We Have The Holy Grail
20 September 2009 | Faaroa Bay, Raiatea, 16 42.79'S:151 27.02'W
The pearls are in hand and we're back on Raiatea again to see a few places we skipped.
Raiatea has the only dinghyable river in French Polynesia. It's not very deep but with the motor tilted up a bit we were able to make it a few miles. The Aoppomau (Farro) River is quite jungle like and beautiful. There are a few homes along the shore and we saw several women fishing and others paddling their outrigger kayaks. The river empties into Faaroa Bay which is 1 1/2 miles long and where we are currently anchored. Along the river is a botanic garden that I was really looking forward to seeing. Unfortunately it was maintenance day with chain saws buzzing and vegetation falling. We took a quick walk around, picked up some Bird of Paradise that were laying on the ground and headed back to the dinghy.
Raiatea is believed to be the first island settled in French Polynesia and was the religious center of the islands. Polynesian sailors from here voyaged to New Zealand (2216 nautical miles) and Hawaii (2381 nautical miles) to colonize those islands. They steered by the stars, wind and wave patterns only. Boy are we lucky!
Tomorrow we're continuing clockwise around the island. We've been told about an anchorage by a small island where there's good snorkeling. The wind is currently blowing fairly strong though, so we'll see what tomorrow brings.