So we’re finally in Papeete! We’ve actually been here since the 10th, but we’ve been very busy cleaning up the boat and getting Tahina ready for Frank and Karen’s friends Gerard and Patty to visit.

Jason and I went ashore at Marina Taina yesterday to get some scuba tanks refilled, and we heard a rumor that the airport workers were on strike. Once Frank and Karen got back from the grocery store, they followed up on the rumor, and it turns out all of Tahiti’s civil service workers were on strike. (Very French of them, isn’t it?) So, the story is that the firefighters are on strike, and without firefighters, no international planes will land here. This morning we found out that all inbound and outbound international flights are cancelled, so Gerard and Patty are no longer coming. Needless to say, Frank is beside himself. We’re going to have to find a way to cheer him up. Karen’s pretty upset too, but I think having the treats afforded by good provisioning and big city centers will probably cheer her up in a day or two…though I know she’ll be missing Patty. More on the provisioning in our next “Life on Board” installment, sometime this week.

The docks in Tahiti are packed. This is high season for cruisers in Tahiti, because it’s the right time to be across the Pacific and headed toward NZ or Australia in time to avoid cyclone season. There are some mega yachts on the docks and Jason and I met a nice guy named Darren who gavels some info on the ins and outs of life as a professional crewman. We heard there’s a big 80s costume party on the docks tonight in celebration of someone’s birthday, complete with Polynesia pig on a spit and rum punch, for $10. Jason and I will be there.

Last night I got “leid” by my sweet boyfriend at dinner–a wreath made of white gardenias, highlighted with a few sprigs on red hibiscus paired with pink bougainvillea. We ate at the Pink Coconut on the docks, and the prices were actually pretty comparable to U.S. prices. Jason had a very good steak paired with foie gras and perfect wedge fried potatoes. We shared an order of buttery, garlicky haricots verts (those skinny French green beans), and I had tuna 3 ways, with 3 sauces. One was tuna sashimi with soy, one was tuna & shrimp tartare with lychee sauce topped with shrimp and scallops on a stick, basted in lychee sauce, and the third was scallop sushi rolls topped with tuna strips. They also brought us an amuse bouche before the meal, which consisted of tiny chunks of raw tuna marinated in pineapple and mixed with pineapple chunks. For those of you who are wondering, an “amuse bouche” is a French term used to describe a one-bite appetizer that serves to awake the palate. Don’t you watch Top Chef?!?

Anyway, that’s what’s been up. Surf is also up and Jason is DYING to get out to the reef break at the pass by the marina. It’s breaking 7-10ft. high at the moment. It scares me a little and Teahupoo is labeled “kamikaze” or “pro” on the surf directory, so I think I may push him to go exploring with me so we can find him one of the beach, river mouth, or point breaks labeled on our surf map that are safe for “all surfers.”

We’re hoping to do a night dive while we’re here, so I’ll update on all of that once it’s set.