Inconsiderate Cruisers, Avea Bay
05 December 2020
Avea Bay is the southern anchorage inside the Huahine Lagoon. It is about seven miles south of the main village to the north, Fare. Sandy beaches surround the anchorage dotted by small but picturesque pensions (guest houses). Hotel Le Mahana anchors the bay, a beautiful, exclusive hotel. They graciously provide a dinghy dock and generously allow cruisers to use it. Next to Le Mahana is a family run restaurant known for their large Sunday Polynesian buffets.
Huahine Iti, the smaller of the two islands, is a great biking island. We dinghied our bikes ashore and had a nice ride on the smooth, perimeter road. When we returned to Avea, we wanted to find a place to lock our bikes. We anticipated staying a few days and doing more bike riding. Lisa wanted to try the restaurant for lunch so we decided to ask them if we could keep our bikes in their extensive grounds. We explained we were going to come for lunch on Wednesday, the owner readily agreed and told us where to lock the bikes.
Kjell and Kaia used our bikes as well, locking them in the restaurant yard. Wednesday came around and we were the only customers for lunch. Lunch was superb. We had tuna sashime, carpaccio and grilled. The French fries were also world class and the Hinano beer cold. But nothing beat the sauce vanille for the grilled tuna....and fries! Vanilla sauce is a speciality of FP and we order it whenever we can. The owner beamed as we heaped compliments on the meal. We spoke with his children, petted and fed his dogs at our table and waved and smiled at his granddaughter.
As I was paying the bill, the owner's smiles abruptly changed. He told us we had to remove our bikes. I asked if we could keep them there until tomorrow. No, they had to be removed now. We just could not understand the change in attitude toward us, his only customers. We were even considering staying a few extra days to try their Sunday buffet but not after the “dessert” served by the owner.
Days later, Kjell, Kaia, Lisa and I could not figure out what we did wrong. One theory was that he suggested we order the Parrot Fish he had. No, we preferred tuna (actually, I would have ordered Parrot Fish but he said the fish was for two people). Perhaps it was feeding the dogs. Still, we were perplexed and still are. We reviewed our behavior and couldn't find our faux pas.
No matter. We love Huahine and everyone here. As I bike around the island and pass Juilanna's fruit stand she screams out, “Popeye, I'm going to marry you!” And who doesn't love two ladies out in their canoe, wearing bikinis and couronne de tete of flowers fishing on a Wednesday afternoon. Their cooler had much more beer than fish. Yes, we love it here and chalk up the minor rudeness as a cultural misunderstanding.