PRRRFECTION - a sailing circumnavigation.

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Ia Orana - TAHITI

03 October 2005 | 17 35.00/149 35.00
Hello Tahiti!

There she was - rising out of the sea, three days sailing from the Tuamotos Archipelago and to say that we did not experience a great thrill on seeing the island would be the lie of the century! Tahiti has always been the great getaway place in the Pacific, the middle point of the vast sea area of the Southern Pacific. the Isle of love, the earthly paradise. Writers, poets, songwriters have written about her and we now find ourselves here and I find it very difficult to add to the writings of people such as Captain Cook, Robert Louis Stevenson, James Mitchener.. maybe I can just add - it is all true and we have found ourselves in paradise these last few weeks.

We first headed towards Port Phaeton, an anchorage on the southwestern side of the island, in the isthmus between the two islands that make up Tahiti - Tahiti Nui (big) and Tahiti Iti(small). Tahiti is surrounded by a coral reef and various passes allow vessels entry into the lagoon between the reef and the land. We chose passť Tapuareha, not just because it is a wide pass, beaconed and so on, but because our friend Luc from the Tuamotos, an avid surfer, has marked all the surfing spots in French Polynesia for Claude. you guessed it - the passť is a well known surfing spot! And the surf was cooking!

We entered the passť with waves on both sides of us, tubing and breaking over the reef in all colours of translucent blues. It was an easy passť to enter, made very difficult by the surfers having a good time and us having to concentrate on keeping a straight line through the pass, but once we were through, we hovered and watched and Claude was drooling at the sight of the surfing! The girls were standing on each bow, eyes big with amazement and wonder as it was the first time for the girls and I, being from up-country, to see a reef break. and up close as well.

Reluctantly we left the passť and motored slowly along the lagoon to the anchorage. With the land on the one side and the reef and breaking waves on the other side, the water inside the lagoon was calm, the reefs and dangers are well buoyed and we thoroughly enjoyed our first up-close view of Tahiti.

Port Phaeton is well protected, inside a deep bay and a hurricane hole. There is a marina - Nautisport Centre - with haul-out facilities , chandlery and a sail maker.

We woke up the first morning to the calmest of calm days, not a ripple on the water. I took photos of the beautiful sunrise, the tranquil scene of yachts anchored on smooth water reflecting the colours of the rising sun and sky. I had trouble when I developed the photos to actually distinguish top and bottom - see the photos for yourself!
We spent the next 3 weeks exploring this side of Tahiti which is not often visited by cruising yachts.

Claude surfed the various reefs and the girls and I were totally caught up in the air of excitement that surrounds all the surfers and on-lookers. I made picnic lunches and we dinghied to the surf spots, tying up on mooring buoys or the numerous other vessels also tied on. There were aluminium skiffs, kayaks, motor boats all filled with surfers and spectators. At some of the surf spots there are even aluminium stands erected on the reef, overlooking the surfers!

While Claude surfed, we snorkeled the clear water in the passť and of course munching our picnic and watching the surfers. There were surfers from all over the world, the Polynesian surfers clearly visible by their tattooed bodies and in some cases body scars - evidence of close escapes from the reefs!

Taravoa is the nearby town within walking distance from the marina and everything you need is there, food stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, banks, post office, etc.

Papeete, the capital, is a cosmopolitan, busy town. We, not being in a city for months, found the noisy cars, buses, motorcycles and mopeds that clog the town, overwhelming. We visited some of our friends on their yachts tied up along the waterfront boulevard, Mediteranean style(anchor out and stern lines ashore). Although for some yachties it is a "must" to be tied up along Tahiti's waterfront, we found the noise, the fumes and the lack of privacy not worth it.

We wandered around town, exploring the Vaima shopping center, the colourful market with Tahitian food, shell necklaces, fruit, fish and vegetables, the various Chinese stores, pearl jewellers, Notre Dame Catholic Cathedral and we then had a well deserved picnic under the trees in a park when the town came to a standstill - lunch.

We watched the high speed ferries leaving for the island of Moorea and I was totally contented and happy, the four of us sitting under the frangipani trees, enjoying our baguettes with cheese. After lunch, we officially cleared in to Tahiti - the gendarme and customs are right next to the waterfront boulevard.

