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Date: 19 Jul 2012 03:49:05
Title: All change

Lat 17:30.25S
Lon 149:49.21W

So much has happened in the last few days I have to look back through my photos to make sure I haven't missed anything in this blog! After Jamie and Ilana left, Dad, Archie and I spent another morning in Papeete visiting the famous market which we hadn't seen yet. Before we arrived in Tahiti I thought this market would be a great place to pick up lots of fresh fruit and veggies, however, since finding out that there is a massive Carrefour supermarket on the other side of Papeete I'm afraid to say that the local farmers largely missed out to the international hypermarket because of the convenience factor. However, we did pick up a few things and a few souvenirs, and I decided to buy a Ukelele having been inspired by the boys on Saltbreaker playing theirs around the campfire. I really want to learn, although Archie is sceptical that I will ever get around to it (and 6 days later it is still in bubble wrap) but I have downloaded a few things from the internet and I certainly have the time so I really hope I do start playing. It's not very often that we sit still though!

Seeing as the dock in town is right by the road, most boats clear in here and then move around to the west of the island past the airport to Marina Taina. We decided to do the same - it's near Carrefour and the airport for our upcoming crew change, and there were also some Bastille Day festivities happening nearby. The channel inside the reef goes right past the airport so you have to radio for clearance before you can cross either end of the runway! We decided to take a berth in the marina rather than anchor outside like most boats do, as we have had a leaky dinghy for a couple of months now and thought it would be a good opportunity to keep it dry for a few days and fix it properly. Plus it also makes provisioning a lot easier when you can wheel the trolley right to the back of the boat! The marina is completely modern and overrun with French people, both clients and staff. It was quite strange and we felt like we could have been in Europe. However, the plus side was that there are 3 different restaurants serving yummy French food and a couple of cool bars from where we enjoyed cocktails watching the sunset over Moorea. It was really quite civilised and cocktails were all half price meaning that we could actually afford to drink a few!

Sunset drinks looking towards Moorea

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Cocktail bar at the marina

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Saturday was Bastille Day and after some boat cleaning and dinghy repairing, and not before Archie threw dinghy glue all over the deck (!) we headed over to the Museum of Tahiti where there were competitions in traditional sports being held. Taxi's are notoriously expensive on Tahiti, so we were advised the best way to get there was to hitch a lift! It was surprisingly easy, especially after Dad told us how he used to do it back in the day - be somewhere they can pull over, smile and look them in the eye! A nice local woman picked us up in her truck and dropped us at the entrance of the museum which luckily was close to her home. Earlier in the day there had been Coconut tree climbing races, and we saw javelin throwing where the target was a coconut on a 10m high stick, and also stone lifting where some fairly stacked young men were lifting stones up to 104kg onto their shoulders! It was quite fun and there were loads of people watching, locals and tourists. On the way back we walked back to the main road and again hitched a lift back to Carrefour this time for the big shop. Another 500 bucks later I had some new clothes and we had a trolley full of food for the next few weeks, and Dad's patience was wearing thin!

Javelin throwing

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On Sunday morning, Harry and David arrived and it was great to see them. They'd had a cushy night in Le Meridien after a late arriving flight, so were eager to get going and get in the water! We all had a good lunch in one of the marina restaurants, and then it was time to set sail for Moorea, and say our goodbyes to Dad, who was flying out that night. It was a bit teary for me - I haven't ever spent so much time with my Dad so it was weird when it was finally time to say goodbye and leave him on the dock as we sailed away! It has been great having him on the boat and I'm so glad that he came with us for the first 3 months of our trip. He always brought the wind with his watch and was a great fisherman, always doing the dirty job of getting the fish on board and gutting it! He was also the best cook on board so we will have to start looking after ourselves now!

Old Crew

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Bye Dad!

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New crew!

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As we left Tahiti, Harry and David couldn't resist and jumped off the boat for a quick swim as we were going through the pass out the reef. It was a big holiday weekend for the locals and there were hundreds of them out on boats just chilling out on the reef, participating in canoe racing, or eating and drinking in makeshift huts they have built over the reef. As we got away from the shelter of the island, the wind we thought had been blowing for a few days really kicked in hard. We had seen on the forecast that it was meant to be blowing 30 knots from the East but we had been so sheltered in the marina where there wasn't a breath of air. We saw it coming though and reefed early, just before 32 knots filled our sails - the most wind we have had all trip since March! The trip to Moorea took no time despite some big swell and a couple of reefs in both the sails. We anchored in Cooks Bay again, and made plans to tour the island on scooters the next day.

Arriving into Cooks Bay, Moorea, at sunset - no clouds this time!

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