Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011 Tahiti

07112011
Moorea/Tahiti
Moorea Tahiti Rendevous 6/24 thru 6/26
Friday we headed downtown Papeete for the welcome speaches and
cocktails. Lots of standing around waiting, but was nice. Cocktails
were a little too sweet for my taste, but who can argue with free?
After the speeches, the whole group of puddle jumpers headed to the
waterfront for dinner at the roullettes. Roullettes are a very French
Polynesian dining experience. The equivalent of US roach coaches, but
more upscale and in general good food for a reasonable price. We
ended up with chinese - was good. There were native dances going on
as well, so really a nice experience.
Saturday was the race/rally from Tahiti to Moorea, we were up pretty
early for what we thought was a 930 start. They ended up moving it to
1000 - could have used that extra 30 minutes of sleep! Not much wind
for sailing, so we motor sailed for most of the 18 miles. Mooread is
beautiful. It is a heart shaped Island with the lobes of the heart to
the north. We anchored at the head of Oponuhu bay. I hope we don't
ever get immune to the beauty of these Islands, but it seems we go
from one beautiful place to the next. The water is so clear, you can
see your anchor in 50 feet of water. Sadly at this point I was
starting with a cold - Dennis shared it with me. Nice huh? He had
been pretty miserable with it and I ended up being miserable with it
too. We got all situated, I think Josh was off the boat with the kids
before the dust settled. Tahiti has been great for him kidwise - lots
of kids to hang out with. It will be hard when we leave here as boats
will begin scattering to the winds dependent on schedules and final
destinations.
Sunday was a day of traditional polynesian activities. We had a team
for the outrigger canoe race, which was a blast. I was able to make a
flower lei/necklace, there was a booth for palm weaving, one for
dyeing pareos, and demonstrations of rock lifting and coconut husking.
There was also a race carrying a load of bananas. Josh and Francois
both won their races. For lunch we ate traditional polynesian food -
I am sure it was a good experience, but wish we had only bought one
ticket's worth, not 3. Later in the afternoon there was more dancing
and an awards ceremony. By then I was back on the boat having
succumbed to the misery of my cold. Dennis said the dancing was quite
good.
Monday was kids day after the rendevous. Many boats left, but the
anchorage was still pretty busy. The kids spent the day on the beach,
we went for a walk to some botanical gardens, nice, but a long way
uphill! That evening the adults met on the beach for happy hour was
nice to get to know some of the boats that did not come from Mexico.
Kudos to Toast on DonQuixote for arranging the kids day, watching all
of them all day on the beach, and setting up the happy hour that
evening. Great job! Everyone had a good time. We took on an extra
kid - David from Nina. Nice kid. He and his Mom are at the Marina on
their boat while his Dad is working. So, was nice for him to have
some extra kid time.
Tuesday we took the dinghy across the channel to a couple of snorkel
spots. The first spot had Tikis that had been submerged for some
reason or other. We saw a really unusual fish too, sadly I couldn't
find the name of it anywhere, but very unusual. After that we went to
a spot where the stingrays swim with you. How amazing! Kind of
spooky too. They are soft to touch and the tails are scaly. I didn't
see any barbs, but I'm sure they were there. By then I was freezing
as was David, so we went in to the hotel for drinks and to warm up.
Wednesday David left for Tahiti with DonQuixote. We went with
Moondance for a hike up to the Belvedere, Josh went on the same hike
with Phambili. We enjoyed the hike, the view was worth every uphill
step. Met a couple on their honeymoon from San Jose. Is always funny
talking to nonsailors....He wanted to know how we got here??? Sailing
we said - How far??? 3000 miles we said. You should have seen his
expression.......priceless. As was the expression on Doug's face when
the mouse ran between his legs. Which then made me empty out my pack
to be sure I didn't transport one of the little buggers back to the
boat to wreck destruction.....
Tahiti #2 06/30 thru 07/11
Thursday we headed back to Tahiti - had a beautiful spinnaker run
back, very cool. Josh was able to hook back up with the kids, and all
was well in his world.
Friday I spent pretty much the whole day sewing. I took on some work
to help out another boat, and the extra cash was nice too. We had our
final violin concert Friday night. John who had been crew on Calou
was leaving on Saturday, so gave a final farewell performance on the
dock. It had been very nice to get a regular dose of culture. John
is a fantastic musician and will be missed. After John played, Pacal
and Bruce from Calou performed (she sings, he plays accordian) so, we
had a very nice musical evening.
Spent Saturday sewing as well. Saturday night we got together on Nina
to celebrate David's 16th birthday. Again very nice. The kids enjoy
being together. Nina is a schooner that was built in 1928 for the race
to Spain, which she won. Beautiful boat. Josh asked if he could have
a sleep over on our boat - 5 boys!!! So, they all invaded, Dennis and
I retired to our room, and the boys used electrons, zoomed back and
forth to each others boats and generally had a good time.
Sunday was a quiet recovery day.
Monday the fourth we had generator issues - again. We are hoping it
is only a leaking head gasket which we spent all day trying to order.
