S/V Adventure

Follow the O'Neil family, sailing in their Catalina 42, on their 2-year sabbatical to see the Pacific coast of the US, Mexico, and Central America, Galapagos, the South Pacific, and New Zealand.

08 June 2012 | Home
05 June 2012 | 100 miles to the Farallons!
02 June 2012 | 475 miles off the coast
31 May 2012 | 579 miles to go
30 May 2012 | 694 miles to go
30 May 2012 | 800 miles to go
29 May 2012 | 915 miles off California
28 May 2012 | Past halfway between Hawaii and SF
27 May 2012 | Past halfway between Hawaii and SF
26 May 2012 | Halfway between Hawaii and SF
24 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
23 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
22 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
21 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
20 May 2012 | Pacific Gyre
16 May 2012 | Pacific Gyre
16 May 2012 | Pacific
18 September 2011 | Home
07 September 2011 | Crossing the southern tip of the big island
05 September 2011 | Pacific

The Blue Lagoon

18 July 2008 | Blue Lagoon, Rangiroa
It was already dark and the white light from the moon had lighted the entire atoll. I was ready to go to the Tahitian dance and I wearing the jean skirt and black shirt I hadn't worn since who knows when. My swimsuit had become my permanent uniform. But not tonight! Tonight we all wore our "party clothes." My dad even, after a lecture from a hotel concierge, wore a collared shirt.

We all got in the dinghy and set off toward the Hotel Kia Ora. I looked down into the glass-calm water and found that I could see the bottom quite clearly, even though it was forty feet down and in the middle of the night. We drove past the bungalows (which cost $920/night), the ones that my slave-driver dad won?t let us stay in, and to the wooden-planked dock. After we tied up, we walked down the long dock. "I think that they should have a red carpet down this dock," I whispered to Casey.

"Why would they do that?" She asked stubbornly, scrutinizing me and wearing the demeaning look that she reserved for my idiotic ideas. "Never mind." I say with a sigh. I conclude that no one really understands my ideas and keep walking. You'd think that for the whole seven dollars I was paying to come here they could at least roll a red carpet down here or have some dancer guy with a torch lead us all in. But no, it was just my family silently walking down the grey planks. No red carpet, nothing. We finally stepped on land and were greeted, not by a fire throwing Island guy, but by one of the biggest security guards I have ever seen. He looked like he could launch us back to our boat using only his stomach. His expression held a mix of anger, boredom and "don't-mess-with-me-punk".

"You from the boats?" He asked in his gruff, security guard way.

"Yep." Said my dad, looking a bit small by the colossal sentry. I could tell he was about to quickly add "sir" to his statement, but the guard cut in, "Go to the front desk and buy your tickets."

We obeyed and walked away. "Thank you." My dad cried back to him. The guard didn't answer and stood as solid as a rock, waiting for more cruisers to intimidate.

Once we got our tickets, we were good to go. We showed the same security guard our tickets and sat down before a wide-open space in the deck, obviously where the dance was to be held. We soon got tired of looking at the empty dance floor and looked around at all the people, waiting for the dance to start. In the restaurant, which was shaped like an L around the dance floor opposite us, we saw our friends from a boat called Turnelli. We went into the restaurant, much to the macho security guard's irritation, to say hi.

"Wow, you guys splurged on dinner, we only came for the dance." My mom remarked, gazing at the white tablecloth and fancy glasses. Dinner cost $75 a plate.

We all talked for a while under the vigilant eye of Mr. Security. Dillon, Fiona and Jason's two-year-old son, was nibbling a chunk of bread and looking up at us and laughing. Finally we said goodbye and went to sit down. Casey and I decided to go get drinks soon and the show still hadn't started. We got five-dollar sodas and sat down with our drinks. I cracked open my "Orengina", which is the French version of Fanta and sipped it down, waiting for the show. Finally the sound of tribal drums drifted out of the shiny, modern stereo. Another thing I feel I didn't get my money's worth. Come on, I paid seven dollars! You'd think we could have some real tribal drummers, the who nine yards I mean, with the palm leaf hats and intricate necklaces?

Eight sarong-clad women with coconut bras came out of the corner and started doing the hula. With their hips waving and their hands making graceful motions all in complete unison, it looked as if they'd practiced for a very long time. They all moved together with precise motions, none going faster than the others. All of a sudden something different came into the picture. A little toddler with curly blond hair had apparently escaped his mother's grasp and was in the middle of the dance. Was that Dillon? It was. I looked over at Fiona, but she was smiling, there wasn't really anything she could do anyway. I glanced at the security guard, who looked like he wanted to wring someone's neck.

Several dances went by and sounds of drums and traditional music came from the boom box. But the dance was soon over and the dancers let people take their pictures and left the stage. After everything was over and the guards were putting chairs back my mom said in her matter-of-fact voice that the dance wasn't at all what she expected. She thought that everyone was going to dance. She then said nonchalantly that she was ready to shake her booty. I wanted to disclaim her as my mother. After a while of talking, we were back in our dinghy driving off to our boat. On the way back, I couldn't help but wonder if this had been the "seven dollar show" and that there was a more expensive show around the corner with torch throwers, real tribal drums, and a long, rolled out red carpet
Vessel Name: Adventure
Vessel Make/Model: Catalina 42
Hailing Port: Marina Bay, Richmond CA
Crew: The O'Neil Family
About: Sean (Captain and Line Man) Kathy (Helmswoman and Cook) Tara - 12 years old at trip start, Casey - 11 years old at trip start (Crew and Students)
Extra: We're on a three-year sabbatical from the daily grind to see the Pacific coast of the US, Mexico, Central America and the South Pacific and stopping at New Zealand.
Adventure's Photos - S/V Adventure (Main)
1 Photo | 1 Sub-Album
Created 10 November 2008
27 Photos
Created 10 November 2008
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 9 November 2008
1 Photo | 7 Sub-Albums
Created 2 July 2008
34 Photos
Created 26 April 2008
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 2 April 2008
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 19 February 2008
10 Photos
Created 19 February 2008
1 Photo | 17 Sub-Albums
Created 30 November 2007
1 Photo | 8 Sub-Albums
Created 31 August 2007

S/V Adventure

Who: The O'Neil Family
Port: Marina Bay, Richmond CA