IA ORA NA!
24 June 2009 | Papeete, Tahiti
We are now anchored off Maeva Beach in Papeete in Tahiti. It's not the best place to be but means we're near the town to provision and get some bits and pieces for the boat. It's a very busy little town and incredibly expensive compared to the Caribbean. We're all wishing we'd stocked up on more beer back in Panama when we had the chance! ($11 per case of 24 as opposed to $32 here). It is however French so lots of fromage, pate, café éclairs and vin even if you do have to take out a small overdraft to pay for it.
As mentioned before, last weekend we all went on the Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendez-vous organised by the Tourist Board. We met up early on Friday evening for cocktails and a blessing by the Chief. After that, quite a few of us adjourned to Les 3 Brasseurs, a micro-brewery in town that everyone had wanted to try. They make blond, amber and cherry beer and sell it in litre pots, buy one, get one free during happy hour so very popular! After that we crossed the road to les Roulottes. Every night around 6pm, all these vans open up and start cooking different things, mainly chinese-type stuff but a few doing pizza, steak and crepes. You just wander around having a look at the menus and choose whatever you fancy. Really good food and not too expensive.
Lyn and Paul, who have a fabulous catamaran called White Hawk, came with us and we sailed over to Moorea about 4 hours away. We were suppose to race over there but there was no wind so most of the boats gave up and turned their motors on. We stopped in Oponohuo Bay which is absolutely stunning: the stereotypical Polynesian bay that you see on the holiday programmes with bungalows on stilts and crystal clear, green water. While we anchored, we could see a spotted eagle ray eight metres down on the bottom. We were greeted by locals in their canoes, dressed up in local costume with beautiful flowered headdresses, playing drums and blowing shells and then all went ashore for more cocktails and speeches. Lots of the others went to the Hilton for a dinner that they had put on but, as it was 4400 CPF (about US$54), a few of us had a barbecue on the beach instead.
Sunday was a day of Polynesian sports. We all made up teams and took part in the canoe outrigger races, fruit carrying, stone lifting and coconut husking! Very competitive! Eventually won by the Aussie Blokes (made up of Orion I, Calysta, Orielle and All the Colours). Our team did well but no medals! It was supposed to be 'just for fun' but I did hear several Americans on the VHF the next day complaining that the Aussies cheated! All in all, an excellent weekend which is held annually if anyone fancies going next year. And mostly free!
We are going to go back over to Moorea later this week, weather permitting. There's supposed to be a blow coming today which would make the anchorage over there a bit lively. We want to find a few good spots to visit when Bob and Roz come from Australia next week. Judging by the charts, there are numerous lovely bays so hopefully, they'll have a great time.
Thanks again to everyone who leaves a message. It's great to hear from you and we will try and reply, internet permitting.