04 July 2017 | Apooiti Bay
Bill with Conni
This afternoon, we took Nate and Val to the airport here on Raiatea. We enjoyed an Hinano with them at the tiny shop at the airport, and returned to Wings.
We've been traveling for several days around Taha'a and Raiatea, but no laptop and no Internet have stymied any attempt to post a blog.
To update things, the last activity that I had mentioned (1 July) was a visit to Uturoa for fuel and baguette. We walked around town to find a few needed grocery items, and I found a serviceable pair of sandals since my good ones failed in Tapuamu Bay.
The fuel was a bit more complicated. We had docked at the Shell station in downtown Uturoa but unaccountably, the station was closed: like France, business closing at odd hours is part of life. I grabbed the fuel jug and set out on a quest. The first station was also closed, but perseverance and a 1.5-mile walk finally succeeded. On the return, the five gallons of diesel seemed heavier and heavier, so I called Conni with our new walkie-talkies, and she dispatched Nate to carry the fuel the final 1/4 mile. With the fuel loaded, we headed South to Taputapuatea, the holiest marae in French Polynesia.
Our preferred location and mooring were occupied, so we headed to the next bay to the south: Hotopu’u. We had stayed there earlier, just the two of us, and had even used the pass, Teavamoa, opposite the bay’s entrance. The next morning, Conni felt terrible. Nate had inoculated both of us with a virulent virus and I was a day ahead of Conni in the healing process. Nate, Val, and I motored to the shore and strolled to Taputapuatea, walking the serene grounds and reading all of the excellent signage.
The next day, Sunday, we motored back to Taha'a since Conni had finally made arrangements for Nate and Val to join a Vanilla Tours outing with Noah. We motored to Hurepiti Bay, on Taha'as SW side. It's a lovely bay but wet and open to SW winds.
On Monday morning, we dropped off N &V at the Vanilla Tours dock and enjoyed a peaceful Conni and Bill day of chores and reading. Nate, Val, and Noah had gotten along famously and Noah had invited us back to the Plantier Home for drinks. Nate and Val had brought a bottle of California champagne so we contributed that, some olives, some Camembert, and baguette. After the champagne was gone, we started on a bottle of excellent Pari-Pari sugar cane rum. Umm! At 110 proof, a little goes a long way, but it's the smoothest and most interesting rum I've ever tasted. We finally begged off and motored back to Wings.
After a relaxed morning, we slowly motor-sailed. Ack to Raiatea and found a mooring just outside of Marina Apooiti, the home for the Moorings and Sunsail charter companies. Payment provides a key to STAND UP SHOWERS WITH HOT WATER, Wifi, and a solid mooring.
Nate and Val needed to be at the Raiatea airport for a 6:45 PM flight, so we decided to take them by dinghy to a water entrance at the airport. We had never used it, but had seen the water taxis and other craft tied there. As we waited for them to shower, Conni and I watched for boat traffic that might indicate the route to the airport water entrance and were rewarded by seeing several boats negotiate the entrance. We departed on time and motored to the entrance, but found that the water was very shallow and the channel poorly marked. We attempted the path and suffered two propeller hits. Since there were boats and pilots with local knowledge behind us, we relinquished our place in line and followed them in. It was a first for us and since so many people travel by boat, the route is necessary. It was a neat way to see off our last guests of the leg.
We're here on the Apooiti mooring tonight and if weather permits, we will return to Ha'amene Bay. If not, we'll circle around Raiatea in this direction since we've never traveled past the Carenage. Tomorrow night will be our last night aboard.