June 2010-Page 2
The next day everyone chose teams and participated in some outrigger canoe races, (which can be very tippy we found out, fortunately this is the South Pacific, and the water is warm!) banana stalk races and tug of war. There was also palm frond weaving which Andrea was quite interested in and coconut shaving. The kids participated in everything and had a really fun time. At the awards ceremony everyone received a prize but the honourable mention went to Cari who raced around the course with a banana stalk the whole way and even though she came in last, she had a huge smile on her face when she crossed the finish line to a ton of applause from the onlookers. She won a very pretty t-shirt that was handmade in Moorea that she wants to send to her Grandma.
After the awards ceremony there was one final dance number. This one was very interesting as it included fire and was performed by professional dancers from the Tiki Village, an establishment in town. The male firedancers were really interesting to watch and very entertaining. What a show. We are glad we participated in the Rendezvous, we all had a great time, even though he weather was a gnarly, it didn't stop anything. Finally the anchorage started to clear out and there was a bit more breathing room.
We took the dingy through the dingy channel to Cook's Bay, there wasn't alot to see over there but we did find a Creperie and the kids all ordered the infamous French treat of crepe with nutella and whip cream. We stopped at the Moorea juice factory where they process all types of tropical juices and liquor, they had a taste testing at the back and we tried all sorts of coconut liquors, vanilla liquors and rum punches. On our way back we ran into mv Emily Grace so we took Emily back in the dingy with us. Her parents really wanted to come to!! It was quite a long walk, but alas we only had room for one more.
That evening we had Merlin and Elixir over for dinner. It is always great to meet new people and I’m always very interested in what other cruisers are up to. Merlin has 3 children close to our kids ages. They are from South Africa and are coming to the end of their trip in Australia. They already have their boat up for sale. Elixir is a younger couple from Australia who bought their boat in the States and are returning it to Australia this season to go back to work. They are travelling with very young children 3and 2!!
We took the dingy to a place the locals call "Stingray World". The local tour shops bring tourists here to feed the sharks and stingrays. I never knew that you could tame stingrays, the minute you tie to the mooring ball, they start surrounding you expecting you to feed them, you get in the water and they come right up to you, the kids touched them and said they feel like stuffed animals, all warm and cozy (I don't think so, Mom wasn't quite as keen). We went there a few times as it was one of the highlights for the kids. We decided that this was worth trying our underwater camera again so here are a few shots:
We took the dingy to the base of the bay and along with Merlin we wondered around for 6 hours. We hiked up to Marae Titiroa and other maraes. The complex comprises a range of partially restored remains including family and communal marae as well as dwellings, archery platforms and other structures. The oldest surviving structures date from the 13th century. Next we took the very steep windy road to the belevedere. The lookout gave us superb views of Mt. Torui which splits the two bays the towering mountains that rise in the centre of the island. We headed back down and stopped at the Agricultural College where we found an ice cream and a self guided walking tour of the arboretum.
June 25, 2010 - Opunohu Bay, Moorea to Papeete, Tahiti -- 18.01nm
We did plan to go to Huahine today but after talking to another cruiser we realized that we didn't check out when we were in Tahiti so we need to go back. This time we tied to the Quay - right downtown Papeete. This was very convenient for going to the market (which is very cool very early Sunday mornings), the roulettes for dinner and biking around looking at marine shops (Chris). The waterfront is very nice, there are parks for children and a very nice walking path along the water. But the veneer is thin, go back a few streets and it ain't so pretty.
We found an artisan market displaying all their wares at City Hall. We saw some beautiful weaved hats, bags and fans and I finally broke down and bought some black pearls.
The kids and I went to church Sunday morning. It was interesting seeing all the ladies dressed in white from head to toe, wearing their fancy hats, palm weaved purses and fans. The singing was lovely to hear. But like most churches the population was mostly elderly patrons.
June 27, 2010 - Papeete, Tahiti to Opunohu Bay, Moorea -- 19.61nm
We had planned to leave from Papeete and do an overnight sail to Huahine however we decided to duck into Moorea and wait out the weather. The forecast was not too promising and the seas are a little too rough for my liking. There are still lots of boats in Moorea and lots of our friends are there so can’t complain about being stuck in a place like that. The weather is still horrible, 12-18 foot waves out on ocean and 40 knot winds. Boats keep leaving the anchorage and then turning around and coming back in. Looks like we are not going anywhere anytime soon.
We had a very large happy hour on the beach, I think everybody on the beach went in, it was great to meet new people and talk to people about their travel plans and routes.