South Pacific Impressions

22 June 2008 | chinook
13 June 2008 | chinook
04 June 2008 | chinook
02 June 2008 | chinook
24 May 2008 | chinook
22 May 2008 | chinook
14 May 2008 | chinook
09 May 2008 | chinook
03 May 2008 | chinook
25 April 2008 | chinook
14 April 2008 | chinook
14 April 2008 | chinook
14 April 2008 | chinook
28 March 2008 | chinook
25 March 2008 | chinook
23 March 2008 | chinook
20 March 2008 | chinook
18 March 2008 | chinook
18 March 2008 | chinook
14 March 2008 | chinook

Putting Chinook to bed

22 June 2008 | chinook
David/Candy
Ia ora na.

A lot of our time in Bora Bora was spent on board sitting out the windy rainy weather. We did rent a car and circled the island, stopping and chatting and taking all day for a 1 hour circumnavigation. The gallery of Alain et Linda had lovely original artwork and a very lively owner, Linda. She entertained us for over an hour with tales of her life both on and off Bora Bora. A small way up the road was Ben's Snack - Ben and his wife also regaled us with their life histories - Ben having been raised a mile up the road. That evening we finally were successful with the dance performance we've been trying so hard to arrange to see. The Hotel Intercontinental puts on a pretty fabulous seafood buffet and the local dancers, musicians and singers do their thing during dessert. Finally, one more item on the "must do" list checked off.

When we finally got a good wind forecast from the grib files, we set sail for Taha'a. What was supposed to be 15 K turned into 25-30 on the nose and we had a pretty uncomfortable 25 mile beat to the pass, arriving just before sunset. With little time before dark we found a shallow patch of 65 feet in an otherwise very deep bay. The morning dawned clear and the wind had abated so it was time to find the perfect anchorage. After an hour of trying to free a very stuck anchor, David pulled out the trusty Super Snorkel; it took 30 minutes at 65-75 feet to clear the chain enough to finally haul in the anchor. We've had two beautiful anchorages in very light blue clear water with views of Bora Bora, a wonderful snorkel through the pass and now we're on a mooring getting sails down and trying to organize Chinook for her haul out. Yesterday, we were so lucky to run into our old friends on "Grace" and had a delightful evening on Chinook swapping stories and thinking about our Kiwi friends who had to leave so suddenly. Grace is another boat we met in Mexico at the first Puddle Jumpers meeting. Due to a terrible pedestrian-motorcycle accident, Sally was not able to do the crossing with her husband so it was great to get back together with the two of them and see them finally having a wonderful cruise together. Full circle!

So here we are, working hard on the boat with what would be very sad chores if we didn't know we have next year to revisit our favorite places and find new ones. French Polynesia has been an incredible experience. There was the Pacific crossing, an adventure that I will never forget and fortunately it's all the good parts that remain in my memory. The Marquesas were wild and wooly with their unique culture undergoing a renaissance. The Tuomotu a study in crystal clear water, beautiful coral and fish and big scary sharks. And I can't forget the black pearls and the farms they come from. And finally, the Society Islands - in a way a combination of the volcanic islands like the Marguesas surrounded by a barrier reef and its lagoon, similar to the Tuomotu. But the Societies are civilized, the stores well stocked and the tourist industry in full swing, except for here in sleepy little Taha'a. We have much to remember in the next months before returning to these beguiling islands.

This may be the last entry until we return but once we're back with internet access, we will be posting all of our photos. So stay tuned.

Parahi

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Sad Goodbyes

13 June 2008 | chinook
David/Candy
Ia ora na.

Chinook has been on the move and keeping busy since last update. After a very rolly but quick overnight crossing from Moorea to Huahine, we set the anchor between the two passes into the lagoon and caught up on some sleep. The next day was squally with quite a bit of wind and, since our anchor was continually grinding on dead coral heads, we decided to motor down the channel for 7 miles to the bay on the south end of the island. This was one of the most beautiful, tranquil spots in the entire trip. The bay is huge and there were only around 5 boats anchored - good thing because all the boats were swinging 360s randomly. We spent two nights there before heading back north to the village of Fare which is a delightful, quint little town with a fabulous grocery. Huahine was supposed to be a short stopover before heading to Bora Bora but it's charm captured us and we ended up staying for 5 days, enjoying every minute even thought the weather wasn't perfect. Our plans to head for Taha'a then Bora Bora were interrupted by an emergency with one of our friends since Mexico. He became seriously ill with what they (he and his wife are both nurses) believe is congestive heart failure so we sailed to Raiatea to help them haul their boat and put her to bed in longterm storage. Our thoughts are with them as they hurry their way to their home in New Zealand for medical care. THis was an extremely sad goodbye for the four of us but we hope to see them next year in the Society Islands, all healthy and happy and ready for another sailing season. We are now in Bora Bora, a truly spectacularly gorgeous island. Mount Otemanu rises dramatically out of the ocean and can be seen at sea for many miles. Our first night we took a mooring by Bloody Mary's, a legendary bar and restaurant where we couldn't resist having dinner. Bloody Mary's is reputed to be the first restaurant on the island, now one of many. This is the playground of the ultra-rich and famous; many hugely expensive hotels with over-water bungalows and all the over-the-top extravagances one could think of;. Our pleasure in Bora Bora lies in sitting at anchor in crystal clear water, either snorkeling or gazing up at Mr. Otemanu. Currently, we're experiencing some pretty squally weather; we hope it will clear up before time requires us to leave and head to Taha'a. Time is running out - so many places, so much to do and so little time.

Parahi.

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Sad Goodbyes

04 June 2008 | chinook
David/Candy
Ia ora na. We arrived in Cook's Bay in Moorea two days ago. Moorea is the absolute epitome of a south sea paradise with incredible green mountains rising out of the sea and clouds hanging out on the peaks. It is a rare instant when it's possible to get a photo of the entire mountain uncovered. We were anchored just inside the reef in the lagoon with howling winds of over 20 knotts for awhile but it finally calmed down do we could meet our friends from Fearless for dinner in the village - $40 spaghetti carbonara and $15 maitais!! Up until then, we've been successful in finding the less expensive dinner options but the food was good and the company great. Yesterday, we had a quick snorkel where we saw a flounder, a Tahiti stingray, a Picasso trigger fish (great name!) and three of the dreaded crown of thorn sea stars. These sea stars are voracious eaters of the reef - have done a good job of decimating some areas of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and I hope they don't get established here. After the snorkel, we had pizza for lunch on Fearless and said sad goodbyes to our friends. Brett and Naomi have been off and on companions for the entire trip since Mexico and this may be the last time we see them before we head home. Who'd a thunk that a young couple in their Thirties from the big city of LA would become our closest buddies? They seem to be young versions of ourselves but we can't figure out why they enjoyed us as much as we enjoyed them. We're currently anchored in Opunohu Bay where Cook anchored. It's considered to be one of the most tranquil and picturesque bays in French Polynesia and, so far, I'd have to agree. Our intention is to set sail this evening for Huahine. We return to Colorado June 26 and our time is running out for this year. Too many places to visit and too little time. Parahi. A bien tot.

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Vessel Name: Chinook
Vessel Make/Model: Saga 43
Hailing Port: Evergreen Colorado
Crew: David and Candy
Chinook's Photos - Main
12 Photos
Created 1 June 2008
5 Photos
Created 9 March 2008
14 Photos
Created 2 March 2008
6 Photos
Created 2 March 2008
13 Photos
Created 1 March 2008

South Pacific Impressions

Who: David and Candy
Port: Evergreen Colorado