Sunday, 20 August 2017

8-2017 Moorea and Huahine

Hi from Clare,                                           Wednesday 16th August 2017

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.

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.

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

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

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

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

7-2017 The Final Night of Heiva

Hi from Clare,           7-2017 The Final Night of Heiva                 Monday 31st July 2017

As mentioned in our last Blog, we had tickets for Saturday night, the last dance concert of the Heiva Festival 2017. We saw four dance performances, that is the second and third place winners in two different categories. Each performance lasted one hour and all four were excellent. I managed to sneak a few photos for you but it was difficult to photograph the moving dancers without blurring.

The Friday evening concert showcased the first place dance winners and the first place singing winners in both categories. As luck would have it we saw the winning dance troupe competing on the first night we attended a concert. We came away that night thinking surely they would win. We had no way of knowing the standard, all we were acknowledging was their excellence.

We didn’t attend the Sports Day but some of our friends said the javelin throwing was terrific. The target was a coconut some distance away up on a pole and the coconut was banded like a dart board. The bulls eye was the top of the coconut. They also had a stone lifting competition and the winner lifted 160 kilos. My friend said he lifted it up onto his shoulders without problems. She also commented that his muscley body was a very nice bit of Eye Candy.

So the Heiva Festival has been a wonderful experience for us. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to see the Polynesian people celebrating their Maohi culture. They are gifted with a wonderful sense of rhythm and theatre. Much to our disappointment the nightly drumming practice in the anchorage has stopped, all is quiet. Elvis has left the building, so to speak. However early next year they will start practising again to achieve excellence for the 136th Heiva Festival in July.

So hopefully today is Andrew’s last dental appointment to have his crown fitted to a back tooth on his right lower jaw. Last week after the temporary was fitted Andrew was experiencing pain on the left side of his face. He emailed the dentist who saw him that day during her lunch hour. She x Rayed the left side of his face, determined that there was nothing wrong with his teeth and said he most probably had an infection in his sinus. She then gave Andrew a script for an antibiotic which has fixed the problem. This emergency consultation including the x Ray cost $50; pretty impressive.

The dentist is situated in the city of Papeete and we are anchored some five miles away at the Tahiti Yacht Club. We can go to the city by dinghy if the water is not too rough. A few weeks ago I was wearing a pedometer on one such trip. The dinghy was bouncing up and down and by the end of the trip according to my pedometer I had walked eight thousand steps. However today, because the water is rough, Andrew has borrowed a bicycle from our Aussie mate Roger on Ednbal. He did the same last week and said he only got yelled at once by another cyclist sharing the same footpath. The roadway is far too hectic, they don’t have many traffic lights but plenty of pedestrian crossings. The motorists are very good and put their hazard lights on to acknowledge that you are entering the crossing and that they will stop. In the beginning for us it was a leap of faith but it works well and with must less interruption to the traffic flow. The public bus is another story, it has no timetable. It arrives when it arrives and leaves the terminus when it is full. You may wait five minutes but you may wait half an hour. There are no buses Saturday afternoon, Sunday or any day after dark. This sounds like a very laid back Polynesian approach to me:).

We have a pot luck dinner ashore tonight with the other boats in the anchorage. It has been quite windy for the past two days and so most of us have stayed on our boats. It will be nice to go ashore and have a bit of a break.

As soon as the winds drops we will set off to Moorea and explore the eastern end of the island. We are looking forward to getting away from the city and finding a peaceful bay. We are all primed and ready to polish the boat. All we need is no interruptions.

Love Candy xx