Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tahiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia

Nothing like some beer to help ease into land life.
After 12 days in Tahiti, we decided to shove off of the mooring ball we were attached to and venture to Mo’orea which is just under twenty miles northwest of Pape’ete.  Our time in Tahiti was well spent hanging out with old friends and making new ones; not to mention numerous runs to the incredibly huge Carrefour grocery/department store for supplies.  As usual, Kyanos arrived ahead of us despite leaving Fakarava after us.  Their boat is just so much faster than ours but hey, if there is something that I do have, it’s time so no worries.

As we were entering the pass just outside of Marina Taina, we got a call on the radio from our friends aboard Bella Star.  We haven’t seen Aaron and Nicole since their going away party in Ballard, Washington way back in April of 2011.  We were actually quite surprised to meet up with them as we had been following their progress from the Galapagos and thought for sure that they would end up arriving in French Polynesia well ahead of us and therefore end up being at least one island group ahead of us for our entire time here.  But luck would have it and the next thing we know we are approaching a mooring ball with Aaron and Nicole holding the line for us.  What a welcome!  We chatted for a bit and then they shoved off and Richard and I got the boat in “shore mode” which meant taking down the lee cloths, putting the overnight stuff away and then settling in to relax before going ashore to explore.

Richard, Mark, and me.
Once settled in, we heard from Ben and Sarah and also Mark (who is now skippering Compass Rosey on its way to Australia).  Mark agreed to check out the local bar which we heard had a happy hour and report back on the specifics (times, etc).  Come to find out, La Casa Bianca has a happy hour 7 days a week from 5 to 6 PM with two for one beers.  No need to twist my arm, especially considering how expensive French Polynesia is turning out to be.  So now we had a plan and we invited all the boats we knew which included Kyanos, Bella Star, Bella Vita, and Compass Rosey.  We all showed up and had a great time catching up with old friends (we had met Brett and Stacey of Bella Vita in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico) and our Seattle friends, Aaron and Nicole.

Me and Nicole (with Aaron in the background)
Bella Star.
Needless to say, we spent many a nights at happy hour with various people we met while in Pape’ete.  We also rented a car for three days which came in handy when we were transporting our transmission to the marine store to be checked out.  We also used it to go grocery shopping which was a huge convenience.  On the second day that we had the car, Ben and Sarah joined us and we toured the island of Tahiti; we actually circumnavigated Tahiti Nui and most of Tahiti Iti, stopping along the way to see the sights.  We visited caves, archeological sites, waterfalls, and a shoreline blowhole (check out the video below).  As our route took us through Pape’ete on our way back to the marina, we stopped at the waterfront and tried the roulettes (food trucks) for dinner.  We split two plates (poisson cru and a mixed chow mein) between the four of us as well as a side of rice and plate of green beans and walked away stuffed!  The food was really tasty; by the way, this is the second time we’ve eaten at the roulettes and we have yet to be disappointed.

Sarah and Ben of Kyanos, Stacey and Brett of Bella Vita,
and Richard at Happy Hour.
But before you start thinking that life is nothing but frou-frou drinks with umbrellas on white sand beaches and stunning sunsets, rest assured that we did some minor boat projects…just to offset the relaxing time that we had on Tahiti.  I even did laundry (something I have not done in machines since Mexico) which ended up taking about three hours late at night and with mixed results (some of the machines didn’t completely work).

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