15 July 2007 | Papeete, Tahiti
Vanessa flew in on the Saturday evening flight. I took "Le Truck" out to the airport about an hour early. I was worried she was going to have problems bringing a $1000 of spare radio parts through customs. I was getting ready to have to bail her out. All my worrying was unfounded, and she arrived on time, in good spirits with two bags of clothes and a bag of boat parts. Boy was I a glad to see her!
I was also worried that I was going to have trouble at customs but, no issues at all. It had been a long, very long day. My journey had started almost 24 hours earlier back in Vancouver. My day of travel went well with only a small glitch in LA. I had to buy a return ticket home from Papeete or they were not going to let me on my connecting flight...no worries that's what credit cards are for...and I already got it refunded. My flight from LA to Papeete was great: personal TV's (with movies, music, and video games), good food, smooth ride, free drinks and to top it off I had both seats to myself. The minute the plane door opened I was ready to bolt. I have never been so happy to see someone as I was to see Morgan waiting for me as came through customs...finally my extremely long nine week wait was over!
Papeete was really cool. Nice place for my transition from North American to island life.
Vanessa and I spend two more nights in the harbour quay. On the Monday, we motored over to the main anchorage on the other side of the airport. This anchorage was huge with about 75 boats at anchor and another 75 boats moored to the Marina Taina docks. Unlike at home, 90% of the boats were sailboats. The water was crystal clear. We snorkeled on the barrier reef that makes up the harbour. Vanessa saw here first ever stingray.
Anchoring at Taina was great. Swimming off the back of the boat, sun tanning, and hanging out with some of the other cruisers. The snorkeling was fantastic. I will admit the stingray scared me at first. One night we went to the Dinghy Bar at the marina for drinks. It was just like something you would see on TV...with tables on the grass under the stars and tiki torches to top it off.
On the Tuesday we rented a car with another couple (Ray and Marilyn from S/V Horizon) and drove around the island stopping at all sorts of spots. The highlight being a visit to a trio of waterfalls an hour hike up form the main road. The last stop at sunset was Point Venus at the top of the island. This is the point that Captain Cook used as a base for watching some astronomical events and is now a very nice park with a huge lighthouse.