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Heiva Festival
Still windy
07/16/2012, Papeete, Tahiti

We have luckily arrived in time to see some of the annual Heiva cultural festival here, most famous for the incredible dancing competitions held nightly. We went to the last performance, where we saw multiple groups singing, drumming, and dancing but sadly there was no photography allowed.
There were often a hundred or more people on stage in fabulous and scanty costumes and more booty shaking than I have ever seen in my life. The drumming was fast, the singing powerful and the ukulele strumming alternated between frenzied and dreamlike. It was absolutely stunning and we got tired just watching the women wiggling their hips and the men waggling their knees all night. The last performance of the night was particularly scenic and reminded us of a South Pacific Bollywood number that went on and on. (though the storyline was a bit confusing, something about don't eat the red lice...?)
Instead of muscled men in loincloths or girls in grass skirts, you blog viewers will have to settle for this photo of ladies preparing for a canoe race on the waterfront... or search online for Heiva photos to get a sense of the visual impact of the shows.

07/16/2012 | Mom/Susan
Must be quite amazing to see the different cultures this world has to offer. Am glad you are there to see it. Love to all. Mom/Susan
07/23/2012 | Terry
Wonderful photos. Looks like paradise. Wish I was there!!
Strong trade winds are better than a clothes dryer.
25 degrees C, 25kts+
07/16/2012, Tahiti Yacht Club, Arue (outskirts of Papeete)

The wind that blew us here kept building after our arrival and got very gusty for the last few days, so we are glad to be comfortably installed in front of the friendly Tahiti Yacht Club on a mooring ball (strange translation factoid: the French word for a mooring ball is corps-mort, or dead-body!!).
We are about 4 km out of the centre of Papeete here, but it is a nice quiet spot with warm showers available and a little shoreside café where we can get both beer and espresso, so what more could we ask for? Once in a while there is even a bus to get to town with (public transport not a top priority here) and when there isn't, hey we need the exercise anyway.

07/16/2012 | Mom/Susan
Well - what more could one want. So many places to see and things to do. Sounds like all is well.
07/16/2012 | Mom Cec
Fantastic place to be! The food sounds great. Your pictures make me want to go there too. Don sure has fond memories.
Happy travelling.
Love to all,
Mom Cec
07/16/2012, Papeete Harbour

The crew was salivating for a first taste of Papeete's famous roulettes, or food trucks. Every evening they fill one of the waterfront plazas in town and the place is packed with diners. Each truck puts out plastic tables and chairs and even provides dishes, but still it is way cheaper than most restaurants in this crazy expensive city. It's also a great meeting place, as the cruisers from all over Papeete congregate here.
The crew favorites so far: poisson cru and tuna sashimi.

Tahiti at last!
07/16/2012, Papeete, Tahiti

Those are outrigger racing canoes (called pirogues) and the island of Moorea in the distance.

On July 09 we pulled out of Fakarava, bound for Tahiti. It is a 280 nautical mile trip that we made in the company of three other boats - the weather in the Tuamotus was about to change for the windier. However, the forecasted wind didn't fill in for 24 hours, so after a little slow sailing we fired up the engine for a day until the breeze picked up. When it did, we had a nice sail in 15-20 knots of wind the rest of the way to Tahiti, with a little extra puff into the 30 kt range as we rounded Point Venus at the north end of the island.
It was so great to have a crew on board! We were able to get twice as much sleep compared to when it is just the two of us, not to mention the extra hands on deck and in the galley... although after sitting in the absolutely calm anchorages of the Tuamotus for a couple of weeks the rolling of the open sea needed a little getting used to again and the galley wasn't where anyone really wanted to be.
Mike also had a milestone birthday while we were en route to Tahiti, but we waited to celebrate it until we were comfortably in port. Thanks to our families for the birthday goodies!

07/16/2012 | Mom/Susan
Everything looks so beautiful. Thanks for keeping us updated. Love to all xoxo
Shade Break
Once you get out of the water, you remember it's hot!
07/16/2012, Fakarava Atoll

Picara's intrepid crew on the coral beach at the South Pass.

07/16/2012 | Mom/Susan
You all look so relaxed and happy. Glad to know all is well.
Deserted motu
07/16/2012, Fakarava Atoll

One of the tiny islands that are part of the barrier reef of the atoll, near our Fakarava South Pass anchorage. Thanks Cam for yet another great photo!

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Who: Mike Harris, Marni Friesen
Port: Victoria, BC
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