Yesterday we had a gorgeous day for driving from Port Phaeton to Marina Taina. Blue sky and sunshine gave us a wonderful view over Tahiti. The downside, of course, was, that we had to motor. Well, you gotta die some way. I so much enjoyed the view. Also we had the chance to pass by our swiss friends Mares and this gave me the opportunity to take some pictures of them. Just look into the "friends" section.
Today we had a rather rolly and fast sail over from Marina Taina to Moorea afer we had bought tax-frree Diesel (only possible during the week, not on weekends!) and after I had been to the customs office again to clarify the procedure on how I get the tax from my purchase of the Kajak back. Well, once I am in Cook Island and have a proof that we are there I have to send the export from together with the proof to customs her ein Tahiti. They will stamp the export form and send it to the store where I bought the Kajak. They will hopefully then transfer the money to my account. We'll see. Yesterday I did the final Stock up on food at Carrefour. Now Alita has all her boxes full and we won't have to starve. Of course when the next guests come we have to stock for them, but other than that we're good for a while.
Moorea looks beautiful. Very green nad very interesting mountains. Tomorrow Marcus stays on board to relax and do some things on board while I go and start to explore the island. Saturday we will be travelling around the island on a 50PS moped. A great surprise today: we are parked right next to our friends on Saliander and State of Mind was also there, when we arrived. They left a bit later for Huahine where we will catch up with them. Mares wanted to join us coming over today but postponed it until the wind, which is quite strong today and the next couple of days, calms down again. Well, we won't see them in long, maybe in Tonga - like Anico and Duende.
Here are some pictures:
Tahiti oceanview http://sailing.smichah.de/#!album-65
Alita boatfriends: http://sailing.smichah.de/#!album-67
Here are some pictures of our closest friends
Styk (I don't really know how to spell him and I don't know the boat's name; Norway; left) and Duende (Holland; right) in Mangareva
So it’s been nearly a week since we got here and I have no idea, where the time has gone. All the time at the lonely islands (motus) we had all the time in the world and nothing to do. The minute you hit civilization lots to do and almost stress is coming up. MOst important: gorcery shopping at Carrefour. Something we had not been able to do in 4 months. SELECTION. A word we almost did not know anymore. Most of the times we were lucky to find some baguette, beans and corn. That's it. We are back to a short schedule as we still have some ilands to visit (Moreea, Raitea and Tahaa, Huahine) before we have to be in Bora Bora by the end of the month, picking up a new guest on August 4th.
We are anchored in the bay Port Phaeton, just where the two islands of Tahiti, Tahiti Nui (big Tahiti) and Tahiti Iti (little Tahiti) meet. It’s 1,5hrs away from Papeete, quiet and peaceful with good (grocery) shopping facilities in walking distance. Tahiti is a wonderfully green and diverse island. To me it’s an atoll island, because it is almost completely surrounded by a coral reef mostly about 0,3-1mile out letting the island be mostly be protected from waves. Only Tahiti Nui east coast is not protected and of course where the cuts are, which are natural entrances for us sailors (and all the other boats) the waves can go through. The coral reefs have interesting, rounded shapes. The most famous one is off of Teahupoo, world famous for being one of the best (and dangerous) surfing spots in this world. Unfortunately we were unlucky when we went there. We did see a wave, but ther was no surfing and no boat going out there. The wind waves came from a more southerly direction making it almost impossible for the pulling boats (surfers have to be pulled out to there) to go out against the waves. So, no great pictures from there…
On Friday we picked up a rental car which we had til yesterday afternoon. This gave us the chance to see more of the island. When we were in town during the day on Friday we bumped into the crew from “State of mind”. Small world. You bump into all the sailors you know here, everyone come here for stocking up and buying things for the boat. Friday evening we went to see a night of competition in group singing and dancing and again bumped into all our New Zealand and Australian friends. Fun. Saturday we went to the competition in traditional sports, which were rock lifting, spear throwing and producing Coprah (Coprah= coconut flesh the industry uses for producing anything out of coconut, like milk, dried coconut etc.) . Making Coprah invovles: cut the coconut open, tear it in two halves, get out the flesh and throw away the shell of the coconut. That was fun and great for some pictures. Of course we all met there. On our way home we drove along the east coast of Tahiti Nui. Very beautiful. Sunday we took the crew from Duende (Vivian, Bram and their cute little daughter Flora) with us and drove around the southern Tahiti Island (Tahiti Iti). That was another beautiful day. Yesterday we went to Papeete again to do the customs and check in and out with the Port Captain. Marcus then went looking for some more parts for the boat and I went hiking into a beautiful valley behind Papeepte, walking along the river coming down from a waterfall. The path started like a path in the alps along a mountain river with the gorgeous smell of the trees. Then came a part like in a fairy tale and then continued to be a jungle walk. Just the diversity we found on all Tahiti: at times you think you’re in the Alps and then back into Jungle. Very beautiful. The green rainforest and the mountains here remind me very much of Maui, just that Tahiti misses that completely dry part that Maui has.
If you’re not travelling by rental car the travelling becomes an experience itself. There is a bus which commutes irregularly, but mostly every hour until 3pm in direction to Papeete and 5pm downwards. Sometimes the last bus leaves earlier though…So it is quite a habit here to travel by autostop. On Friday morning, when we were waiting for the bus I did not even have to stop someone. A nice guy in a Mercedes stopped and took us til shortly before Papeete to a place where busses commute more often. We had a wonderful conversation about history, traditions and the changes in Tahiti occurring due to more tourism and “westernization”. People here are very nice, as everywhere in Polynesia. Yesterday after giving back the rental car at the airport we needed a bus home. The right one did not come and we hoped that one would come eventually. I was not successful in autostop. A bus came, but its destination was only 2/3rd the way down. I stopped him and asked for “Taravao” and he said “yes”. I was not sure, if he understood me, but we hopped in anyway. It turns out that everybody got out at the final destination, except for us. He told us to remain seated, he was going to continue his trip. So in the end we had a private bus shuttle all the way to our marina! That was pretty cool. Seems like he had to go this way anyway and he took us with him. That was soo nice! That’s Polynesia. Also on the other islands it almost always happened to me that when I was walking along the street somewhere out of town cars always stopped and asked me if I need a lift.
All Tahiti and festival pictures are in the photo gallery. Just click on the link:
Here is a small selection of pictures:
Shopping at Carrefour:
Hope you enjoyed the pictures!