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We left Gig Harbor, WA in 2009 and spent 3 winters in the Sea of Cortez then sailed to the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia up to Hawaii, then to San Francisco Bay. We are once again enjoying the Sea of Cortez as we plan our next adventure.
1st week in Tahiti
08/06/2012, Mooring Buoy B21 Marina Taina

Time flies -- that's for sure!

We've already been here a week on our boat repair/maintenance and provisioning stop with Inspiration at Sea. Things are moving right along and we hope to wrap things up by the end of this week.

We've been happy that with the number of boats here that they have these mooring buoys available -- it would be an anchoring nightmare if they didn't. And the best part is that the B buoys are newly installed and they aren't charging for them yet. So we have the convenience of a mooring buoy without the cost.

So after a little morning boat project we are going to head into town to check out one more marine store -- and then do some "fun" shopping at the fabric stores and market in town.

just another day in paradise

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A birds eye view
08/05/2012, Tahiti, French Polynesia

One of this weekends projects was to haul Terry up the mast to inspect the rigging and do a minor repair to our wind speed indicator that had started acting up and giving some crazy readings.

It all went well and Cetus's rigging looks good to go for the next big passage -- and the wind speed indicator is back to normal -- for now at least.

Next on our list is just maintenance projects and we will start freshening up the Cetol on the teak next week. Like they say, a big part of cruising is working on your boat in exotic places!

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The Long Walk
08/04/2012, Industrial Papeete

Tuesday and Thursday were spent walking miles through the industrial end of Papeete along with Vicky on Inspiration at Sea as we searched for and collected various parts for repairs, upgrades and spare parts for our two boats as we prepare for our upcoming trip to the Tuamotus and then the passage to Hawaii.

Shopping for boat parts isn't quite as easy here as at home. Though they do have some good marine stores, it's sort of hit or miss if they have the part or supply that you're looking for. And ordering something they are out of doesn't seem to be something that can be done. Add to this mix the language barrier and it can be a real challenge. Plus, though we can take a bus from our anchorage to Papeete, the busses don't run out to the industrial end of town, so there's a lot of walking to do -- back and forth from one store to another and often times back again. Another thing that throws a wrench in the whole thing is half the places completely shut down for lunch for an hour from 12 to 1! Luckily we found a nice little restaurant that we can sit down, rest our feet and enjoy some lunch during the shut down period.

We also have to make sure to walk back into town in time to catch a bus back down to the Marina Taina area -- because the busses all stop running at 4:30 and it's a 45 minute bus ride so I certainly wouldn't want to have to walk it -- especially after walking all day.

We should just have to make one more excursion like that next week then we can start looking at doing a little more interesting sight seeing and exploring. Food provisioning will be much easier as the big Carafour store with everything you could possibly need is just a short walk from the dinghy landing.

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08/04/2012 | jack
remember the good old days, when WM was just down the street....Keep up the comments...they are the most interesting things I read these days..
08/04/2012 | JACK AND JOAN
You can't go home again....
08/01/2012, Tahiti, French Polynesia

We've visited many new places since leaving La Paz last January: Zihautanejoy (we had been there before, but never on our boat), Huatulco, the Galapagos, the Gambiers and Moorea, but yesterdays arrival in Tahiti marked the first return visit we've made on this adventure.

We were prepared for it to be different than we remembered because we'd talked to other cruisers and had even seen some pictures, but it is still unbelievable how different it is. Especially the anchorage we're in! 10 years ago it was just that -- an anchorage. There were a number of boats anchored in the shallow waters behind the protected reef with a small marina nearby that we could tie up our dinghys at when we went to shore. Now the little marina is huge with lots of boats and many mega yachts and the anchorage has become a field of mooring balls with hundreds of boats! And we aren't even here during the height of the season -- most of the "puddle jumpers" have moved on. I can't even imagine what it was like then! Yikes!

Today we took the bus into Papeete as we often did when we were here before, and even that seems greatly changed. It was always a busy noisy city, but it is a bit more run down and a little creepy in parts of town. And the anchorage in the harbor that we enjoyed last time, where you put your anchor out and tie a stern line to a palm tree on shore is no more.

