Sunday Sail

Barry Heath and Marie-Jeanne (Danielle) Peters
Sun 6 Sep 2009 16:21


Sunday sail

Ouahh the day looks great. The sun is out and we have a nice breeze. We will leave for the east coast of Raiatea now. It is time to move. We want to sail. We get the main up as we want to test our new batten. For crossing the first part of the channel we use the staysail which makes the numerous tacks a little bit less physical. We enjoy a fantastic sail down. We hand steer the boat all the way and we took LAIKA an hour in a three hour sail.  It is a really great Sunday afternoon sail. Lots of wind but the sea is very calm inside the lagoon and the boat is gliding by itself through the blue green waters. It is almost like sailing in a lake. We enjoy it so much.

We anchor in the long bay of Faaroa. The legend says that from this bay the Polynesians under the legendary king Hiro built the great canoes and left to discover Hawaii, Rarotonga and New Zealand.

Raiatea was considered by the ancient Polynesians as the cradle of their thousand year old civilisation. Raiatea and Tahaa were the first islands to be settled probably by people from Samoa. Raiatea known as Havai`iki Nui in older days is the cultural, religious and historic centre of the Society Islands.

The French only took over this island in 1888 and even in 1897 the Polynesians started another rebellion against the occupier.

At the end of the bay is the only navigable river in French Polynesia. We want to explore it tomorrow.

The bay is awesome. It is surrounded by mountains covered with deep dense forests,  a motu is set at the entrance and we have an unspoilt beautiful view out to the sea. There are only a few houses ashore. As everywhere in Polynesia outrigger canoes are gliding through the waters. A peaceful place.