We left the beautiful Moorea for yet another Society Island. Lovely sail between the two islands of just 90 miles. Found an anchorage in Cook's bay all to ourselves in good holding because it was a little way from the main town and the water was green, not the crystal clear turquoise of the lagoon anchorages.
With just a 10 minute tender ride to Te Marara for half price happy hour Maitais, watching the sun set over the pass, Bora Bora and Raiatea, Huahine worked her magic. Another skipper we had met in Panama admitted to us that they had just learnt to relax and spent a day on the boat doing nothing (we both learnt this skill months ago!) for the first time in Huahine. Everyone says that Huahine is how Tahiti used to be. Huahine is described by our guide book as having it all, untouched beaches, isolated coves, enchanted lagoons, killer reef breaks and a massive complex of pre-european marae:
We walked to this site and hitchhiked back. The lift was interesting - the pick-up had no doors, Caroline had to tuck her dog-chewed seatbelt under her arm 'for the Gendarmes', even though the door pillar wasn't actually attached to the cab body and the engine was stopped by disconnecting the hotwire. A charming lady, mad as a box of frogs, she would have invited us for dinner if we had planned to be there next time her husband went fishing.
The following day we were picked up (we weren't actually hitching) by two locals who insisted on driving us (a 6 mile detour for them) firstly to the Belvedere, then on to feed the sacred blue-eyed eels. They organised the food for the eels and everything for us. We were careful to say 'hello' in Polynesian (ia ora'na) here as the French are not popular in all the islands (it took them 10 years of fighting to colonise this part only 150 years ago).
Polynesian hospitality, a laid back atmosphere a sleepy island meant Caroline didn't want to leave.