We finally got it ordered from NewZealand with promises it would be
here on Friday. (currently it is the following Monday, and no sign of
it.....). We were supposed to get our extended visas, but the only
lady with the authority to sign them left for vacation until the 15th
without signing them......AARRGGHHHH!!! Nina hosted a July 4th party
on the dock that evening. Gotta love the fact that we can let Josh go
all the way across Papeete to hang out with Phambili at the Yacht club
(Francois and Tyler were with him too). At the party on the dock that
night we were given the message three times (on the VHF and in person)
from people he saw in town to say that he was spending the night with
them. It is so cool how the cruising community keeps track of the
kids and each other. We may be mobile, but we are still tight.
Tuesday - spoke to Cindy (our agent) who said it would be fine to go
to Bora Bora with out the visa. Went to town looking for parts, spent
the whole day with very little to show for it. Saw Tommy from
Phambili at the marine chandelry. They were hauled out for repairs on
their saildrive (they are a catamaran) and bottompaint. He and his
wife are physicians from Canada. I think I have mentioned before that
they live in Canoe Cove on Vancouver Island - the same place we had
our boat! Anyway, I had him look at the rash that was driving me
crazy on my back. Turns out it is shingles. Which explains why
nothing I put on it was helping! I have had quite a time with it,
fortunately it is only moderately painful. My ibuprofen consumption
has reached an all time high, but I have seen much worse cases.
Wednesday - Carla and I did laundry - of course it rained!!!!
Immigration visited Moondance - Very concerned about lack of visa -
gave them a paper saying not to leave Tahiti
Thursday - Talked to Cindy who talked to immigration, who talked to
the High Commisioner who then gave another person authority to sign
the Visas - Wow!!! what a pain, but it all works out. We rented a car
with Doug and Carla to tour the Island. It was still raining, the
laundry was well rinsed! We went to the James Norman Hall house (he
wrote Mutiny on the Bounty with a guy named Nordhoff). We stopped at
Point Venus - where James Cook watched the transit of Venus across the
sun. Next we stopped at the blow holes - notable for the fact that
one goes under the road and if you drive over it at the right time, it
sounds like it is right under the car. Still raining, so we bypassed
the waterfalls and continued on around the east side of the Island.
We turned around before the Isthmus to head back. It had stopped
raining at the waterfall, so we stopped - it started raining again,
but we decided to walk to it any way. Very impressive especially with
the extra water from the rain. We were all soaking wet by the time we
got back to the car. Again at least it is a warm rain.
Friday July 8th - Happy Birthday Dennis. We picked up our visas first
thing, Josh's had to go back to be laminated, but otherwise all good
to go. We continued our car tour southwest on the Island. Our first
stop was at the Tahiti Museum. It has a very thorough history of the
geology, sociology and biology of Tahiti and French Polynesia. Its a
good thing not all the explanations were in English, we might have
been there all day!! Next we went to some grottos, then lunch then
down to the isthmus. We returned to the Marina and agreed to meet
for drinks on Moondance. Josh had deserted us for Phambili who were
moored at the city docks in town. I opened one of our last 4 bottles
of good california wine to celebrate. Carla made a yummy chocolate
cake. So, I think Dennis had a good birthday.
Saturday - We made an early run to Cost and Co the Fr. Polynesian
cousin of Costco for US cereal etc. Stuff that is bulky and hard to
carry on the bus. Doug dropped us off at the marina then returned the
car. Dennis, Carla and I went back to the boats to unload our
purchases. We all met back at the dock to go into town to the market
and to watch the finish of the canoe races. Tahiti celebrates Bastille
day with a months worth of traditional festivities. The canoe race
started at 0800, they paddled to Moorea and back. The first boat
finished at 215pm. Sadly the market was closing down, so we did not
make any purchases there. That evening we had tickets to the
dance/chant contests. We had dinner at the Roullettes by the arena.
Good and inexpensive. The chants were interesting, the first dance
group was good - man can those women shake it!!! But, the second dance
group was incredible! It was the Tahitian version of Opera with
dancing. The only down side was all the words were in polynesian, so
we were not able to really understand what it was about.
Sunday - Josh spent saturday night with Phambili again. I slept in
until 1030. Too many early mornings and busy days in a row. Was nice
to laze around. Phambili arrived in the anchorage around 1100. In
the afternoon we went and hooka'd on a plane/boat wreck close to the
anchorage. Was nice. Another early night for all. Josh fell asleep
at 8pm!!!!
Monday. Well we now possess all of our visas but no generator parts.
Cindy just laughed when Dennis asked if she had it. We are at the
dock in the neverending search for free or semi free internet.
Hopefully Dennis will be able to download new drivers for our antenna
so we can get signal at the boat. The one thing about being here in
Tahiti is that we seem to be so busy that I can't keep up with the
blog, we also spend way too much money. We are all looking forward to
leaving for the more remote islands. Josh is spending the day with
Francois. It will be their last day together as Calou and Phambili
are leaving in the morning to start their trek to Hawaii. Will be
quite a subdued boy for the next few days. He and Francois have been
fast friends since they met in February in La Cruz. Fortunately for
him there will still be kids for him to hang with, but he will really
miss Francois. Well, I guess we are now all caught up. Hopefully the
internet will cooperate so I can up load this to the blog..........

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