The next day (July 23rd), we decided to return to the islands that we had pretty much rushed through, so we leisurely sailed back to Tahaa and Huahine. With the rains now gone we had an opportunity to capture the true beauty of these amazing islands. This time, the bays in Huahine took on a completely new dynamic and one which caused us to feel we hadn't even been there before. We spent nearly a week in Huahine anchored most of the time in an unspoiled lagoon in front of Hotel Mahana (lots of Mahanas
here!), snorkeling with the Peasleys and the Tates (Christine and Jaime from Morning Light). One day we rented a car with the Peasleys and toured the island, visiting religious and historic ruins, and generally taking in the incredible vistas at each bay along the route. Syren was to have met us there but we still had not seen them. Christine and Jaime were leaving because their time in FP is coming to an end so Destiny hosted a pot-luck with the group on their last night in Huahine, wishing Syren
could have arrived in time to join us. Finally, we heard from Joe that he & crew were on his way over. They arrived just after we returned from our drive, so Frank and I went for a short visit and to give Ryan his "welcome-to-French Polynesia" hug! Ryan and I spent time catching up while Helene brought out one savory snack after another, which was heartily devoured! She told me her mission is to "beef" Ryan up and to feed these guys healthy meals.
We had been without communications long enough so the next afternoon Frank and I cruised back over to Fare, the main village of Huahine where the only internet signal on the island could be found. It had been down during our last pass through and we were hoping to catch it on a good day to take care of business and to catch up with family and friends. Yes, it was a good day and we had a good signal as well. I tried calling my family and but got no one, so at least I got some emails off to them, and
managed an update to my blog. We still haven't had a good enough signal to upload pictures but that will come in time. I continue to fail to motivate the Captain to write because when he has down time he craves nothingness and he deserves to do absolutely nothing. We enjoyed our time in Fare, spending a couple of days there just walking around and browsing shops and on our last night enjoying a great meal at the local hotel.
We came back over to Tahaa on July 29th and moored at the Taravana Yacht Club. Imagine was kind enough to reserve a mooring for us as well as a reservation at the dinner and show that night. We were thrilled to find that Moasi (Ian and Julia) and Liberty Call (Darrell) would also be arriving and sharing our table for dinner. The evening was "smashing and brilliant" as Julia would say. The entertainment included musicians, Tahitian dancers and fire dancers. The meal was a buffet of local delicacies
and was prepared by Maoui and his wife, who are the son and daughter-in-law of the owner. They did a charming job with the décor and waited on us hand and foot throughout the evening. There must have been 50+ guests dining that evening, plus the others who arrived just to watch the show while Maoui personally attended to each individual. Of course when we got the bill we appreciated that we had paid for this exceptional service. We stayed at the yacht club a couple of days. I needed a machine to
wash laundry because sheets and towels are just too much to handle by hand for this girl. We gritted our teeth as we handed over 3000 francs (about $40) to wash two loads of laundry, which we brought back to the boat to hang to dry. When we leave FP our bank account will have an opportunity to recover, but for now we just keep handing it over!
The winds have picked up and are gusting even higher out of the south/southeast than before. Our wind meter has quit so we don't know the wind speed or our boat speed but were ready to find a sheltered bay, so we motored around to the westernmost bay in Tahaa and have been joined by Moasi, Imagine, Liberty Call and Syren. We are waiting for the winds to abate so that we can get out and have some fun. We also plan to see Raiatea before going over to Bora Bora. There isn't much here, and Saturday
is Frank's 60th birthday so we hope everyone will hunker down and stick around to celebrate with us.