Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back to the real world, sort of

After an uncomfortable two day passage complete with puking, we arrived in Papeete, Tahiti. Papeete is the biggest city in French Polynesia and as a result is the best place to re-provision and buy miscellaneous boat stuff. The anchorage near Marina Taina was completely packed with at least 150 boats. Many boats were on mooring balls making anchoring nearby even more tricky. We motored around for what felt like forever before settling on the shallow sand shelf out near the inner edge of the reef that forms the lagoon. To make a long story short, we ended up too close to a boat on a mooring ball, had to re-anchor with two anchors so we didn't swing into the shallow coral just offshore or the moored boats just inshore, and then dragged our bow anchor a couple days later when the wind picked up out of the south. That made for a sleepless night involving one failed attempt at re-anchoring in the same spot with help from our friends on Piko, more dragging, apparent resetting, followed by even more wind the next day and more dragging. Since we were getting dangerously close to yet another moored boat, we made an emergency attempt at re-anchoring during the windiest part of the day with the help of 3 dinghies and a bunch of friends. We finally got both anchors up and re-anchored in a new spot with plenty of scope this time and held just fine. Jared blames the lack of bow anchor scope for all the dragging, and the shallow layer of sand covering the reef.

Aside from the anchoring drama and the sort of culture shock of a bustling metropolis complete with traffic and filth, we had a lot of fun catching up with our friends Krister and Amanda on Britannia, Lauren(guy) and Lauren(girl) on Piko, Vincent and Crispin now crewing for Balquideer, and Dino on Hadar. We attempted to surf at a nearby reef pass break with Krister and pretty much failed (Krister caught some waves though). We are not quite good enough yet to surf world class surf in the company of world class surfers. Jared and Krister played guitar a lot and I attempted to sing at times. We had to say goodbye to Ryan and Alex on Shalimar unfortunately. They have family visiting and they are off to Moorea with them. Ryan's mom was kind enough to deliver a few things we ordered and we look forward to thanking her in person in Bora Bora in a couple of weeks. Jared went snorkeling on some plane wrecks off in the lagoon with the folks from Watchyagonnado, Ceilyhd, Britannia, and Piko, while I put away all of the new food. We did our downtown errands in one day and we were ready to move on a week after arriving. We were sad to be leaving our friends again, but we have very little time left on our visas and we want to explore the leeward Society Islands. We are technically supposed to leave French Polynesia on July 25th. I'm sure we'll cross paths with them again somewhere. I hear there's a really cool full moon party in Vavau, Tonga in September. Maybe we'll all end up there! If anyone has the funds and the time, come visit us in Tonga. It sounds awesome. We'll be there for the months of September and October.

1 comment:

Peter said...

"leaving tahiti at sunset" kind of says it all! love you - really miss you- and so proud of you! Pops