31 August 2007 | 16deg 43 S 151deg 03 W
As difficult as it was to leave Tahiti, our "home" for 2 years, we found that the preparations and getting ready to leave, brought along the joie de vivre that we have forgotten about since we have not cruised for so long!
Now instead of procrastinating, wishing for something that seems to be not in our cards, we are now spending our energies preparing for the unknown and new unknown destinations.
Both Claude and I were too excited to sleep on our first overnight trip in a long time, it being 80 miles from Moorea to Huahine and we found ourselves counting the hours till dawn to get our first glimpse of the reclining woman in the sea - that is what Huahine looks like - the shape of a fat woman lying on her back in the Pacific ocean- and was this fat lady a beautiful sight! Although the passage was (for us!) fast, it was uncomfortable with a boisterous sea...or was it us not being used to the open ocean?
The two passes were easy to approach and negotiate and the yachts anchor just next to the passé in clear water, sand bottom and right in front of the quaint little town/village of FARE which we tried to explore the same day, but our wobbily legs and spinning heads made us rather return to the boat for a sleep and hopefully finding our sea legs!
Cycling around the two islands that make up Huahine, was the highlight of our visit to the wild, natural island as it is marketed or isle de Sauvage. We did the two islands over separate days and enjoyed the smells of flowers, vanilla, coconut all the way.
MAEVA VILLAGE, an old Polynesian place of worship is an archeological site easily accessible(right next to the road) well preserved and restored; the mareas (old Polynesian places of worship/temples) had Claude and Mariska taking hundreds of photos; signs posted around this site explained the stone slabs where ancient civilizations worshipped their ancestors/gods, described the significance of the trees planted on the site, etc. Claude was particularly fascinated by the fish traps in the water, built by these ancient ones, that are still being used today! Fish enter these traps with the incoming and out coming tides and then gets trapped until dinner time.
We leisurely circumnavigated the islands (Rochelle kept up every kilometer! it being close to 90 km in total!) stopping often to take photos, have a swim or to eat or drink something; must mention that we had a 2km uphill with a 15% incline...okay, so we all pushed the bikes and singing along with our i-pods helped a lot, but for our wobbly yachtie- legs it was quite a challenge.
We sailed down the west coast to the south of the island to the picturesque anchorage we saw from the sea upon our approach to Huahine; it was a huge bay, clear water. It was nice but not perfect. The enforced trade winds had us bouncing and bobbing with the fetch, the water looked cold and uninviting and after a mere 2 days we lifted anchor and headed back to Fare which was unanimously voted the nicest anchorage so far....and it had wi-fi internet...I guess now is the time to talk about this phenomenon -internet in your cockpit!
When we crossed the pacific 2 years ago we have not heard of wireless internet; we were in the company of HILDI with Mathieu and Soizik onboard and he was for our group of cruisers, the alpha and omega of computers, he solved our computer problems, he got our group of cruisers involved in copying DVD's (getting rid of our old videos) telling us about all the hidden and useful aspects of airmail, in short - our computer guru.
Upon arrival in Polynesia, Matt and Soizik started the wi- fi internet ...what an amazing technology-with wi-fi internet we can connect and do our internet on the boat.....we can make international calls and speak to our friends and family at a fraction of the prices we have been paying up till now. I can now speak to my mom and Riaan for as long as I want, when I want (provided we have a good signal).
It has my vote as the single best thing that has happened to cruisers in years. It is now possible to be anchored in a Tahiti (or anywhere else) reading a South African magazine (or any other international edition) whilst listening to an Australian (or any other country) radio station.....how is that! It has definitely influenced where and how long we are anchored in a spot.
Before I launched Prrr, after being on the hard in Bay Phaeton, I took the laptop and dinghy and drove around in the bay, trying to find the perfect spot to anchor when we get back in the water. Cruisers will now end their stay in a place, anchoring not only where they can do last minute shopping but also where they can do last minute internet phone calls, internet and picking up the latest weather - all on their own boats!
Claude, not being a computer person is really horrified at all of this....but he admits that it is better spending hours on the boat doing website updates and downloading photos , than spending the time ashore in some internet café.
So I am very pleased to announce that in French Polynesia wi-fi internet is available at 13 different locations spread through the islands, the signal of IAORANET is fast and strong and communication with your loved ones is possible at affordable rates in the comfort of your own boat.
While I was surfing the net, surfing in Huahine was not happening for Claude, as there was no swell and he longingly looked at the break every morning but the waves were just not rideable.
Raiatea and Tahaa which are visible , started to beckon and we decided to lift anchor, heading west again.