19 July 2006

Huahine Island

  • 19-Jul-2006
  • 16°48.5000"S/150°59.5000"W
  • Huahine
  • Society Islands
  • French Polynesia
Ahoy from the Southern end of Huahine Island! We arrived yesterday morning after an all night sail from Moorea in winds over 30 knots. We were with a group of other boats that left at the same time. The passage was only 90 miles. So we were all trying to stay under 5 knots because we did not want to make landfall before sunrise. So it was a race to see who could stay under 5 knots. It was a problem for the bigger boats, as the wind was so strong. But not for Sandpiper! We had a double-reefed main with the staysail and had a good ride, considering the conditions. As for the bigger boats, they were rolling all over because they hardly had any sail up at all.

We had a four day delay leaving Moorea. Our laptop computer’s screen decided to go blank. It has all of our charting and email programs. At the same time, my bank will not let me get cash from an ATM. And Amy’s bank decided to cancel access to her cards as well! Trying to call our banks is about impossible, as it would have cost us more than $50 dollars for one call. We had no way to get $50 dollars.

We were able to SKYPE Amy's dad Bob from an internet café. Because the internet connections are really slow in Moorea, SKYPE would disconnect when we were put on hold by the banks. Bob was able to take his SKYPE headset and hold it next to his telephone so we could speak to the bank. A weird way to connect, but it worked!

Amy ran downstairs to the bank while I chatted with Bob. She was able to get money out of her account, which was a good thing, as I do not think we had enough money to pay for our internet use.

It all worked out great as our friends from the S/V Sensei caught up with us from Tahiti. We were able to spent time with them.

One of the really cool things about being in Cook’s Bay (which we mentioned in our last entry), is that the Hotel Bali Hai, which we were anchored off of, is really cruiser friendly. They allow us tie our dinghies up at their hotel. If you every want to take a vacation and want to stay at a neat hotel, then I would totally recommend staying here. Moorea is the best island we have been to yet. And this hotel right on the water. They have over-the-water bungalows. And the prices are very fair, considering the competition. They have a $5 dollar Wednesday island dance show.

And our favorite part is one of the hotel’s owners, “Muk”, speaks out by the pool every night. You bring your own booze, and he supplies the ice while he drinks his 2 airline bottles of tequila. Muk is legendary. He came out to Moorea in the 1950's with two friends from California and bought 400 acres of land. They started a vanilla farm, which failed as soon as they started. So instead they started one of the island’s first hotels and were known as "The Boys from Bali Hai". We spent several nights listening to Muk, and met some really cool people that were staying at the hotel.

We then moved back to Baie de Oponmohu so we could swim with the rays once more before we left (check out the photos). We had heard that there are underwater tiki's that could be snorkelled on. But we were not sure of the exact location, as the source that told us about these tiki's was a local guy at the bar. After we anchored, Cris (from S/V Sensei) and I dingied about 50 yards from where we anchored. Then there they were, in about 10 feet of water, looking up at us in the clear water! The spot we anchored in is not in any of the cruising books that we have. We had the place to ourselves. All the other boats were all crammed together in the anchorage on the other side of the bay.

We inflated a ski tube that we have and we spent the day taking turns whipping everyone around the anchorage. Then we snorkelled the tiki's. Then we swam with the rays. Rough day!

The day we left Moorea the wind was blowing over 30 knots in the anchorage. Being that we were surrounded by reefs, we just stayed on the boat and got ready for our overnight passage to Huahine. We left at sunset.

We are now anchored at the very southern end of Huahine. We had to enter the pass at the north end of the island and then transit 8 miles inside to lagoon to this anchorage. Our friends on S/V Sensei had recommended this spot, as they had been here before on a charter.

The water here is unbelievably clear. We are anchored in 30 feet of water, and we can see every fish and coral head under us without even getting in the water! We spent yesterday dinghing around the reefs, snorkelling, and walking on the white sand beaches. Today we have more water activities scheduled followed by a BBQ on the S/V Sensei with cocktails.

Team Sandpiper’s current plans are to leave here tomorrow morning and sail over to Raiatea Island, which is about 30 miles away. We will stay for the night to refuel, as we have not gotten fuel since the Marquesas. And we need to get groceries because we are out of beer and rum. We have to get moving to Bora Bora as because we are checking out of French Polynesia before our visa expires on July 26th. It would be easy to stay here for ever. But, we would be flat broke very soon.

After Bora Bora, we plan on sailing to Rarotonga (Cook Islands), the country of Niue that consists of one small island, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Brisbane Australia by 1 November, then Sydney Australia for a 6 month stop for hurricane season.

Tom and Amy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi from La Coruña, Spain.