Raiatea & Tahaa with Karma
06 August 2017
We finally made Raiatea, with not quite all the chores we wanted done before Karma arrived but there is always later. We found there was a dinghy dock at Raiatea Airport so we took a look and felt we could pick up Karma from here. We shopped for some small boat parts at the local chandler and met up again with Paul and Gloria on Scallywag as they picked up their kids from the airport. Unfortunately when we went to pick up our daughter, we inadvertently hit a coral head and broke the shear pin on the propeller so we went nowhere without the use of oars. Sadder still was that we were about 2 miles away from the boat and we had a strong crosswind. After taking turns at rowing, a local cruiser finally saw us and towed us back to the boat. Paul was able to fix the propeller and we were off to shore again to pick up the obligatory baguette for lunch. We motored over to Tahaa and picked up a mooring outside one of the favorite resorts on Tahaa only to find out it was closed. We spent a few days here as the wind came up and most anchorages would be uncomfortable. We did move around to a Raiatea motu for some snorkeling and deserted island walking. After this it was round to Hibiscus where we were able to pick up a mooring for free. We ate at the restaurant with some very nicely prepared tuna and salad. We arranged an island tour of Tahaa for Karma and me the next day and got to take in the Big 3 of Tahaa – Vanilla Plantation, Pearl Farm, and Rum Factory. I was able to restock my supply of vanilla beans and local rum. The price of the pearls were the most expensive we have seen so far so gave them a miss for now. Next stop was the Coral Gardens on the Northwest motu. This was stunning, so much so, we went back again the next day. Here we met up with Gillian and Neil from Silver Lining and enjoyed watching the sunset over Bora Bora with a few cocktails. We then left for Bora Bora as Karma had to leave the next day. We managed to find a mooring ball at the Yacht Club but the restaurant was very expensive so our last meal was a barbeque on the boat. We took the boat to the airport and dropped karma off for her flight. It was sad to see her go as we had a great week but we also needed to get some chores done before we leave French Polynesia for the islands west.
06 August 2017
We arrived on the mid morning and anchored on the edge of the reef. It seems Fare has not changed; the supermarket is the best in all the societies so we did a last big shop. We then meandered down to Huahine Iti and anchored in the stunning Avea Bay. Snorkeling off the back of the boat yet again. We did finally manage to clean some of the Papeete growth off. We caught up with Janet and David from Geniet Lewe and enjoyed a good meal at the famous Chez Tara. We were also able to manage some free wifi from the local resort so we were set for a few days. Unfortunately that night was when Tanda Malaika ended up on the outer reef across from our anchorage. They put out a Mayday and were lifted off by Helicopter. The next day, the cruisers got together and took them out to their boat so they could assess what they were going to do. It must have been a terrible moment for this family of 6. We had met them on and off since Panama and had a few conversations with the children as they were so personable. Dan and Belinda had to come to a decision as to whether they salvaged their boat or had it pulled off and sunk. Meanwhile, the cruisers in the bay spent many days taking the gear off the boat so the family could sell it to offset their costs. They stayed aboard Geniet Lewe and we all contributed to helping with meals, laundry, sorting and just helping where we could. Finally they came to the decision to sink the boat. Every day it sat on the reef, it was being pounded by breakers and pounded onto the reef to cause even more damage. At least they had a lot of their gear off the boat and would be able to make a little money to recoup their costs. This delayed our plans a little but we finally had to leave, as we had to pick up our daughter from Raiatea. Avea had become a really sad place to be as this family tried to cope with losing almost everything they had including their way of life.
06 August 2017
We worked at getting some boat projects done, more paper worked signed for the purchase before finally leaving the dock for Moorea. Here we caught up with Paul and Gloria on Scallywag and enjoyed a few evenings watching the sunset without the noise of a city behind us. We managed to find our favorite 10ft spot over sand, which made for great swimming off the back of the boat. We took the obligatory tour of the Juice Factory and the tasting to follow. They make more than juice and we got to taste a few different ways the islanders drink rum. We made a few purchases to stock up the fridge. We topped up with diesel here as it was an easy dinghy trip to the fuel dock then left for Huahine late in the evening, as we knew we could not make it during daylight days.