Friday, September 8, 2017

Tahaa


We got up early, took our dinghy to shore and provisioned at the grocery store for our trip to Tahaa.


We had a quick motor over to Tahaa. When we arrived at the pass, dolphins joined us and swam at our bow!


We anchored just inside the pass and did a drift dive of both sides of the pass.  It was excellent snorkeling!

Due to a wind event we decided to pull up anchor and head to a more protected bay -Tapuamu Bay.

The weather was very windy and rainy for the rest of our time with Katie and Robin, but we managed to do a few fun things with them and Alcyone before they left.

Pari Pari, a local rum distillery who also sold coconut oils, soaps, sprays and much needed wifi minutes!

Sugar cane juice

House Rum

And the 55 proof! Makes great rum punch!

We also went to Ia Orana Pearl Farm. Tama came to our boats with his panga and took us to the pearl farm.  He also gave us a tour of the operation.  This was the friendliest, most comprehensive tour we have experienced. 


Each pearl takes 18-24 months to grow.  If the pearl forms well, another pearl is made with the same size graft or implant as the original pearl and it will also take 18-24 months to develop.  60 percent of pearls fail to grow in the oysters.

What makes the pearl so beautiful? A piece of the margarita black-lipped oyster shell is inserted with the graft to influence its color.  

How can you choose just one? They are all so beautiful! 

Katie bought some earrings and a few gifts and Betsy bought a long strand of pearls. Fun!

The two weeks went really fast and it came time to say "Goodbye for now" to Katie and Robin. We put them on the ferry to Raiatea where they had a little time to explore before catching their flight to Papeete.




We had such fun ! It was sad to see them go.


First Mate Kate

Huahine


This is the view of Huahine from outside the reef.  We arrived mid-morning in Fare and picked up a mooring ball. Our friends Kenny and Besty on Alcyone were there and Kenny assisted the ball pickup.

We were all a bit tired but decided to get off the boat and explore a bit and have lunch at the "Yacht Club".

View from the Yacht Club Restaurant 

Huahine is an old island compared to Tahiti or Mo'orea and was created by three distinct volcanic eruptions.

Mike and Katie

The next day all six of us rented bikes and did a tour of the island.  It was a great day! Here are some of the highlights:  


The Shell Museum

Cone shells are poisonous ! Don't pick them up on the beach unless they are walking away (with a hermit crab inside)

Avea Bay

Arriving at the sacred Marae archeological site

Marae were important ceremonial sites throughout French Polynesia



Bobby Holcomb, a rock artist who lived in Huahine for a while, was featured in the Marae information center. He drew significant inspiration for his music from Huahine and French Polynesia.

He was also a talented artist

Betsy in front of a fish trap

The fish traps were destroyed over time and have recently been restored as an important part of Huahine history.

We followed signs for ice cream and found this wonderful beach !


It turned out that the ice cream was at the art studio of Melanie, an American who moved to Huahine and paints mostly Polynesian scenes.


Melanie wasn't in her studio but it was open for exploration. Her art was colorful and active and clearly inspired by people, places and activities (many of which are from Huahine).



We continued on our bike tour and found cold coconuts (coconut water) to refresh us.



Our lunch spot

The gang


An interesting catamaran project

The lagoon/bay was a nice distraction on our ride back to the anchorage.



The day was capped off with a nice dinner at the Yacht Club right at sunset.

First Mate Kate

Bora Bora


We had a great downwind sail to Bora Bora from Tahaa. We were stuck in Tahaa for a week because of high wind and seas and we were delighted to have a comfortable sail.


We anchored just next to Motu Toopua where the water was crystal clear and turquoise blue.


I awoke the next morning around 6 to this gorgeousness. Full moon at sunrise is one of my favorite things.

We pulled up anchor and headed over to Bloody Mary's where we were picked up by Alban for my kitesurfing lesson. The wind was light but he put me on a 15 m kite and I was up riding right away!

He taught Mike how to launch from the dinghy so we went back out and practiced. There wasn't enough wind for our 12 m but it was good to get out and practice launching while it was fresh in our minds. 


We went to Bloody Mary's for happy hour and it turned into dinner.  Blood Mary's has been a big deal in Bota Bora since 1979. Many famous people have made their wall of fame and Jimmy Buffet played there.

Mike spotted his uncle's name!


What a fun first day in Bora Bora! I love it here!

First Mate Kate