22 June 2017
This is our neighbourhood for now.
We made Tahiti after an overnight from Tikehau. It was another fast trip due to the winds. We decided to head straight for the downtown marina as Marina Taina around past the airport is med moored and it would make it difficult for us to get off our boat. We also found out later that the downtown marina is cheaper. We were here a day and found out we had a definite offer to sell our farm so we had to make plans to move our stuff. Paul had to fly home to sort out our stuff and I get to stay on the boat n downtown marina. Not sure who got the best deal; Paul did get to touch basis with all our friends and family back home, yet I got to hang out in the tropics in a not so bad part of the pacific. I had power, water, hot showers, internet, groceries. All close by. It certainly made for an easy life. The power was expensive so I became frugal with it, water was cheap so the boat got washed, Internet was sporadic so I didn’t get as much done as I wanted and the hot showers were endless whenever there was hot water. I got to do some of the fun work on the boat, catch up on my sewing projects and walk around down town Tahiti. I managed to catch a few buses, but the service is very island like so one waits awhile if one wants to return form somewhere on a bus. I did a lot of walking and certainly knew where most things were in the Papeete area. I ate once a week at the roulettes, one of the highlights of downtown. This is a bunch of food trucks that sell a variety of meals. It is good food for the cheapest price in Papeete.
22 June 2017
After about a week it was time to move on and after a very quick 3-day passage we arrive at Manahi. It was one of the quickest passages we have had in a long time. We planned on 5 days but we weren’t complaining when it only took us 3 days. Finally we were inside an atoll. We had to wait to get through the pass for a few hours but certainly worth it. Finally the water was calm and the boat stopped moving. The water was clear; we could see the bottom and admire the fish and coral that were underneath the boat. Swimming off the boat was back on the schedule. After a few days in Manahi, we moved on to Rangiroa, one of the largest atolls in the world. The pass was once again a challenge but luckily, it was such that we came in on the still water right beside the standing waves. Quite a sight. We thought we would meander over to the south to see the Blue Lagoon and it took half a day to get there. We were back to our lagoon navigation that we haven’t had to do for some time, which is keep a continuous eye out for bombies; those coral heads that are tall enough to scrape the bottom of the boat or worse. When we got to the other side it was incredibly difficult to anchor, as there was so much coral around. Instead of trying to destroy the coral around us, we decided to head back, but not before we were entertained by a display of 2 Manta Rays frolicking beside the boat. They were the biggest Manta Rays I have ever seen, including when I have been diving so it was great that we both got to enjoy the aquarium around the boat. But we didn’t feel safe on anchor here as due to the coral, so we had to motor sail all the way back. Luckily we made it back just before dark to anchor in amongst the masses. We did get to snorkel on and around an area called the Aquarium, just inside the pass that had a marvelous array of different fish. Certainly one of the better areas for snorkeling that we have seen in a while. I managed to go diving on the outer reef and the pass. Well worth it as the dolphins were up close and personal. For a change the dolphins wanted to play around us. It was truly amazing to be swimming amongst them. I saw dolphins, sharks, turtles and the usual myriad of reef fish. Going through the pass was like a fast ride with no control. The fish and corral just whizzed by us. Schools of fish would hang out in the current as we just passed them by. It was an exhilarating dive where the undersea life flew passed me instead of just meandering by.
After a few days in Rangiroa and catching up with some really slow internet, it was time to move on. We decided to stop at Tikehau as it was on the way to Tahiti. We were fortunate to buddy boat with fellow Australians on Genet Lewe. Once again we got the pass right, given that it can get up to 10 knots. We decided to anchor off the resort, as it was better given the prevailing conditions. A good find was that the resort had internet without a password. Sitting in azure water, with great pink sand beaches made it easy to stay. We did navigate to the end of the lagoon to visit the Garden of Eden This is a religious settlement that lives by the basic tenement of the bible where they believe that all food comes form the earth without the introduction of any manmade chemicals. We came here with the expectation of buying fresh fruit and vegetable but unfortunately they had a bi-annual conference with over one hundred people for the week so all the food they could provide was spoken for. We were given a great tour of the gardens but sadly left with empty shopping bags. We spent a night in the very calm anchorage then navigated the coral bombies back to the Resort anchorage. We spent several days in the area as free Internet does have it benefits in this part of the world. The clear water and clear beaches were also a draw. Once the weather had abated, we decide it was time to move on to Tahiti. We tried to stop on Makatea on the way but it was too much into wind so eventually made straight for Tahiti.
22 June 2017
Land is great to walk on. It is still moving for us but slowing down. We could even get land sick if we thought about it hard enough but we just happy that we are able to come ashore. We managed to check in with Kevin and we were all done and finished by lunchtime. Not much has changed here in 10 years, getting ashore is a challenge with the ongoing swell and dozens of dinghies tied to the only set of steps up the concrete dock. Unfortunately the Oyster Rally was in town and that taxed every service that we needed. Small islands like this find it a challenge to cope with 30 boats all at once, not including us little boats. We managed to get some Internet fix but it was spartan at best. It gave us plenty of time to get some of the much needed boat chores done. We managed to fix the refrigeration, steering and mainsail. The sides of the boat had developed some terrible growth and the gooseneck barnacles had decided on Solace being a wonderful home. So we worked at cleaning the sides of the boat over the next week. Due to the rally, fresh food was unusually scarce so we were unable to reprovision as we wanted. We were stocked for 4-5 months but fresh food is always nice. We walked around town and enjoyed the laid back feeling that this island has. The locals are very friendly and always want to stop and chat. We had to forget our hard learnt Spanish and shake off the cobwebs from the little French that we know. Where as last time we were here we pulled out our dictionary, today it is pull out the Ipad and Google translate. A sign that some things have changed. One of the thrills in being here is that we heard the best thunder we have ever heard. We were subject to some squalls full of thunder and lightening as. Back to storing our electronics in the microwave but it left us in awe of the thunder. The mountains around here are steep to with deep valleys. The thunder reverberated through the deep valleys for at least 30 seconds, making a sound that was sonorous, rolling and deep. Once the scare factor was gone, the sound was amazing. We then moved around to Daniels Bay, a previous location for the filming of Survivor. Yet to watch the program but a few do know of it. We would of taken at walk to the waterfall but now someone charges $10 per person for the privilege so we decided to finish off cleaning the boat and enjoying this enclosed bay.