thanks to the nearby mountains. A lovely location with the added benefits of Internet access via the Soffitel and a short dinghy ride into the nearby village for provisions. We busied ourselves and spent a few hours each day polishing the deck. A very rewarding job and quite enjoyable when not under time pressure.
WE FOUND FRIENDS
Eventually strong S/E wind forced us to leave our serenity and sail to the north side of the island to Cooks and Opunohu Bays for protection. We were greeted by our American friends Tom and Sylvia on “Cinnabar”, Kenny, Betsy and family on “Alcyone” and new friends Rob and Nancy on “Shindig”. Over the next few days we enjoyed drinks on Alcyone, group walks to the prawn farm and the fresh fruit stall, a gathering in the nearby park and many chats on all the boats. We also enjoyed the presence of three whales in the anchorage. Two adults and a calf just lazing about having a rest for a few days. They were not the slightest bit perturbed by the number of people in dinghies and motor boats coming out for a close up view.
|Oponohu Bay anchorage|
The cruise ship Paul Gauguin shared our anchorage and lit up the sky with an unexpected and quite lengthy fireworks display. It must have been some special occasion for them but we were the happy recipients, the anchorage erupted with horn blowing, whistles, cheers and clapping; it seems fireworks never lose their magic. We hope the whales enjoyed the show, they were certainly right underneath it.
HUAHINE A SPECIAL ISLAND
On Sunday afternoon we left the island of Moorea and sailed 85 miles to the island of Huahine. The trip was terrific, very gentle with lovely sunny weather and plenty of moonlight at night. We were a little sorry when we arrived as we were enjoying ourselves so much, we could have just kept sailing.
|Anchorage at Fare, Huahine|
We met up with American friends Steve and Lili on “Liward” who we haven’t seen since September last year. So after a quick snooze in the afternoon to catch up on lost sleep, we had drinks on their boat that night. Very lively company and we had a most enjoyable evening.
|A nearby resort in Fare, Huahine|
Last night we met again to celebrated Andrew’s birthday with dinner at the Huahine Yacht Club. We commenced with Happy Hour cocktails and met a number of Steve’s friends including a tourist from New Zealand also celebrating his birthday. Being a bit younger than Andrew this chap started celebrating his birthday the day before,15th down under and then came up for another dose yesterday 15th in French Polynesia. Only the young would be so brave, he was a little worse for wear by the time we met him, but happy.
|Steve, Lili, Andrew and Clare at the Yacht Club|
A BROKEN DREAM
Recently one of the Cruising yachts ran aground on the reef at the southern end of this island. The catamaran is a write-off as it has a big hole punched in the bottom and sea water is right through the boat. Thankfully the crew was air lifted to safety but have since returned with a number of volunteers and stripped the boat bare in the hope of selling the equipment to pay for the final removal of the hull.
Yesterday a few of us went over and had a look at all the gear, what a depressing sight. It is all dumped in an outdoor shed with no walls and on a dirt floor. It is pouring rain now and half the stuff is wet. Because of the salt water through the boat most things are starting to rust. Andrew bought some engine parts that are new and unused.
|Andrew in amongst the salvaged items|
SO WHAT’S NEXT
High winds have been forecast for the next few days. So far we have experienced gusts up to 34.8 knots. It is chilly also, we even had to put a blanket on our bed; totally unheard of! When the wind drops, we will go down to Avea Bay at the end of the island. This is one of our favourite spots and so we are looking forward to improved weather and some snorkelling.
Love Candy xx