July 10th – July 15th, 2004
It was such a liberating feeling to finally pull up anchor out of Maeva Beach in Tahiti. I thought it would be a struggle because of how hard we were set but the anchor came up smoothly and we made our way up the anchorage to the small southern pass. We waved goodbye to a couple of boats and said FINALLY to a couple of others that were hauling up anchor besides us. There was no wind for sailing so we motored the 23 miles to Oponahu Bay. As we saw after the blow in Fakarava there were at least 12 boats on the move to Moorea. Moorea was beautiful with Cooks Bay (miss-named because Cook actually visited Oponahu Bay) further to the east. We anchored just inside the reef in 12 feet of water. Not only could you see the bottom, you could see all the chain out to your anchor. It felt SOOO good. We played cards on Island Sonata, it wasn’t even a question they just showed up and brought us back to their boat so we could finally finish the game we started before the last blow. The next day we got up and went to a place where the tourist feed the stingrays.
This text will only appear on after the reader clicks "continue reading.." Delete if NOT needed It was truly amazing. We were standing in about 4 feet of water. They would come right up to you, ride up your front until they were almost “standing” in front of you like they were ready to dance. They would open their mouths, which are on the bottom, and take whatever piece of fish you had right out of your hand. You could pet them and scrape their backs, which they seemed to enjoy and left cool patterns in the sand silt that covered them. It was quite an experience to watch people who were at first rather taken aback by their aggressiveness, to finally sitting there laughing and dancing with them. We headed back to the boats for an afternoon of wakeboarding and knee boarding behind the dinghies. It was fun but I was sore and tired after only about 5 minutes, hey this paradise living is harder than it looks. That night we finished the day with a girls/boys night on Waking Dream and Billabong. I guess a couple of the boats needed some same sex bonding time. We ate dinner and played poker while the girls did the same on Billabong. I think there must be something in the theory behind drinking and gambling, because I stayed the soberest and lost the most, while Ben was hammered (and didn’t even really know how to play) but kicked everyone’s butts. Oh well come to think of it I never really paid up!!
On Monday, we walked to the local resort, amazing at $500 a night, to reserve some motor scooters for the following day. We kept walking into Cooks Bay to visit the Pineapple processing plant and sample some of their juices. It was funny, they gave you all the free shots of booze you could drink but the samples of fruit juices (which they actually made) cost $1. Oh well, after taking the cheep way out, we continued walking to the head of the bay and saw a couple of boats we knew anchored deep within the bay. They had a great view of the mountains but the water wasn’t as clear as our anchorage and some moved over later the next day.
We hopped on our scooters at around 8:30 the next morning. Waking Dream, Island Sonata, and us each shared one with our significant others. They could move pretty fast and kept up with the local traffic. We even took them “off-road” and they handled it fine until I popped my fuel line and it almost drained the tank, just barely missing the hot exhaust (now that would have been interesting). The best view was from Belvidere, which was on a mountain between the two bays. The foliage was amazing; pine trees in some places, cool Joshua like trees with large fields of pineapples in between. It was a great way to see the whole island, although we were exhausted by the end of the day (hey keeping that throttle pinned down all day is a lot of work). I can’t imagine how tired we would have been if we actually rented bikes like I wanted to initially. There were some very cool anchorages that Waking Dream will get a chance to explore during their visa extension time, and the southern edge of the island looked like it had some HUGE surf. We ended the day with a combined dinner on Billabong, as we prepared to say goodbye to Waking Dream (who we probably won’t see until New Zealand or Tonga). They left early the next day, and spotted whales right at the entrance to the bay (oh to have a dingy). We hung out on the boat and lazed around while we prepared for our trip to Bora Bora. We knew it was time to leave when I woke up the next morning to two huge cruise ships arguing who was going to anchor where within the bay.
It was 140 miles and we tried desperately to sail. We only averaged 2.5 knots for the first 6 hours and gave up when hit the swell outside the lee of the island. We then motored all night until we arrived at Huahine at around daybreak. The wind picked up (to about 10 knots) so I raised the sails and we bore off for Bora Bora. Almost immediately it died so we were back to motoring ... 26 hours all together. What really sucked was we got about 20-25 knots of wind just as we rounded the northern tip of Bora Bora and had to motor into it, along with 6 foot swell just to get into the pass. We found a nice little spot in the lee of a motu, right off the outer reef. It is rather protected from the wind so it is starting to get a little crowded.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
July 10th – July 15th, 2004