But we're comfortable on our mooring buoy and were able to track down the parts we needed and and arrange for some repair work for Inspiration at Sea, so our visit here is well worth while. But we are looking forward to getting "the chores" and the provisioning over and getting back over to the little piece of Paradise on Moorea.

The really surprising thing is that the internet is not as good here as on Moorea, that's what's taken me so long to post a blog and why I haven't included any pictures yet.

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08/01/2012 | Karen Brown
Thanks SO much for your blogs and taking the time to post them. Love the pictures on FB that you and Vicky post as well. Safe travel!
Cetus is going to Tahiti
07/30/2012, The Society Islands of French Polynesia

We upped anchor in Opunohu Bay on Moorea this morning for the 20 some mile trip to Tahiti! We're looking forward to seeing the changes that have taken place since we were last there 12 years ago. Tahiti here we come!

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Enjoying life on Moorea
07/28/2012, snorkeling the reef

We're still comfortably enjoying life on Moorea in this nice little anchorage. We're knocking off lots of little repairs and projects off our list that we compiled on the way here, and we get to enjoy a nice swim or snorkel every day as a reward for our work.

The weather looks like it will be very calm on Monday and Tuesday so we will take that opportunity to make the 20 mile sail over to Tahiti with Inspiration at Sea. Time to hit the big city of Papeete!

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The Clubhouse at Murphy's Landing

Here's a view from the docks of the spacious clubhouse.

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and along came Sharky
07/26/2012, Opunohu Bay, Moorea

Just as we were finishing up our play date with the rays a couple of the small black tipped sharks came over to check out all the excitement. Even though they are very harmless, I was glad I was out of the water when this guy swam by.

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Early morning swim with the rays
07/26/2012, Opunohu Bay, Moorea

One of the "must do" tours for anyone visiting Moorea is to go swimming with the rays over by the Intercontinental Hotel. It's a hot spot for all the tour boats so we went over early before the big crowds got there and we're thrilled with the experience. The big rays come right over as soon as they see the dinghy approach and swim right up to you in the chest deep water.

We took a can of sardines to feed them treats and got to pet them -- they feel like velvet. Another wonderful tour by led by Vicky!

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rebuilding the dodger one stitch at a time
07/25/2012, Moorea, French Polynesia

Today I tackled some new spots on the dodger that we saw the stitching failing. Thank goodness for my handy Speedy Stitcher!

The dodger is extremely well made, but it was made in the North West where they don't have such harsh climates as we found in Mexico and the South Pacific. The Sunbrella fabric holds up well, but the thread that they stitch with isn't as durable as what they use when they build something in the southern climes, so the threads wear out and need to be replaced. It isn't the end of my project == I equate it to painting the Golden Gate bridge which I've heard is a never ending project == they start at one end and by the time they reach the other end it's time to start over!

So on it goes......

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Boat Bound Day
07/24/2012, Moorea, French Polynesia

Some blustery winds from a new direction in a fairly crowded anchorage kept us up some of the night and then we stayed pretty close to the boat most of the day just to make sure we didn't play bumper boats with anyone.

The change in wind direction wouldn't have been a big deal, but several new boats came in to the anchorage just before the winds picked up and some of them were anchored a little to close for comfort. And when everybody starts swinging with the changing wind you don't know where they'll end up.

All was well for us, but one guy did have to re anchor in the night as he was moving too close to the boat that was beside him, but now behind him. The bad thing was it was the 2nd boat that had anchored to close to him.

But we enjoyed our boat day and got some projects done and a little reading time in -- something I haven't had time for since the passage.

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The Bamboo Forest

A real highlight on the Big Hike was the Bamboo Forest -- a magnificent sight.

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The Big Hike
07/23/2012, Moorea, French Polynesia

Yesterday Vicky played tour guide once again and we did the 3 Coconuts hike from the Belevedere Lookout -- it was spectacular!

