Sunday, June 15, 2008

Moorea, French Polynesia

June 15, 2008-Friday turned out to be a very interesting day as we had to stay on board all day to make sure we didn't drag our anchor. We had sustained winds of 25 knots with gusts up to 30 and one gust registered 40 knots on our meter. Everyone stayed aboard to make sure they weren't dragging. We were all close to the shore so there was not much fetch to build up; however, by the afternoon we did have some decent waves coming at the boat. The winds calmed down in the evening, and by 2 o'clock in the morning they had died almost completely.

Since the morning began with no wind and calm water, we decided to head over to Opunohu Bay. We motored in order to make water so it took us just one hour to get there. Leaving the pass at Cook's Bay (did I say that Captain Cook never actually landed in this bay) was easy, and there was a 4-foot swell, but it was not bad at all. Entering Opunohu Pass was also very easy, and we pulled in to the head of the bay and anchored next to sv Liberty.

Geographically this bay is very much like Cook's Bay, but there are very few stores and shops. We can reach one magasine by dinghy in order to get our baguettes and drop off our trash. It is much more remote; however, we really like it here. It is quiet and, as I said before, we have spectacular scenery all around us.

In the afternoon, the locals were holding outrigger races. Some were single outriggers and others held from 6 to 8 people, and there were both men's and women's teams. The wind was blowing out of the bay, so when the contestants were headed for the finish line, they were rowing against some pretty good winds. We really enjoyed watching the competition.

Last night we went over to Liberty to watch a movie, and on the way over our outboard engine started sputtering. We made it to their boat and back, but Steve had to rebuild the carburetor this morning so it is working fine now. We are getting the boat ready to leave tomorrow afternoon for Huahine. All the boats have been watching a front moving through and trying to find a weather window in which to head out. We think tomorrow will be the best day to leave. Since it is about 90 miles, we will have to do an overnight, so we plan to leave around 3 o'clock in the afternoon in order to get to Huahine sometime in the morning.

We have enjoyed Moorea very much. It is a beautiful island with a combination of not only tourist activities but also more remote anchorages. If we had it to do over again, we would stop in Papeete only to check in and out, and then we would continue right on to Moorea. Unfortunately, by the time most boats arrive in Papeete, they have some problem that requires repair or replacement, and that requires time to get everything lined up. We are glad to be done with Tahiti.

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