The bus trip back to Taravoa took just over an hour and it was interesting to see how the landscape changed from slightly more drier (Tahiti) to the lush tropical side (Taravoa). The bus took us past the marina Taina and the port of Papeete anchorage where most of the yachts anchor whilst in Papeete. The anchorage seemed calm and reasonably protected, with shops close by and we decided to try the anchorage if we have the time.

We have been waiting for a parcel to arrive from South Africa and I realise now that 5 days actually means 5 weeks in most of the countries where we have waited for the delivery of a parcel. So, when friends of ours left for Moorea, which is an island "just" 12 miles from Tahiti, we decided to visit the island as well, reasoning that we could just as well wait for the parcel to arrive, over there. This however, is another story and I will tell you about it in another update!
Vessel Name: Prrrfection
Vessel Make/Model: Wildcat 35
Hailing Port: DURBAN, South Africa
Crew: Ronelle, Claude, Mariska & Rochelle
About: Mom Ronelle, Partner Claude and teenagers- Mariska and Rochelle started circumnavigating 2001
After the untimely death of father Deon van Rooyen in 2001, mom Ronelle continued to circumnavigate with her children - Riaan, Mariska and Rochelle. Claude has been her partner for many years, sharing her love of the sea, adventure, new places... The voyage is a sloooowwww one.....each [...]
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Prrrfection's Photos - PRRRFECTION - a sailing circumnavigation. (Main)
Photos 1 to 91 of 91
grilling fish on the coals
look at our cute dinghy in the background
crystal clear fiji waters...
our panasonic lumix camera with underwater housing
 such a nice picture moment... i could not resist it
rochelle getting it up at Natadola beach
my angels in an  underwater paradise
a germinating coconut
this is Fiji
having communal dinners on the lawns at Vuda
this was just after our Tsunami scare
my family - 2010
waiting at nadi airport for riaan
dearest Riaan during his visit
one of the advantages to living half ashore - is growing flowers and veggies again
the bay is as nice as the beach
we are Not in a swimming pool!
the surfing dudes! (the ho-dads)hahahahah
picnic on the beach
rivers to explore
this sandy spit is exposed at low tide
the girls in their school uniforms..
beaches for picnics...
beautiful  under water scenes
this is fiji
mariska and rochelle painting the mural at the marina
beautiful above the water
beautiful under the water
stripes logos graphics on a boat - that is our job
mariska enjoying the water
underwater fiji
we could not stop taking photos
fish and the mermaid...
a  favourite secluded spot
the other mermaid..
rochelle in her own world
claude getting all arty again
swimming amongst the fish
this is in the sea - it is not in an aquarium - i promise!
musket cove - a view from the top
my job - logos and names and designs....
the entrance to Vuda Marina...and Amigo in the foreground
beaches...palm trees....
making signs...
reflection on prrrfection...
at anchor ...with one of the many spectacular sunsets....
my favourite colours are here as well
the marina
claude with the horses on the beach
horse riding on the beach
Jope and Nunya
Jope and best man - look at the beautiful Masa cloth
Claude taking Amigo for a paddle
having a horse also makes living in Fiji a brighter place...
home at night
friends and fun and laughter
having kava
hindu wedding
friends = fun!!
underground oven - lovo
food from heaven - palm heart - grilled fish...(not the coke)
frangipani fragrance
lovo feast
El Piso - the boat that we use to map/chart anchorages whilst writing the new Fiji cruising guide
Friends, Fun , Food, Fiji.....
dressing up a-la-indian-style
claude at work
claude and the girls - and it is NOT a swimming pool!
Claude and i at a resort
a sure way not to get lost in the dark....
amigo passed out....
Claude grilling freshly caught fish on the beach
beautiful waters
the cousins having fun during cyclone Mick
a traditional Fijian house - Bure
ronel on bow
rochelle weaving palm leaves
rochelle catching ature
rochelle fishing
mariska and rochelle
house boat 2
claude dinghy
claude ronel waterfall
claude animals kayak
backstep splashing
claudes big 51
Prrr was the first catamaran to be hauled out at Vuda Point Marina's new catamaran ramp.
No Photos
Created 25 May 2017
favourite photos that i brought back due to demand!! thanx
38 Photos
Created 20 April 2010

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