Blog 42. Tuesday, 3 May 2016. Papeete and Moorea. 17.30.22S 149.49.30W

David Batten
Fri 6 May 2016 00:49
A week has flown by since the last blog, where does the time go? On Wednesday 27 th we packed in as much sight seeing in Tahiti as can be done in one day with a hire car, including a walk up the Fautaua Valley, but not as far as the waterfall as time did not allow. We did circumnavigated Tahiti Nui, but not Tahiti Iti and managed most of the coastal features in the guide book. The interior of the Island is steep and densely wooded, with masses of waterfalls and no doubt fabulous birds, but there are few roads of any sort and a guide would be essential. It is a really beautiful place, with the coral reef providing a fringe of calm waters leading to impressive surf. Inland there is the flat coastal strip where most of the population live and the dramatic, steep and craggy interior, intensely green with lush vegetation and majestic trees. With dusk putting an end to sight seeing activities not long after 5.00pm, it was back to the boat in time for showers and 6 o'clocks before another excellent meal in the Vaiete Square Roulettes, courtesy of Tessa and Bridget who flew home that night.

Thursday 28. An early visit to the Carrefour while we still had the car for the heavy stores and then a go at the laundry. Not easy as the washing machines in the marina were pretty useless and the driers out of order and the rain pretty persistent. It was also WARC day for meeting the mayor and tourist officials and prize giving for the Pacific leg. A definite tinge of anti climax as far as we were concerned as, although we came third in class A after corrected time for handicap and motoring, there was absolutely no mention of being first boat into Hiva Oa, which we felt was our real achievement and no mention of Chilli B being second boat in as well as being the fastest boat in Class B with a crew of 3 including 2 women, a really fantastic achievement. However, there was a lovely memento for each boat from the mayor, a great presentation on sailing around the Society Islands and a wonderful display from some dancers followed by another supper at the Vaiete Square Roulettes. This time we dodged the rain by snuggling up to our chosen van even though most of the others had given up.

The next few days were spent giving the boat a much needed and really thorough clean, inside and on deck, getting the Suzuki outboard to work with a new spark plug courtesy of Laurent, refitting the partially mended stack pack, enjoying retail therapy at the market and finding some really light cotton shirts for the boys, while failing to find dresses for the girls. Anthony and Venetia did walk to the waterfall with Kate, Steve and Hannah from Blue Summit. It took them a good half a day and was quite an adventure and a guide would no doubt have stopped them on the grounds of unsuitable conditions. Much to the Skipper's Wife's delight, the laundry lady appeared on the pontoons looking for Mearra Nieida, so 3 large bags full were sent? We had 2 really exceptional meals ashore, one at Le Sully with Peter, Vicky and George from Carango and one at Le Soufflé courtesy of Anthony and Venetia. Thank you both very much, it was a meal to remember, especially the pistachio soufflé. It was also a brief chance to catch up with more WARC crews, such as Jason and Gail from Two Fish, who were next to us on The pontoon and say goodbye to Do Over, who has now left WARC.

There is no doubt very much more to see and do in Tahiti and we could have stayed doing boat jobs and more internet and exploring, but the WARC has a timetable, so today we left Tahiti for Morea and Cook's Bay. Only 17.6 miles, but with very little wind to start with and an incredibly rough sea between the 2 islands. The wind when it came was from the SSE, 15 to 22 knots and with a threat of rain as we approached the pass. It is well marked and sheltered from the usual prevailing winds from the east and today it was beautifully calm. We were the only boat in the bay when we anchored shortly after 11.00am in 14 m with masses of space and yet another spectacular view of craggy peaks and densely wooded, steep slopes. We were greeted by a Swamp Harrier and two Blue Reef herons, very special. After a lunch of bread, cheese and pâte, (the food shopping is very French!) we went ashore for an explore and experienced Polynesian welcome and generosity when given some pineapple and Rambutan by a local man and his wife after discussing the surrounding fields of pineapple. Evening social half hour was on Carango, with champagne to celebrate Vicky's birthday and fresh tuna for us afterwards, purchased in the market at Papeete.

Tomorrow we plan to walk to the Belvedere with Wishanger.

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Sent from my iPad