When the going gets tough

Sat 8 Aug 2009 00:14
They bake chocolate cake!
We are in Tahaa / Raiatea, after a few relaxing days in Moorea, spent
kyacking and snorkelling. Perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of
Papeete. Though we are missing all those boy girls over here - where have
they all gone?
The backdrop to our anchorage in Moorea was reminiscent of the cover of
the LP to the soundtrack of South Pacific, it really does feel like we
have found the essence of the South Pacific.
Though a simple 90 mile passage from Moorea to Raiatea turned into a
trial, Helmut the autopilot couldn't cope with the steering due to the
waves coming at Winny from two opposite directions. So it was a long night
of manual steering, not to forget the deluges of heavy rain that
accompanied the squalls inbetween the periods of no wind. All was soon
forgotten after we had secured ourselves onto a mooring, and Skipper
cooked up a rissotto!
This is the land of the black pearl or more correctly know as the
Tahiatian Pearls. We visited one of the largest producers in Rangiroa, and
today a small family run enterprise.
Kyacking down the only navigable river in Fernch Polynesia River Aopppomau
we were approached by James who asked if we would like a tour of the
botanical garden. He introduced us to every plant in Tahiaitan French and
English (we later learnt that he had studied botany). Everything ripe and
edible we were given to sample and when we thought the tour was over he
hacked off an entire bunch of bananas and said 'good for the back of the
boat?' 'yes' we said, not at all sure what he intended. He escorted us all
the way back to Winny (about 2 miles from this juncture) with said bunch
of bananas weighing maybe 20 kilos balanced on his surfboard. All he would
accept in payment were a few cans of fizzy pop.
Then we saw our second green flash Saturday night. For those who don't
know as the sun disappears over the seas horizon on a clear day at the
very last moment a green light appears as a flash this is only the second
we have seen since we set off.
Tuesday we tried to explore the great archealogical site of Raiatea (from
where the Polynesians set off to Hawaii and New Zealand) but the wind and
rain kept us from going ashore and instead we sailed down to Tahaa and the
Vanilla Farm. Though we are not able to take the tour until tomorrow.
Oh and a big Hello to you all in West Camel who have just joined our blog!
Skipper says Ann and Graham will probably still have the LP we mentioned
above if those of you in West Camel want to see the picture.
Bora Bora next week.