Jason and I have spent our last week far away from computers, hanging out with Tahina’s guests, Patty and Gerard, and tooling around Moorea. We did a half-day ATV tour and visited 3 anchorages on the island. I had the opportunity to play “stingray whisperer” and pet some gregarious rays on Moorea’s northwest corner, and Jason got to refresh some of his dive instructor skills, taking Patty on her first ever discover SCUBA session. Jason and I also got time in for a dive on the west side of Opunohu Bay inside the lagoon, and we had fun meeting other cruisers at a Canada Day potluck and bonfire on the beach in Robinson’s Cove.
Another highlight of the week was a dancing and culture show at Tiki Village, on the island’s west coast. For $88 (a little pricey for cruising budgets, but worth the experience), visitors can get a ride to and from Tiki Village, spend the day exploring its pareo shops, jewelry makers, tattoo shops, and cultural exhibitions, then eat a very good buffet dinner of authentic foods like mahi mahi and pineapple chicken with coconut milk, taro root and plantains, poisson cru au lait du coco, among a host of other things. Dessert and coffee and a salad bar are also included. All these come with an unlimited supply of red and white wine for your table, with the option of ordering specialty cocktails from the bar for an additional price. After dinner, everyone spills into the Tiki Village Theatre for the main event, where village residents and performers (many of the performers live on-site) perform a show full of Tahitian dancing and costumes. I’d say the show is probably not as sharp as what you may see in Hawaii, in terms of dancers hitting their marks, etc, but it is very enjoyable and gives good insight into some of the traditions of the area. Oh, and they do fire dancing too.
The ATVs were fun too, if not easy to steer. Apparently ATV manufacturers think power steering is for the birds, but I muscled my way through it.
Now we’re back in Tahiti getting ready to bid farewell to our guests and head out for the Tuamotus and the viewing site for the eclipse. I think Frank has finally settled on going to Hao, but don’t quote me on that, as it seems to be an evolving decision, oftentimes shifting to Amanu and back to Hao again. We’re in hyperdrive trying to turn the boat in a day, combining Patty and Gerard’s last day in Tahiti with provisioning, engine maintenance checks, gas runs, SCUBA tank refills, and laundry. I haven’t even had lunch and it’s almost 5:30. Yikes.
We’ll be limited in the coming week until we find internet, but we hope to be back to you once we hit the Tuamotus. It’s about 600 miles upwind in avg. 15-20 kt. winds, so it’s gonna be a slog. Wish my seasick body luck.