Fishing in Lagoon, Tahiti

Dick and Irene Craig
Tue 4 May 2010 19:50
We left the anchorage at Tahanea shortly after 7am to ensure that we would be able to exit the pass during slack water. The wind was still blowing up to 22knots and the water through he pass looked as though it was boiling. The current didn't exceed 2.5 knots against us though the water fell as low as 4metres below the hull, at one stage.
Once out of the lagoon and in safe water, we raised the parasailor.
Quite typically, the strong winds that we have been experiencing while at anchor now departed and we once again struggled to maintain sufficient speed for us to arrive at Papeete, Tahiti during the morning of Tuesday 27th April.
Leaving the atoll, large birds flew around our boat. They were very beautiful, so streamlined with brownish beige colored plumage and having such fun gliding along on the wind pattern altered by the parasailor. An aerial version of the dolphins really.
As we made passage on the first day, we passed an atoll, to starboard, upon which a large ship had been shipwrecked. The entire ship looked as if it was just sitting on top of the atoll. There was another wreck also close by but not as spectacularly posed as the former.
We haven't been fishing whilst we have been cruising this area because the fish eat the coral and are poisonous. Larger fish eat the smaller fish which then causes them to be poisonous. This doesn't apply to all the fish but one needs local knowledge to be able to ascertain those which are safe to eat and those which are not. As we do not need the fish, having adequate provisions on board, we have played it safe. In fact, the provisioning has been spot on and having depleted the frozen food, it will be possible to defrost the freezer while on the homeward leg to Papeete as well as finish up the fresh fruit and vegetables before arriving in Tahiti. This will make life much simpler on arrival as far as importing food stuff is concerned.
The new parasailor has a hole in it so we had to take it down and replace it with the original, smaller parasailor.
We arrived at Venus Point around 9pm on the 27th and with the full moon due on the morrow, had plenty of light to see the breakers on the reef, thus anchoring safely in the calm waters.
When Cook came to Tahiti late 18th century, he also anchored here.
Next morning, leaving the anchorage, we motored just over five nautical miles to the marina where we picked up two lazy lines taking each forward, one to the port bow, the other starboard, then tied up, stern to the pontoon.
As soon as we had completed lunch we went ashore to the designated area where we were to meet up with the rest of the fleet at 2pm. There followed a skippers briefing which included information relating to cruising the Society islands and then some fun dinghy sailing and canooing.
At 5pm we followed the band from the side-walk next to the marina, to the town hall for drinks, entertainment, prize giving and nibbles.
The dancers were excellent and very glamorous. The prize giving lots of fun and the nibbles delicious as well as quite extensive such that we needed no further food that
Next day we went on a tour of the very green, tropically lush island. 120 kilometres around the coast road circumnavigates the main island of Tahiti.
We visited a site where until the missionaries persuaded the local people otherwise, human sacrifices were the norm. We visited exotic gardens with natural waterfalls, grottos and streams/rivers. We admired the display as the water from the sea rushed out through the bore hole. We enjoyed the Gauguin museum despite the pictures having been removed while the air conditioning is installed. This was planned for 2008 but work has not yet commenced.
On Friday we moved the boat to Taina marina, located close to Carrefour. On arriving at the marina, we first filled the fuel tanks before mooring stern to against the concrete pontoon. Some of us attended the festivities and activities associated with what was, a traditional Maori sports day.
Late afternoon, Dick and I walked to Carrefour and loaded to overflowing, two huge trolleys which we wheeled back to the boat. The intention was easier than the deed which, due to the uneven paths with questionable camber. Noticing our struggle, a Canadian chap and his Tahitian wife came to our rescue and helped us get the trolleys as far as the entrance to the marina.
Although we had checked the supermarket opening times with the agent, he must have forgotten that May 1st was a public holiday and all shops were closed. We didn't discover this until we went to the supermarket on Saturday morning. Fortunately it was open between 8am and noon on Sunday so we were able to purchase most of the rest of our provisions. Only fruit and vegetables to buy now and we can do that Monday morning before leaving the marina to sail to Moorea, some 12 nautical miles from here.

JPEG image