It took 3 hours round trip and we hiked through ever changing forests -- including a section of giant bamboo. We did switchbacks and crossed streams -- a little bit of everything before emerging to a lookout on the ridge where you could not only see both bays on the north side of the island, but you could see the surfing beaches on the other side.

It was a challenge, simply because we haven't been hiking in so long since we've spent the better part of the last 2 months out at sea. It felt good to put those muscles to work again and we look forward to more walks and hikes before we leave Moorea.

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The unusual forest on the Big Hike

Some parts of the hike took us through forests of trees that we'd never seen the likes of before -- they had sides that wound like ribbons instead of round like a regular tree trunk. Fascinating.

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A little sight seeing

We started the morning tracking down some things for the boats, plus a little shopping for some souvenirs, then we visited the Tropical Gardens -- not too far from the boat.

It is a family farm where they grow a large variety of tropical fruits and plants and it is high in the hills with a gorgeous view. They make fresh fruit drinks and give you samples of the tasty jams they make with interesting combinations of their fruits. They also grow vanilla beans and they showed us how they have to pollinate the flowers by hand to produce the beans.

It was another interesting day and once again I'm exhausted. Need to get my rest because tomorrow is the big hike up the 3 Coconuts from the Belvedere Lookout!

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a few new pics

Now that I have some internet I have added a few pictures to the blog posts I made while underway on the passage from the Gambiers to Moorea. I hope to add some albums to our photo gallery soon, but until I do here are some glimpses into our voyage.

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The Island Tour
The Belvedere Lookout
07/21/2012, Moorea, French Polynesia

We rented a car with Vicky, who has been here since June 22nd and has driven around the island several times, so she was able to show us the sights. And a wonderful first look it was!

We circumnavigated Moorea stopping at the major highlights and ending up at the big Champion store where we did some good provisioning as the cupboards are getting bare after all our remote traveling.

Tomorrow we will do some more exploring and then on Sunday we'll drive back up to the Belvedere Lookout and do the 3 hr round trip hike to an even better lookout!

It's a beautiful island and we're happy to have an experienced tour guide to drive us around and show us the sights! Thanks Vicky!

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07/21/2012 | Gary
I have a photo of me at the Belvidere. I road a bike up to it ( have those photos too.!
This makes the melancholy in my heart go crazy... I miss this place so much.
A good day

We enjoyed a day of boat projects with a little snorkeling thrown in so all is well abroad Cetus.
Tomorrow we've reserved a car with Vicky and will do some provisioning as well as some good sight seeing and hiking too,.

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Settling in on Moorea

Still in the midst of getting Cetus back to normal after the difficult passage but we managed to get in some shore leave and picked up Vicky this morning and she guided us through the pass to the next bay over (Cooks Bay) where we tied the dinghy at the Bali Hai Hotel then walked to the nearby town, visiting some shops, a super marche (small store) and the bank machine.

It was a great adventure and now we have a good lay of the land -- and some cash to spend. Afternoon was spent on boat projects but we have snorkeling plans for tomorrow morning before we tackle some more cleaning/repair projects. It's a good mix of work and play and we're thoroughly enjoying this beautiful anchorage.

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Our new backyard
07/17/2012, Moorea! At last!

We pulled in and anchored in this beautiful spot Monday evening at 5 pm -- putting an end to the 11 day ordeal that the passage from the Gambiers had become.

After a warm welcome from Vicky on Inspiration at Sea we enjoyed a quick swim in the beautiful water surrounding the boat and then Vicky returned with food and drink and we swapped sea stories from all our passages since she left the Galapagos at the end of May. It was a wonderful reunion and she even brought camarones for Rosie!

A nice long comfortable sleep -- no more rocking and rolling! And we awoke to a beautiful morning and are now getting things back in order aboard Cetus.

Looking forward to enjoying this lovely spot on Moorea -- and I'll write more about the passage in the next blog.

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07/18/2012 | Sue & Larry
Congrats on making it to Moorea!!!

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The Cetus Crew
Who: Terry & Heidi Kotas and Street Cat Rosie
Port: Gig Harbor, WA
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