Fare: Huahine

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Wed 12 Jun 2013 01:42
16:43.21S 151:02.36W   Fare, Huahine
Huahine is our first of the Leeward islands of French Polynesia.  Like Raiatea and Bora-Bora, this island is made up of a mountainous centre, surrounded by a calm "lagoon" which is protected from the outer ocean by a barrier reef.  Huahine is actually 2 islands, connected by a short bridge.  There are a number of cuts through the reef that are used to enter the lagoon. Below is an aerial view of the island. We are anchored between the two passes on the west (right of pic) close to the main town of Fare.  We have had a few days of rain, and Mike's water-catcher has been working overtime. Although we have a very efficient Watermaker on board, there is something about collecting fresh free rainwater, that is irresistible!
Fare is the main town, servicing the island population of only 6000 locals and a few tourists. Once again we are amazed at how fortunate the people of French Polynesia are - the local supermarket is HUGE - with an amazing assortment.  In true French style there is a broad choice of good quality wines, cheeses, cold meats, pates, condiments, sauces, steak, duck, lamb, etc, etc. The shop fittings are also fairly sophisticated, with them even having electronic shelf edge pricing!   How is it that Simonstown (our home town) cannot get it together to have a decent grocery!?  
On Saturday we went to the local waterfront restaurant for "happy hour" and dinner - our first one of those in a while. It was a beautiful sunset and we enjoyed our MaiTai's, followed by roast duck and steak.
The island is very popular with surfers - who surf various breaks on the outer reef. Yesterday Mike and I dinghied out to watch them for a while. The locals paddle out to the reef (1km from the land), catch a few waves and paddle back, unless they catch a passing boat like us. We gave two very fit & friendly guys a lift back.
Today we took the dinghy about 20kms around the southern half of the island - a 3 hour enjoyable ride! We came across some men loading melons on a boat (which they farmed on a small islet) - we asked to buy some, but they happily gave us 3 for free.  The colour of the water on the south side is incredible - light transparent blue, reminding us of the Bahamas.  As you get to a deeper patch, the colour gets much darker - as you can see in the pic below.
Only downside here - is that I managed to "put my neck out" - in my sleep!  When I woke, the muscles were in spasm and it was very painful to turn my head. Unfortunately there are no Chiropractors here (who usually sort out this issue for me in a few minutes), so I have been doctoring myself with various drugs. I should have the pain and stiffness sorted out in a day or two and then I will just deal with limited movement until I find someone who can re-align the vertibrae.  Rats!  Hope nothing approaches at speed from the starboard side!