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Hiking Moorea
08/03/2012, Cook's Bay, Moorea, French Polynesia

The next day we headed across to Moorea, about 15nm away. Moorea's dramatic rock formations reminded us of the Marquesas, but because of the fringing coral reef around these islands, once you enter the passes the anchorages are much more comfortable!
After more than a week of 'city' life it was lovely to drop the hook in Cook's Bay on the north side of the island. Moorea is one of the busier islands in this archipelago, with many ferries running between it and Papeete. There is a small town in Cook's Bay and a fair bit of tourist activity but it felt a hundred times more relaxed than Tahiti's bustle.

We went for a great, long hike from the bay along the 'route ananas' or pineapple farm road, on a main road past some stone archeological sites (maraes), through jungle and bamboo forests and finally up to a lookout on one of the ridges.

08/15/2012 | Dad/Norm
I see the similarity to the steep mtns that disappeared into the sea that we saw in the early Marqueses photos. I thought I would like to see that some day. Despite the high temperatures you were probably experiencing you guys are looking pretty cool and relaxed. Keep at it!
A quiet day at Teauhupoo
08/03/2012, Teauhupoo, Tahiti

While on our Marina Taina mooring, we rented a car and toured the south side of Tahiti. We made it down to the end of the road at Teahupoo, a tiny little village that is beside a very famous surf break, site of annual competitions and not a spot for amateurs! We walked out to the point and squinted at the reef a mile away but conditions were mellow and we didn't see any monster waves, however for Mike it was cool to have made the pilgrimage to this spot... and we enjoyed meandering around the village.
On our return trip we stopped at the Vaipahi Spring Gardens and went for a short hike up into some pine-covered ridges with amazing views of the lagoon.

08/04/2012 | mom/susan
Hi Mike! Looking good. Miss you all. xoxo
08/15/2012 | dad/norm
Looking too cool Mke!!
Mooring Field at Marina Taina
08/03/2012, Puna'auia, Tahiti

After a day in downtown Papeete, we moved Picara another five miles south to the huge field of FREE mooring balls near Marina Taina, in Puna'auia, just south of Papeete. There is a very nice marina here and hundreds of new moorings. Rumor had it that the moorings were installed by the government, which wanted the marina to manage them. But the moorings at this time are uninsured and the marina doesn't want the liability headache.... and the thrifty cruisers have swooped in to occupy almost all of the balls. It was quite the meeting spot and we recognized many of the boats we had seen in our travels thus far.

08/15/2012 | Dad/Norm
With the distance and time between there and back home, it must be nice to keep running into familiar faces, language and interests in places like this.
Waterfront picnic
08/03/2012, Papeete, Tahiti

We spent several more days in Tahiti after we left the Yacht Club in Arue, moving for one night to Papeete's main harbour and the Yacht Quai, which was a good place to do some paperwork and other boat-related chores but a bit loud and expensive ($45 per night, no services, and tied to the side of a public walkway, a nice one but still not ideal). As compensation, however, it's kind of novel to be right downtown and the yachtmaster was super helpful and welcoming.
Our guests Donald and Camilla gracefully partook of a slice of the grittier side of our cruising lifestyle as we marched them mercilessly around the streets of Papeete at high noon while looking for things like officials to sign the paperwork and random little engine pieces. They have been such amazing guests, helping out with all of the boat chores and going above and beyond with their rigging, mechanical and culinary talents.

08/15/2012 | Dad/Norm
Looking forward to connecting with Camilla and Donald to hear of their time down there and to hear of the comparisons of the different islands and ports and people!
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

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