19 June 2017 | Hurepiti Bay
Blog 19 June
The raw water pump has, thus far, functioned perfectly. As I mentioned, the quantity of water issuing from the exhaust supports our idea that the bearings in the old pump were failing and the extra torque needed to rotate the pump caused the metal fatigue that finished the pump's useful life. And on that matter, the coupling still has not arrived!
We spent last night in Ha'amene Bay, on a mooring. We paid for the mooring, of course, and enjoyed a peaceful night.
Conni had made arrangements for us to eat at the Taha'a Maitai restaurant, owned and run by Bruno Francois, a Cordon Blu-trained chef. We ordered the "Prix fixe" meal, a three course extravaganza with drinks, the lovely fish pate or mahi-mahi carpaccio, then each of us ordered the mahi-mahi in vanilla sauce, followed by fresh fruit sorbet or a chocolate decadence dessert with lots of whipped cream. There were three sorbets and one chocolate dessert....I had the chocolate! This was Debbie's and Philippe's first exposure to fish in vanilla sauce and both of them were taken by the unique flavor of the dish. We had our first taste on Rangiroa several years ago and have loved it since.
At 5:30AM on Sunday morning, some rascal young people began playing very good but very loud French rap. I didn't complain about the choice, only the volume and timing. It persisted until 7:00AM, and we were all awake. The citizens of Ha'amene have a youth problem with which they are not dealing. They'll lose the cruising customers if they don't act.
The weather was nice, so we motored around the East side of Taha'a, along the North side with its great views of Bora Bora, then along the West side, finally stopping to try some snorkeling at a recommended location. With nothing but flat white sand to be seen, we motored back to where Wings awaited us, still with her engine running for a quick getaway. If we had dragged, shallow water was close by.
We motored on to Hurepiti Bay, and a mooring owned by the Vanilla Tour folks whose tour last year we had so enjoyed. We hopped in the dinghy for a 8:00AM tour departure. A Moorings catamaran had joined us during the early evening, carrying 8 Californians, all members of the Santa Barbara sailing club. They were nice people, very good sailors, and good company on the tour.
When we finally returned to the tour home, it was raining small animals and we all got drenched returning to the boat. I had to use a borrowed bucket to remove the 10-inches of accumulated rain water before we could depart the tour dock! The tour owner on whose mooring we had spent the night had asked that we clear his mooring for possible tour guests, which we did. Shoot, he said that 95% of his customers arrive by boat and he depends on the moorings as an enticement!
Lovely Conni prepared another sundowner spread and then a nice dinner. With so much rain, the solar panels had done little to lessen our fridge deficit, so two hours of generator time was needed to refill the banks.
As part of the tour, we dropped by PariPari, a new business in Tapuamu Bay, which we know well, having stayed there many times. The business makes a variety of products using only locally-sourced ingredients. Their coconut oil is cold pressed and their rum is distilled from local cane juice, unlike most rum distillers. The rum is simply delicious and a true hand-made product. They crush the cane in small batches using small machinery, and buy cane from a large number of local family growers. The cane juice is fermented using indigenous yeasts, then distilled using a tiny German-made still, a beautiful stainless steel and brass affair. They sell white, 3-month aged rum, and a rum that's been aged 6 months. They're working on an 18 month and 3-year types, too, but the business isn't old enough to have either rum! We bought a bottle of the 6-month-old rum that's slightly orange-colored. For the aging, they're using Jack Daniels casks! My, those things get around!
We'll say goodbye to Vanilla Tours and Hurepiti Bay and motor through Passe Paipai, a pass through Taha'a's reef that we've never used. Once out, we'll sail to Bora Bora. The weather is predicted to be good and more importantly, turns to crap on Thursday! By then, we'll be enjoying the hospitality of the Bora Bora Yacht Club. Debbie and Philippe depart on Saturday, flying to Papeete and then home. Nate and Val will fly into Bora Bora and we'll meet them on Sunday. It's a fast turnaround for guests! D and P just get too seasick and the weather will be too rough for us to subject them to an overnight sail to Papeete. I am hoping to post this on Bora Bora.