Make sure you check out the new photos in the Photo Gallery!
Sorry we have been remiss in our blogging duties, but we've been busy with other things. This is sort of a catch everything up post and to update everyone on where we are and what's going on. Since our last post, we have returned to Tahiti for a few weeks. We finally purchased a new memory foam matteress for the boat. We should have done this years ago. Finally, a good nights sleep for both of us. Got a large dose of being in "town" and that's enough of that for a while.
We left Tahiti on the evening of August 11th with a forecast of 19 knots of wind on departure and 15 knots for arrival in Huahine, the first of the the Leeward Isles west of Moorea, which to date is our furthest point westward. Wiki link to Huahine
Well, as is so often the case with the professional weather guessers, we were greeted to 30+ knots on the starboard quarter for the first half of the trip. When you depart Tahiti, you usually in the wind shadow of the mountainous island and never really know what the conditions are going to be until at least 5 miles away from the island. When we left, the wind swirled from all directions as the eddies formed by the tradewinds whipping around the island made it impossible to try to predict even what side of the boat they were coming from. We were almost 10 miles away, well past Moorea, when we finally just figured the forecast we got was totally blown. So, we had 30+ knots and very confused seas or 6-9 feet from multiple directions. It turned out to be a very uncomfortable passage. The only thing you can say good about it was that it only lasted about 13 hours.
Then we came around the backside of Huahine and took a mooring ball at Fare. What a lovely spot. It is beautiful here. But, we have had 3 solid days of rain until yesterday when it finally cleared. Yesterday afternoon we had a great snorkel just off the boat by the beach of Maitai Lapita Village resort. It was nice to see the sun. The weather this year has been very different than last year. A lot more cloudy, rainy days than we saw last year. Don't know if it's related to the current El Nino conditions everyone is talking about or not.
We rented a car here and drove all around both islands that make up Huahine. We saw many interesting sites, like the largest Marae in French Polynesia. Wiki link to Marae
There are many Marae's here in Huahine. These are sacred sites for the Polynesians and there is a lot of work going on to restore some of the sites. We also saw how the Polynesians constructed stone fish trap in the water that runs between the two islands. They are similar to the fish traps we've seen in other islands made from plastic or wire mesh except these were made of hundreds of stones and were permanent. You can see pictures of them in our photo gallery. We had a fantastic lunch at Chez Tara's restaurant on the beach near the southern tip of Huahine.
While here we got to meet some new friends, David and Cindy on their beautiful custom catamaran Full Circle. We got a tour of this very interesting boat, which of course has further fueled Kim's interest in a multihull vessel. It was my first time on an all electric boat. Well, it has a diesel fueled generator that charges the batteries that in turn run the electric motors that propel the boat. Quite an interesting design and something I'm totally unfamiliar with in any detail. Never thought about it, but even the vocabulary changes onboard. There is no need to start the engine, just push the speed lever forward. When David "started" the engine all you can hear is a cooling fan run. They say they have been able to pull right alongside a whale and her calf and basically in silence, not disturb them. In doing a little reading since then, they now have sail drive that basically charge the engine batteries when sailing, in essence turning the engines into water generators under sail. Certainly, the green way is coming to sailing vessels more and more all the time.
Getting ready to head to town again in a few minutes. Pick up a few things and maybe have lunch at the Huahine Yacht club. Steve, from Liward, says the fried shrimp there is fantastic. He also says the best burger in French Polynesia is here at one of the Roulotte trucks is the Surf Burger truck. If we hang around all day we may try that tonight. If not, we'll catch them on the way out.
We plan to move down to the south end of Huahine Iti either this afternoon or tomorrow morning, not sure yet. But, it's great to seeing the sun shining today after 3 ½ days of pretty steady rain and overcast skies.
Make sure you check out the photo galleries we've added since your last visit.