Tahiti - Land of Pleasure
16 May 2009 | Tahiti, French Polynesia
Happy 10th Birthday to Cole! Turning ten in Tahiti. Wow. The day started early, you parents know what "early" means. It was an awesome family day in French Polynesia. After 2 days of ocean passage from the Tuamotus, Zen cleared into Tahiti on Saturday afternoon. Our eyes drank in the scene: large tankers moored in an active shipping port, incoming 747's flying overhead, and the fast paced auto highway bordering the reef fringed pass. Welcome back to civilization after many weeks in the atolls. Originally, we thought of bypassing Papeete, Tahiti altogether, hearing it was dirty, hectic and theft-ridden. At the last minute, we decided it would be a shame to come this far and not make a stop. After a few evenings of parallel boat parking in very tight anchorages we decided to take a slip at a beautiful marina for a few nights. It was 3 days of terrific food, friends and minor boat projects being checked off our list. Very satisfying. Provisioning, propane, fuel, tools, and laundry, "check". Wednesday's weather looked good, we said goodbye to our buddies and tried to take Zen down to the Billabong Int'l Surf Competition. "Try" is the keyword. As we rounded the bottom of the Island about 15 miles away, we were slammed with opposing 30kt wind and 8 foot waves. Sunlight was necessary for entering the pass and the opposing wind and waves would not allow us to arrive before sundown. No big deal, we cut our losses and headed back to the spot we had just departed. Guess it was a good thing, later that evening we rec'd an email detailing some seriously bad news regarding Monique's grandmother's health. After some international cell calls, hemming and hawing, the flights were booked and Monique left Zen to support her family back in the US. A family friend quickly gave Monique leis made of shells before departing Tahiti. Local tradition claims they are needed to guide her safe return. Monique arrived home safely after 18 hours of travel. Her Grandmother is doing better but still not out of the woods. Prayers for Etta are welcome and appreciated.
Life has continued on Zen. Cammi is finishing her final tests for the school year and Cole is close behind so the day after Monique departed we joined our friends on a boat named Carl Linne for an afternoon sail. The picture above was taken by Capt. Greg as we relaxed on the bow net of this beautiful 100 foot sloop. Just another day in Paradise. More about our adventures in Tahiti later....