Freddies' Guest Blog Part 1 ( pictures to come)
Hey there all you lovely people reading this!
Today the blog has been hijacked! So, for all you who has been eagerly awaiting the ol’ captain to write another post, I hope you’re not too disappointed because this time will be different. This time it’s all me. Today we’re going Freddie style!
So, who am I then? Who is this mysterious Freddie character? For those who don’t know, I am Captains skipper in the biological sense of the word and have currently had the privilege to take a brief part in his Aroundtheworld Sailing Adventure and with that enjoy some good ol’ father-son time in the paradise known as French Polynesia.
Since having the privilege to being the only crew member on S/Y Lisanne for almost a month I feel it is my duty to write at least one post, sharing some of the highlights of my stay onboard. I know you are used to a whole lot of sailing talk and if you have been anticipating knots, m/s and navigation kind of stuff, hate to have to disappoint you but you are now reading the words of the young (but ever so handsome and smart) man who coined the famous term “stop sailing, start living”. Just sayin’. With that said, I will do my best to make this blogpost worthwhile and deliver an exciting and entertaining read about our day of our lives in Tahiti and Moorea. Follow me along as we take a trip into the city of Papeete, the high mountains of Tahiti and the blue, crystal clear waters of Moorea. Here we go!
Let’s start from the beginning. After a long and tiredsome trip from Sweden I finally arrived at Papeete airport. My initial reaction (except FINALLY!) is that “oh ****, it’s hot!” even though it was early, early morning (could also be the fact that I was wearing clothes fit for Swedish summer). Of course, I couldn’t be happier, considering I’m not exactly spoiled with this kind of climate where I’m from. Upon arrival, I’m met by a rugged, silvergrey-bearded sailorman (also known as dad), who takes me to the fine Oyster that will be my home for the following four weeks. At this point I was also introduced to my fellow shipmates Klas and Mike who been crew on the boat for a couple of months but was heading back home in a few days. Even though the trip was somewhat of a struggle, I could now finally relax. So long pants and shoes, and hello shorts and flip-flops! Let the vacation begin!
I must admit, the first couple of days were kind of a haze, considering the jetlag and time difference, but since I’d entered vacation-mode it didn’t do that much being a bit tired and lazy around the boat. And I must say it went surprisingly well. Waking up and going to bed early is actually quite nice and going up before the sun (and temperature) rises leaves you some time to be productive before the midday heat streak. After one night in one of the Marinas in Papeete, we lifted anchor and set sail towards Moorea. Considering we will return to Moorea later on, I will save some of the details for later, but for now let’s just say that Moorea is an absolutely beautiful green, lush Island surrounded by amazingly clear, light blue water. Talk about potential for some amazing snorkeling and I can tell you all that I was not disappointed. It was really cool to see the sharks and stingrays close. You can even feed them directly from your hands and if you’re lucky they may even offer a hug in return. If you’re unlucky, well…
After a few days cruising around Moorea, it was time to head back to Tahiti to drop of Klas and Mike. Even though we all have had a good time together, it was nice to be just the two Alfredsons aboard. Instead of sailing directly, we chose to stay in Tahiti for the whole week, but this time we decided to stay in the town Marina. This proved to be a very good decision. Now we were close to all the excitement the city had to offer. And as an extra, much appreciated bonus, the marina was just next to this wonderfully beautiful park, complete with outdoor fun, nice trails and of course amazingly beautiful scenery. It was very nice to have this oasis so close to home because in whole, Papeete is a very busy town with constant loud traffic and 24/7 citylife. You’d be surprised how much cars, scooters, etc. there actually is in this town. However, as with most other things, you quickly get used to it.
One frequently attended place was the towns marketplace, which every day had a multitude of different stands selling everything from fresh fruit and new-caught seafood to handcrafts, souvenirs and local specialties (see pics). if you’re like me, you’d love the atmosphere and the opportunity to buy fresh and (for us) exotic produce that you otherwise would have to pay a fortune for and that’d been shipped for days. In Papeete there is also a wealth of shops and restaurants to suit all tastes. But before you go on a shopping/eating spree be aware, prices in French Polynesia are often times the same if not higher than they are at home. Even at the marketplace or at the local food-trucks, where you’d expect to get a good bargain you ‘d be surprised. But hey, that’s the price you pay for being in this amazing, humid place on the other side of the globe.
Another highlight, that I just had to do while being in Tahiti was Parapont. That is basically French for paragliding and boy was it worth it! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a view like that and then I have to point out that I have on the top of sugar Mountain in Rio de Janeiro as well as skydived in Hawaii (ok, that one comes close in awesomeness). However, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Let’s just say it was frickin’ amazing!
After a week of citylife in Papeete, me and the ol’ Captain felt full and satisfied, and ready to head back to Moorea. However, on the last day, the day for scheduled departure, I was doing my morning exercise routine in the park when I noticed how something was going on. There were construction workers scattered around the park, setting up speakers and stuff and I could clearly notice that something big is going down tonight. And, just as I thought, there was a party in town. Apparently, there was a huge Independence Day celebration going on (or Autonomy Day to be more precise) and of course we couldn’t miss that. So, we simply cancelled the departure and booked one more night in the marina. Time to party!
So, after taken the final decision we headed out on town to see all the hullaballoo. If we thought that Papeete was fairly crowded as it was, today was almost ridiculous. Apparently, people from all around Tahiti as well as Moorea came to central Papeete to celebrate, something that became quite clear after trying to stroll the streets for a while. There was going to be a huge parade, marching through town but as much else in this part of the world, planning things and sticking to schedules is not priority A. After waiting for about two hours, seeing more and more people joining the growing but never starting parade, we finally gave up and took a drink instead a bar close by.
However, the highlight of the celebration was later in the evening. There you can talk about a parade (see pics), and to top it all of there was a bands playing all through the park and at the far end of the park there was this huge house music festival, that I greatly enjoyed. The Captain… mmm, not so much.
So there you have it friends! Part one of this two-part days in our lives in Tahiti and Moorea guest blog. I will try to not stall too much until next iteration, but a man’s got to work you know. With that said, next time you can look forward to a deep dive into the amazing nature-life of beautiful Moorea as well as some fun-filled Polynesian activities during the Oyster meetup. Stay tuned.
Until next time I wish you all the best!