World CIRC - Day 123 May 11th Arriving in Moorea, Society Islands, French Polynesia

Steve and Lynda Cooke
Fri 13 May 2016 01:10
17:29S 149:50W

World CIRC - Day 122-123 May 10th to May 11th Moorea, Society Islands, French Polynesia

Moorea is a beautiful Island. An exotic paradise.
It is a great impressive series of five huge mountainous volcanic peaks with green lush vegetation sweeping down to the sea. This island was the inspiration for the film  South Pacific, Bali Hi.
We made the 20 mile trip across from Tahiti sailing sometimes, but mostly motor-sailing, arriving after noon, and travelling around the North coast to Opunohu bay.
Coming in through the channel poles indicating the entrance through the reef at the North of the island we entered the bay, looking for the yellow mooring buoys marked on the charts and told about during our briefing from the tourist authority.
There weren’t any.
We travelled the whole length of the bay looking for a likely anchorage, but finding depths of over 40m for most of the bay, right up to the banks at the sides, we decided to come out to the North East side of the reef at the entrance, where we found an excellent anchorage in 5m to 10m in sand, inside the reef.
We dropped our anchor in the crystal blue water, onto pristine white sand, to be joined immediately by three spotted eagle rays gliding under the boat.
We have also got a reef shark who swims around the boat.
These were quickly joined by three huge white spotted puffer fish, some 40cm long, who have been named by Karen and Lynda as Percy, Priscilla and Penny.
Percy chases the other two very slightly smaller puffer fish away from any food, but they come around behind him for their treats. Priscilla and/or Penny have taken to biting chunks out of the rubber padding of our stern steps, which must be very bad for them, and certainly bad for Nina.
The following day we hopped into the dinghy, and making our way ashore, we walked to the Hilton Hotel. What a totally beautiful setting. Like a film set.
We discovered we had arrived in time for happy hour, two-for-one cocktails! There was also to be Polynesian dancing and fire dancing later that evening.
We returned to Nina for dinner, then back to the Hilton, travelling over the very shallow reef, to the dinghy dock, where we tied up and prepared for a great evenings entertainment of hula wiggling and macho posturing, accompanied by great rhythmic drums and chanting. The evening was a great success, which is sure to be repeated.
On queue, the heavens opened, and we returned to Nina, back through the reef, with everyone peering into the shallows to avoid the reef bommies, through the pouring rain.