Tahaa & Raiatea 20:58:72S 162:59:52W
We are currently on passage from Rarotonga in the Cook
As mentioned in the last Blog, we headed off for a mini-break
in Tahaa. This is pronounced Ta Ha A. Quite a mouthful, but the locals are
very particular about this. It is a luxuriant
I also mentioned the “mystery illness” I had been
suffering from for a few days. It felt like a monster hangover, only much
worse. Ragging headaches, lasting for days. Cold and shivering and at the same
time sweating profusely. Very aggie and generally feeling pretty low. To add to
the misery, I had a bite that had become infected on my left ear lobe. By the
time we arrived in Tahaa, we resolved to find a doctor to find out what was
wrong. Because, by this time I had all sorts of wild notions about what could
be amiss. So after spending the night in
The journey from
On our first night there we were anchored at the head of
Bruno’s Restaurant…Superb Steaks and great wine cellar
It is a simple restaurant, more of a local Café feel. But the waitress was quite beautiful, lovely smile and very helpful. So, I guess the food could have been awful and I would still have loved it! But seriously, the food was outstanding and he has an amazing wine cellar, for a restaurant with around 20 covers. Bruno retired to Tahaa eight years ago and after he and his wife had built their house, they set about developing the restaurant, which opened 4 years ago.
The bay is long and it takes while to get to the end. I recommend you pass by the other restaurant on the north side and anchor in the head of the bay in mud that will hold your anchor in virtually any conditions. It would be a great hurricane hole. It is also convenient for the village and the local store which is next to the restaurant on the pier. This is a real pickle of a store. French bread to welding masks and gas lights. They have it all!
The day we went to town to see the doctor, a new market opened,.
There was dancing, speeches, and a band, as well as the market itself. This is
the only market on Tahaa and it is hoped that the local people will now be able
to get most of what they need locally rather than having to travel to
The plan for the next day was to get an early start and head
off to the north of the
We slowly motored anti-clockwise around the island to the
north east corner, inside the reef. Passing a pearl farm along the way. But we
had “done” that and did hope to find a Vanilla Farm, as Tahaa
produces some 90% of the Vanilla production in
We selected our spot near the reef and anchored in 20 metres. Having ensured that we were well “bedded in” and that in the event of wind shift we would not crash into the reef. We launched the small dingy, fully loaded with snorkelling kit. Then set off for the other side of the reef. It is quite awesome to see the depth rise up from 25 metres to 1.5 metres over a distance of less than 10 metres. It is very easy to see why so many yachts come a “cropper” in this part of the world. The coral on top of the reef, which is a good 1 mile wide, is mostly dead. So there are no fish. Just the odd Sting Ray or Eagle Spotted Ray, in the crystal clear water over white sand, that varied in depth from 2 metres to a few centimetres! So we carefully picked our way forward towards a Motu, where there appeared to be some withies, marking a narrow channel.
Beautiful coral heads teaming with small electric blue Damsel fish
Once there we found a mooring buoy opposite the Motu, at around 200 metres from the outer edge of the reef. There was a good flow of water here, so there were lots of beautiful coral heads, with some vibrant green, purple and pink colours. All in depths of 1 to 2 metres. So we took our time fining out towards the reef. Then just drifting back to the dingy on the current. We saw all manner of colourful and wondrous creatures…………..
The Lesser Spotted Jennie Fish in its natural habitat
As you have gathered by now, this was my first chance to try
out the underwater features of my new
Once we had finished our extended snorkelling trip, we raise the anchor and continued our circumnavigation of Tahaa. We arrived and anchored in a bay opposite the Pai Pai pass on the Western side when a combination of light and cloud demanded a picture of Bora Bora……….the first of VERY many to come.
The following morning we once again arose very early, so as to
be back in Raiatea first thing for the final fitting of the new
Tahaa once again emphasised how different each of the