ORIGINALLY POSTED ON JOHN'S BLOG:
The dance group.
What a whirlwind last couple of days. You would think I would have lots of free time on a boat, but there is aways so much to see, so much to do, and so many people to hang out with, there is barely enough time in the day to do it all. So here I am, almost 11p at night forcing myself to take a few moments to update the blog. Take the last two days for example. Yesterday we had to be on the beach by 9:30am to start the traditional Tahitian canoe races. The races lasted well into lunch time. After a huge Polynesian lunch we had to learn how to open coconuts with a stick, carry bananas, and pick up Tahitian dancing. After that it was off to Phambili for a low key pizza and music night. Finally we made it back to Calou by about midnight. I drifted off to sleep at 12:30am, but then was up at 6:30am to get the generator going and start the next busy day.
Pascale and I.
Pascale, Bruce, and I.
First it was yoga on the beach (a first for me), followed by a strenous hike up to the Belvedere view point, and then on to the Three Pines lookout. After hitchhiking back to the dinghy, we put it in fast gear and made it back to the boat just in time to grab the violin and join the music party on the beach. We actually had promised a music night on the beach, but were late to our own party. Many of the people from the boats in the ancorage were having a great time with appetizers and cocktails watching the sunset. I played some Mozart, Vietemps, and fiddle music which was greatly appreciated by the crowd of about 30 cruisers. Then back to the boat where I had to respond to work emails – two new accounts actually, a hotel in Panama, and a property manager in Cabo San Lucas. Finally a bite to eat, and here I am.
Racing back from the hike to make it to music night.
We had a fairly uncomfortable and rough passage into Tahiti last week, which was luckily only a two day crossing from Fakarava. Our arrival on my watch just before sunrise was magical, as the outline of the island and city slowly became clearer through the darkness. Watching the transformation from darkness to day is always a great time, especially when entering a new port. Our stay in the anchorage at Marina Tahaina was mostly filled with catching up on internet, provisioning, and a little bit of fun on the side. Such as the dinner with about 15 other cruisers at an Italian restaurant on our first night, or the drive into town for crepes at night with Pascale’s cousins. On the way back from Crepes we stopped at the Intercontinental Hotel to watch a Polynesian dance show which was also spectacular. Coincidentally we bumped into Annabel, who runs the pension in the tiny village at the south pass in Fakarava. I had told her about my reservation system, and she was very happy to see me as she had planned to start using my system soon. So it was great to talk to her in person and go over the plan to move her business onto my platform. Another fun highlight was the welcoming reception and dance performances to kick off the Tahiti-Moorea Cruisers Rendevou.
Hanging out with the Tahitian dancers (and my boat neighbor in California, Julie).
Sunset over Moorea as seen from the Tahiti anchorage.
A few days ago we left Tahiti and sailed over to Moorea for the big cruiser bash that we had been anticipating for months. Yesterday was full of activities, and I even learned how to dance like a Tahitian. And row a outrigger canoe (we won first place in the first heat, and lost in the second round by just seconds). Tomorrow we plan to get intimate with some manta rays and do some snorkeling here.
Approaching the anchorage in Tahiti.
Good friends on Phambili.
Calou at anchor in Moorea.
I’ve had an amazing time on Calou since February, but due to musical commitments at home, I will be leaving the boat soon. But luckily I’m taking some time to unwind in Hawaii for a mini-vacation on the way home. It is going to be great spending a few days with my friend Larry there, especially since I will be in town just in time for the 4th of July parade and parties. And after that I look forward to staying at a condo I have rented in downtown Waikiki. Hmm.. sounds like I might need another mini vacation after the Hawaiian one in order to fully decompress.. Or maybe just a little more yoga.