Life in Moorea
04 August 2012 | Cooks Bay, Moorea, Society Islands
We woke Monday morning; slightly sore but feeling great about where we are anchored, in Moorea, in the Society Islands. Several years ago, when we were vacationing in Bora Bora, we dreamed that one day we would sail to the Society Islands. The Society Islands were one of the main south pacific attractions for us. And here we are!!! Anyway, after enjoying a tourist day on Sunday, we felt the need to take care of some chores, specifically, grocery shopping and finding water and lots of it!! While at the grocery store and then again at the gas station, we asked about potable water. It appears that the locals do not drink the water from the faucet. If you want drinking water, you either buy it from the store, catch the rain water, or go to one of the main water sources on the island. I was told repeatedly, that the closest water source is at the airport, which is miles away and we would have to rent a car to get there. HMMM...need to go to option B.
A little background. Our water tank holds 120gallons. We have always put potable water in our water tank even though we never drink the water out of our tank. The water that comes out of the water tank tastes funny, even after filtering the water. We use this water for cooking, coffee, showers, cleaning, etc. We have always bought bottled water for our drinking water; I guess we are spoiled to it. So, option B, we decided to fill our tank with the faucet water; it's not contaminated with bacteria, it's high in metals, per the internet. I will just continue to filter the water for our coffee and cooking. No biggy. So, the many oh many trips to get the water begin. Now, this process may sound easy enough but here is the process. Take all our jerry cans (we can carry 20 gallons at a time) and jump into dinghy. Motor over to the fuel dock; fill up the jugs and dinghy back to Tanga. Unload the dinghy and then pour all the water into the tank. Repeat process. One trip is worth 20 gallons of water and takes at least 40 minutes. We do this process about 3 times and decide to take a break for a bite to eat.
While we were on our break, Doug came over to exchange some books. He also lent us his portable hard drive full of music, videos and some documentaries. Just too nice and greatly appreciated. Listening to the same 2000 songs over and over again since San Diego, has really burnt us out on our music library. Our break turned into an invite for pizza and beer with Doug and Suelaka at this great little place in town, owned by a French couple who have lived on Moorea for 25 years. But before we could have pizza, we all needed to find an ATM. Suelaka and I put our thumbs out and hitched a ride to the bank to get some cash. Hitchhiking is a very popular mode of transportation in the islands. Since it wasn't a far ride into town, we walked back to the pizza place and found Doug and Tom enjoying a cold one. As for the pizza, it was one of the best pizza's we have ever had!!
Tuesday, we decided to rent a scooter, or at least that was our plan. We had picked up a rent-a-scooter brochure at a restaurant and we were going to hitch a ride into town to where the rental center is located. No one was feeling kind on Tuesday morning and we ended up walking to town, asking a cop where the center was, and walking another mile to it. When we got there, we found that they had no more scooters to rent for the day. URGGG!! We turned around and walked back into town. We found a nice little café to rest and have a bite to eat. After we were served our drinks, the plastic chair Tom was sitting in broke and he crashed to the floor! He bruised his tailbone in the fall but he did manage to hold onto his chocolate milk shake and only spill a small amount! We're just not having a good day! We spent the rest of the day, relaxing on Tanga.
Back to chores on Wednesday. We finished filling up our water tank plus the 20 gallons of water in our jerry cans. We also started doing jerry can runs for diesel. The French Polynesia is known for having very expensive diesel, and we can confirm that. We spent $7.5/gallon on diesel. Needless to say, we decided to fill the tank with 30 gallons, in hopes that the diesel is significantly cheaper when we get to Tonga. We now have about 100 gallons of diesel to last us until Tonga. That shouldn't be a problem considering we last filled our 150 gallon tank in La Cruz, Mexico. I added this up the other day: we've used almost 90 gallons of diesel in 3892 miles, since La Cruz. Also, we have traveled 5500 miles since we left San Francisco last September. California seems like a long time ago.
After a long day of lifting, filling, dumping, dinghing back and forth to the fuel dock, we told ourselves we earned a pizza dinner. Yep, we headed back over to our favorite pizza joint for the evening. We almost always leave our dinghy tied up to the little concrete dock in front of The Bali Hai Hotel. That evening, when we were walking through their courtyard towards the dinghy, the hotel was having Polynesian Dance night for their guests. Well, we found ourselves a nice place to sit and enjoy the show; in our minds, it would have been rude of us to start the dinghy outboard considering it was only 20 yards away from the dancing. The Polynesian women swayed their hips and moved their hands in a very graceful way while the men stomped to a more upbeat rhythm. It was a pretty good show to watch, especially since we didn't have to pay the premium price for room in order to see the show.