No posts for a month - wow, how time passes. Sorry about that. I passed the time while Janaki was in the US giving the boat a deep clean that was very satisfying and got me a bunch of brownie points. After her return we started to plan another sailing trip and think about our longer term plans. This led us to the realization that this Christmas was the last time we could safely leave the boat for at least a year and a mad plan was hatched to spend Christmas in the UK with my family.
Making this happen turned out to be a Herculean task requiring at least three lists (we have a LOT of lists....) and many hours on bad Internet connections - why do flight ticketing sites always crash AFTER you have entered three pages of information? Anyway, it finally all came together and we are now sitting in the airport in Tahiti having completed the first leg of what will be a three day journey. This leg took us about eight hundred miles in the wrong direction but that's air travel.
In the interim we did manage to fit in a few interesting scuba dives, some good hikes and a sail back round to Tai Pi Vai to see a dance festival there. This was by way of a dress rehearsal for a larger, multi-island festival taking place on Ua Pou while we are away.
The festival was very interesting with tattooing and weaving demonstrations as well as lots of dancing. I've written before about how gentle these people are now but when these dances were developed they were a series of warring tribes that were apparently not at all adverse to eating one another.
There are a bunch of photos in this album
. I make no apologies for making the young girl who danced with the men the feature performer. She was absolutely the star of the show, utterly poised and engaged. There was a young boy who danced with the women but he had an attention span problem - typical I guess.... These child dancers presumably had some cultural significance but I've not been able to determine what yet. They may just have been for entertainment value. They certainly delivered.
Leela is now safely anchored back in Taiohae Bay under the watchful eye of Kevin, the local yacht services owner while we gad off around the world. When we get back and get over the inevitable lurgy we catch whenever we visit the northern hemisphere in winter we will start moving south for the 800nm passage to the very remote Gambier group.
If you are pining for fish pics there are more here
My next post will be more about what it is like to live on a boat in the S Pacific. In the meantime we hope you all have joyful festive season and stay well.