22 April 2008 | Gabriella
08/4/29 Raiatea, Society Islands French Polynesia
One last swim in Moorea before setting sail at 2p.m. for Riatea reveals a coral with yellow tips. A yellow so bright it caught my attention to look closer . I was met by the largest eel I have seen so far. I greeted him with a scream through my snorkel and retreated to safety by swimming quickly toTed. Feeling safe and secure we swim on. Ted is curious of the sea where my curiosity turns to a raised heart beat on more than one occasion. The next new creature I see is a fish on the bottom blending into the sand that looks like it has angel wings instead of fins. Ted dives down to get a closer look and the fish opens its wings like a butterfly and swims off looking like an airplane in flight.
Sailing through the night was very pleasant as it was calm , so calm that sailing is the wrong term. We motored across to Raiatea. The moon was full and the air refreshingly cool after the sun went down, yes, it was heavenly. My eyes missed most of the beauty because the gentle rock of the sea from the swell was so comforting I fell into a deep sleep. The rest was so enjoyable I stayed in that state until morning soaking up the peaceful sea, rocked like a baby in the arms of a loving mother.
At 9 a.m. we tied up to the dock in Raiate after a 19 hour motor! Hearing the singing from the church I now know it is Sunday. Stepping out on to a dock, having the luxury to come and go as I please has been along time. I remember it has been since. Jan. back in Panama at Shelter Bay Marina. This lasted about one hour as it is more of a cruise ship port plus everything is closed on Sunday so we decided to move on.
We raced with Crisis Mode over here to Raiatea and they have found a place to anchor with a good surf break so here we are and it is definitely more pleasant than the dock. Trevor went surfing with Todd and Joe while Ted and Bill caught up on sleep. The interest here looks to be the small island, as the coral I see is debris. While snorkeling around it appears as a grave yard and to my surprise the life that appears is the granddaddy of eels. I could see his entire body and it compared to my leg! Farther down the way I see a sea snake and the sight of me scared him. I did evetually walk around the island and it was yards of broken coral piled around the entire exterior. Looking for shells I found the most perfect small brown and white shell. The crab who resided inside refused to move out so as I came across another very interesting shell I decided to give the crab his freedom.
Gabriella under the stars quietly anchored hosted dinner. Todd, Joe, and Lynn from Crisis Mode joined us . Pasta con carne and veggie special was our main dish with Lynn creating the most delicious apple grape cabbage salad partnered with Joe's outrageous mozzarella production every bite a savored delight. I look forwards to company on board. It is interesting and fun to hear the adventures and journeys of others. You meet so many wonderful people along the way and it is nice to be able to share part of yourself and your life too. While sailing I find that people truly are meant to live in relationship with one another. I believe I have a much higher value on friendship since I left Florida. I believe we as people need people that it is healthy. How could you have check mate in chess if you had no one else to make a move? A mind alone can be in bad company and find much trouble all by its self. How amazing don't you think? At least I myself can drift off when left to my own so called good ideas, thinking!
Back to sailing, dinner was great and morning has come! Monday morning and the men are having a good surf before we hit town. Dinghying to town, the cruise ship town, pearls are in the windows and flowered clothing-wraps drape the streets. Woman carry bags of french bread while milling around. It is over priced lunch and time to leave!
Arriving Gabriella , Trevor desires one more surf session and so it is. He has had great success enjoying the waves and now we are moving on and arrive Tahaa the next island north. The water is deep,140 feet a stones throw away from shore. Picking up a floating mooring ball Gabriella is set for the night. Ashore is "Taravana Yacht Club Tahaa" and on arrival no one is to be found. Ted and I look around all is quiet. The big bamboo furniture is calling my name. Sitting in the open air lounge just Ted and I. I start to sink into the red and white fluffy cushion it is instant ecstasy as I close my eyes I hear birds and the wind, it is so peaceful . My whole being vibrates tranquility. The building is open air pictures hang on the wall telling stories of fishing and people enjoying life. It is like being in a home. Nothing is moving all is quiet. I remember this too has been along time.