Back in Tahiti 28C and sunny!
Alan Franklin/Lynne Gane
Thu 18 Jun 2015 21:47
As always our time in the UK seems to fly, it was lovely to catch up with our sons and daughter, and many friends. I am asked what I miss about England and it is family and friends foremost, English summers (thats the sunny days!) being able to stand under the shower without worrying about how much water I’m using, supermarkets with everything I need (or almost), English pubs and ale, not breaking into a permanent sweat and relative freedom from biting insects! But of course with nearly 12 months of warm weather whilst away, I have grown used to the warmth, and I was reminded of this each and every day whilst back home as the cool northerly/easterly winds kept the temperature below 20C for much of the time. I wore all my warmest clothes for the entire time! What was I thinking of to only take summer clothes!
Our journey back was just over 25 hours landing this morning at 5am, 26C and heavy rain! Its lovely now, probably 28C with a light breeze here in the marina. We and our baggage made it safely although taking several bags of boats spares posed its own problems each time we went through security as the bags were searched, the wires and cylinders, watermaker parts looking very suspicious. Thank goodness I booked the later connecting flight from LA airport to Tahiti, our flight from gatwick landed late and it took 2.75 hours to go through passport control, collect the baggage, through customs and immigration, check into our next flight, go through security again and get to the flight gate, so beware of connecting flights especially in the USA. For those of you thinking of visiting, you need a visa waiver or ESTA approval, (apply online more than 72 hours before travel, current price $14 each). Signs around LA airport proudly claim to be working hard to make our customer experience run smoothly……mmm think they have a way to go yet as there are no transit facilities and you have no alternative but to check into the country and then check out. We were also told if we didn’t have an onward address we couldn’t fly, so somewhere there’s The Boat, Papeete, Tahiti, recorded, honestly what a pilaver. And at Tahiti the passport, immigration and customs check took less than 5 minutes, unhindered by the threat of terrorism.
Airlines, thoroughly recommend Air Tahiti Nui, lovely service, good meals, welcome packs of blanket, pillow, eye shades, headphones, all complimentary. Even managed to sleep for a few hours. The Norwegian air shuttle, is certainly a budget service although still a fair price (£700) and everything else is extra. The blanket (air conditioning cranked up to freezing), began to seem good value at $5 by comparison with the food offering. Having not realised that we needed to pre-order tray meals, other snacks and drinks were served 2 hours after take off by ordering off the seat screen. By the wonders of streamlined service, all food options except cheese sandwiches at $10 were unavailable and these were dry. Drinks and 2 sandwiches were over £25!!!! We ate my carry on emergency cake for breakfast. I shall be filling in the feedback form! The overall journey jet lag was worse coming to the UK, it took a whole week for my sleep patterns to recover. Having returned, the time differences work in our favour and I am hoping we shall feel Ok.
Over the next few days we are taking part in the Pacific Puddle Jump rally between Tahiti and Moorea, looks like a good itinerary of social and cultural events. So its time to top up the fridge with a trip to Carrefore’s down the road and to put the boat back together as it starts tomorrow.
All our best,
Lynne and Alan