Grass Skirts are Smoking in French Polynesia
Coconut bras are cool. Its festival times! Fast gyrating hips, outrageous costumes, intricate drumming and soothing harmonies throughout our stopovers in Tahiti, Moorea and Raiatea.
Other festivities included beauty pageants (Adrien was invited to one in Pape’ete and said she couldn’t take her eyes off the stunning women, some who were transgender and accepted). We watched outrigger canoe races from the comfort of our deck and nightly drumming could be heard from the shore at almost every anchorage we visited.
We reacquainted ourselves with civilization in Pape’ete; enjoying the big supermarkets and the occasional HH beer however the restaurants were prohibitively expensive. Tahiti was the perfect place to take care of the boat repairs we needed to desperately tackle. Again, fixing Shenemere in exotic places 3.0
Yes, Tahiti has the prerequisite turquoise waters and impressive green peaks, hibiscus flowers, humid breeze and warm people but, it is a metropolis of busy roads and busy people. So, it’s not the untainted paradise of “explore lore” but we made our own adventures surfing, diving and sightseeing
Intrepid Wave Hounds: Tahiti had a sweet surf break that Martin and Garth lapped up
Indulge my “dramatic license” these pictures are not related
We rented a car for two days with Elizabeth and Garth and toured the island as true tourist do. Getting lost and driving the wrong way into cars on a one way street…Priceless!
March’e de Pape’ete– This outdoor market is a Pape’ete institution that fills an entire city block. We went a few times to the market just to meander through the stalls looking at the colorful sarongs, woven bags, stunning shell and pearl jewelry
Marae Arahurahu– A highly spiritual place for meditation, rituals and sacrifices; located in lush tropical surroundings with the peak as a backdrop it wasn’t hard to imagine/feel ancient tribes chanting and dancing in ceremony
Vaipahi Spring Gardens gorgeous gardens and natural waterfall
Pointe Venus & Matavai Bay- We had a picnic here at this historic waterfront park and lighthouse. Several monuments to the sea fairing explores included Samuel Wallis whose contribution according to the French are “the union jack and venereal disease”
Drone footage of Moorea
What a breath of fresh air. Moorea was an antidote to the relative mayhem of Tahiti. The best thing about Moorea is the pace of life or rather the lack of pace
We took long dingy trips around the bay to swim with the sting rays and sharks
Attempted hike up to Belvedere lookout (ongoing debate as to if we were on the right trail; we never made it after hours of hiking in the rain)
Sailing on our Anchor An impressive low-pressure system over a large part on the Society islands trapped us in Cooks Bay for a few days with 30-40 knot winds. Howling 50 knot gusts that seriously sounded like a freight train as the winds funneled between the cliffs delivering its full force directly into the bay
We got lucky and arrived in Raiatea during the Taputapuatea Festival
The octopus is the Polynesian symbol for advanced knowledge of navigation and Raiatea is known as the cradle of Polynesian culture thus the meaning and symbolism of the Taputapuatea Festival
The Taputapuatea Festival (every 4 years) is like a “family reunion” of Chiefs and tribal dignitaries that come to Raiatea from Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Rapa Nui and New Zealand.
Enjoying afternoon sundowners onboard Spirit of Millennium when the cruise ship Wind Spirit did a drive by. I tried to get all 9 of us to lineup on the bow and “moon” the ship, which was a failure and only succeeded in totally embarrassing Adrien
Happy 18th Birthday Adrien!
BOAT REPAIR LOG
Coolant Tank: After 3000 miles of our 4000-mile trip to Gambier we noticed a water coolant in the bilge. On closer inspection we found the culprit to be the plastic coolant expansion tank which had a hose clamp wear a hole into it. We did a temporary fix and patched it with epoxy hoping it would get us to Tahiti. We reached out to a company in Tahiti who quoted us $740.00. Fortunately for us we have Shore Support in Miami from our Good friend Martin Kroshoff who was able to get a tank in the USA for $295.00 plus $100.00 in shipping. We picked it up at the post office at the Papeete airport (avoided $$$ on import fees too) and installed it anchored off the Marina Tahina
Mixing Elbow: a week before leaving Tahiti for Moorea during an engine check we found more water leaks, this time from the exhaust. The mixing elbow where saltwater is injected into the exhaust system had a hole in it! We removed it and after degreasing and cleaning found more holes. Nobody in Tahiti would weld it due to the thin material so we used JB weld epoxy…to the rescue.
Once again; Martin our Miami shore support has organized a new one plus the hoses, barbs that go with it and will ship to American Samoa where we will pick it up
Gooseneck: Another casualty of our 31 days at sea… a breach in the welds of the goose neck. We removed this and had it rewelded in Papeete. This is the second time this has happened in the 9 years we have owned the boat. We think it’s a bad design and something we going to have to reengineer in New Zealand
The Society Islands has some of the best wall art
Drink Responsibly. Single use water bottles have a lasting impact
Next Stop: The highlight of all the islands Maupiti