Astra Blog: Huahine 13.08.08 - 16.08.08

Jeremy & Sally Paul
Mon 8 Sep 2008 03:51

Astra Blog: Huahine 13.08.08 – 16.08.08



Wednesday 13.08.08


It was not a particularly pleasant crossing to Huahine (pronounced Wah-heeny) on account of squally weather; Oli and Ash had to gybe at 0115 in a squall as the wind direction changed and was forcing us the wrong side of Huahine. At 0415 we entered the pass and anchored in the middle of a squall with pouring rain.


The situation improved as day broke to reveal a beautiful island and the arrival of Arcadia, so we would have some playmates! We had planned to go on a little walk but the idea was soon aborted as the crew of Arcadia joined us in a beautiful overwater bar for a hearty and prolonged lunch.


Instead we decided on an afternoon in the water. Ash and Arcadia’s Steph went for a dive in the pass, followed later by Sally and Oli who saw the most enormous shark they have ever seen! George went for a snorkel for the first time since he had his stitches put in with Jeff from Ogopogo and some other members of Arcadia. 


Later on Ash and Steph joined Henry (O-ring specialist) for a surf on the reef (literally) before all three returned to Astra, for a cracking dinner cooked by Sally.


Thursday 14.08.08


At midday five went biking: Oli, George, Ash, Jeff (Ogopogo) and Steph (Arcadia) procured some bikes and set off from the charming village of Fare. Originally Oli and George had planned to take a tandem but the idea was jettisoned after about 10 minutes as they decided that it might become quite tiring on the uphill sections and provide balance difficulties as the day progressed.


The two landmasses of Huahine Nui and Huahine Iti (greater and lesser Huahine) are joined by a narrow isthmus. The plan was to cycle down the west coast of the former, and then circumnavigate the latter by means of the coastal road. After almost three hours cycling in the heat of the day, the intrepid cyclists stopped for a much needed drinks break. One hinano led to another and before long it was time to put aching backsides back on the saddle and get a little further around the island before stopping for the evening.


Before long another Hinano stop was called for. Unfortunately the courtyard entrance to a suitable looking establishment was seen a little on the late side: Steph went in first, braking hard causing Ash to go into the back of her; Jeff and George came through another entrance and slid across the gravel into the two already-horizontal cyclists; and, to the added bemusement of the onlookers, Oli added his bike to the pile-up whilst shouting “Cest une blague!” Quite an entrance.


They decided that this was perhaps an appropriate stopping time for the evening so parked the bikes and sat at a table outside the restaurant overlooking the lagoon and set about the serious business of rehydrating whilst the sun went down. Exhausted from the ride, the cyclists ended up variously in a tent, in a hammock, in a barn and in the shared bedroom of a “third son”, the last of these being Jeff’s story: I am sure that if you ever have the pleasure of meeting him, he will be glad to tell you.        


Friday 15.08.08


Steph needed to be back aboard Arcadia in the morning so she formed an advance party with Ash and Jeff whilst Oli and George took a little longer to recuperate and decided that they might take another day to cycle around the island.


In the afternoon Astra moved down to Baie d’Avea in the south to meet/rescue George and Oli who had eventually decided on a leisurely day’s rest on sun loungers. They were having such a peaceful time that they did not notice Astra anchor 50 yards away until she had been there for over an hour! Ash, who had stayed in Fare, caught up later with a mammoth auto-stop effort – there really is no limit to how willing the locals are to help out when it comes to giving a ride.


Saturday 16.08.08


George and Oli had their bicycles to return so they made their way back to Fare whilst Astra made the same journey by sea. Stopping briefly to catch up with some members of Ino who had appeared while we were off on our tour de l’isle they ended up arriving on the dock at the same time Astra came into the anchorage. It was to be a short-lived reunion with Ino, however, as we were due to leave for Taha’a at midday.


Leaving on schedule, we set off for Taha’a, the Vanilla Isle. The short crossing was made in 4.5 hours with only one fish to keep us busy: a 27lb – our largest to date - skipjack tuna caught on “Jet Head 3”. If you haven’t seen the photo yet you should – one very pretty large fish and two grinning idiots much in need of haircuts!


We anchored at 1630 at Haamene Village, Taha’a. After quickly nipping ashore to reconnoitre the bar we returned to feast on an excellent tuna dinner cooked by Oli.