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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
VIDEO: Swimming with Sting Rays at Moorea
06/29/2011, Moorea, French Polynesia


here's video of the sting rays at Moorea.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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The Days Are Packed
John
06/28/2011, Moorea

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON JOHN'S BLOG:
http://travel.reservationkey.com

Traditional dancing.
Dancers.
The dance group.
Dancers.
Drumers.
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.
Canoe racing.
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.
Moorea scenery.
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.
Leaving 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.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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At Anchor in Moorea
Bruce
06/25/2011

Photo of Calou at anchor in the lovely lagoon at Moorea.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Race to Moorea
Bruce
06/25/2011

Today we participated in the "Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous", hosted by Latitude 38. The winds were extremely light close to shore, so most of the boats ended up dropping out of the race and motoring, but we sailed 6 miles offshore until we caught 22 knots of wind, and it was a glorious spinnaker run from there to the finish line. We didn't cross the line first, but we were one of just 9 boats that made it all the way under sail.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Visiting with Colette
Bruce
06/23/2011, Papeete, Tahiti

We met today with Pascale's cousin Colette and her husband Didier, who live here in Papeete. Pascale last saw Colette when she was 10 years old, so it was quite a reunion. We enjoyed cocktails on board Calou and then headed to downtown Papeete, where Dider treated us to dinner at one of the many "roulottes", which are vans equipped as restaurant kitchens, and you sit at outdoor tables. The food was fabulous and inexpensive as well. Afterwards we went to Hotel Intercontinental to enjoy an excellent Polynesian dance show.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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06/24/2011 | Claude
Ah! Eh bien ca c'est une bonne chose de se renconter
Avec Colette on se demandait où vous étiez effectivement depuis une semaine
Profitez bien de votre séjour ... en France
Bises
Outrigger Canoe Racers
Bruce
06/23/2011, Papeete, Tahiti

Outrigger canoe racing is a popular sport in Polynesia, and these canoes raced right by our boat in the afternoon.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Arrival in Papeete
Bruce
06/23/2011, Papeete, Tahiti

We arrived day before yesterday at Papeete at daybreak, and dropped anchor in the channel between the island of Tahiti and the barrier reef that surrounds it. The water is calm and flat making for a comfortable spot on the hook.

The first thing we did after arrival was walk about a mile to the nearby "Carrefour" superstore, a very big store that sells everything, very much like a Wal Mart in the U.S., only the products are mostly French. The variety and quality of foods here is every bit as good as the finest supermarkets in Paris. We bought some foie gras and a dry Alsatian Gewurztraminer to go with it. The French "charcuterie", or meat products like sausages and pate, are the best in the world, so it's a real treat to find all those things here. The prices are sky high, however, since everything here is brought in by ship or plane.

In the afternoon we were very tired, having been sailing all night, so we slept until sundown, then got together friends in Phambili, Evergreen, Moondance, and Aeiola, for dinner at a nice Italian restaurant near the marina.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Passage to Tahiti: Night 2
Bruce
06/21/2011, South Pacific Ocean

This evening is our second night on our passage to Tahiti; we are expected to arrive at Papeete right around sunrise at 6 a.m. We are slowing the boat down a little deliberately so that we arrive in daylight.

The sea conditions are very rolly, big swells keep us always on our toes. Despite that, I made 3 pizzas for dinner which we all enjoyed. It was a challenge keeping all the tools and ingredients from flying all over the galley.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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