Sunday, 26 June 2016

Wonderful People...

Our friends Wendy and Ian from Outsider had let us know that if the weather was right
that we would not regret stopping at Maupiti and Mopelia...
The entrance to Maupiti was nerve racking, with a pass in the reef, where the current ran fast
and a dog-leg entrance, Richard helmed and I did the throttles, maintaining enough power so that we didn't lose steerage of Our Rose.  It was beautiful there.

After a couple of days, we then did a overnight sail to Mopelia
This pass was extremely narrow - only 40ft wide between the reefs
with a outgoing current that was fast!
These passes made the passes in the Tuamotos feel very tame!

Mopelia has only 20 people living there.
The family that we spent all our time with, were people introduced by Wendy & Ian.
They were the most wonderful people.
On our first day, we were invited to dinner with the family
Crayfish, Marinated Fish, Fish Kebabs, Coconut Crab, Rice, Salads - amazing

We had only planned to be there for 4 days, however this turned into two weeks
as the weather was not conducive for us to leave.

What an amazing two weeks we had!
On arrival day, we were given these beautiful necklaces

During our time there, Richard got up at 4am and went fishing with Hio (son)
Hio's uncle caught a huge Wahoo, which was then shared with the 6 cruising boats,
we smoked our piece (the photo is of the smoked wahoo on a "dinner plate"!)
It was a big fish!

Richard also went crayfishing with Hio
This entailed going at night to the reef, and the crayfish "walk" over the reef and you pick them up
Easier said then done - Richard "saw" one, Hio got a sackful

We also met and spent time with Francesco and Felicia (cruisers)
Francesco is from Italy.
One night, Francesco decided to make homemade pasta for us all - delicious!

Our contribution to all this wonderful food was cakes and desserts - that was what was requested, so I baked often.

I even made them sausage rolls - a kiwi favourite!

Hio also gave us a huge tray of sea bird eggs, so of course I had to make them a Bacon and Egg Pie

Hio tagged a turtle, and we were there for the day of release to freedom


The location is absolutely gorgeous... what a place to be "stuck"...

Francesco has gone "coconut crabbing" with some locals, 
and he had caught some fish, so we had a bbq

As we had the weather window to leave Mopelia, 
it was a sad day saying goodbye...

We were again presented with these amazing necklaces and earrings from the family...

We had 1140 nm to get to Tonga... due to our delay with the weather, we needed to get to Tonga for Hils and Doug who are arriving on 29th... just under 8 days and we arrived,
however along the way, fishing was good...
catching this Tuna on homemade toothpaste lure 
(thank you Ian - Outsider for showing us toothpaste lures)

the other excitement was hooking a Marlin on a toothpaste lure also, 
by the time I had run in to get the camera, it was off...

So then it was hello Vava'u Tonga

We went yesterday to a "Tongan Feast" - what a gorgeous spot

with delicious suckling pig...

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Bora Bora

As we enter the reef, we see the first of many "overwater" holiday accommodations

We dropped anchor at Pitu uu Tai - lovely glass calm with no other boats.
Snorkeling was colourful...

even with underwater messages...

lots of fish...

and colourful shellfish

On arrival at Vaitape we were immediately invited by Jim & Carola (Koza) to join them 
along with Phil & Fay (Jigsaw) and Daryl & Deniz (Vimy) 
and a local guy, Tem and his friend Aurelie
to join them for a BBQ at a small Motu (Atoll) for a BBQ
The girls "had" to have  photo was Tem...

It was a great day and we have had lots of other really good times with Koza, Jigsaw and Vimy here.

Daryl & Deniz, Carola and Richard decided to hike up the mountain 
(this is the back-side of the mountain)

and this the side they climbed

The sign at the start of the hike "strongly" recommends a guide but doesn't state you cannot go...

As they ascended the views were amazing...

and of course getting to the top a wonderful feat for them all, 
with it being 661 metres at the lower of the two peaks.

They found the trail to be very steep all the way, including ropes on rock faces.  
It also wasn't clearly obvious where the trail was.
I received an email at 14.30 from Carola to say they were lost.
I immediately radioed Jim (Carolas partner).  We went to the start of the trail and emailed them the coordinates and bearings from their last position.
Jim and I decided it was pertinent to inform the police as darkness falls here early and quickly
(they were NOT impressed!)

By 17.00 we were thinking that they would be spending the night on the mountain,
however just before dark a very dirty and exhausted 4 had found their way down
The police and fire rescue were with us the meet them,
all of us having to report back to the police station at 07.00 the next morning for them to be informed how much a helicopter would have cost if they hadn't made it out!

Alls well, that ends well though.

Our lovely Tem makes paddles - he races in the local boats, so we had him make us one
It really is lovely (and will also be used in our kayak)

Had to take of a photo of these cute rental cars...

We will head away from Bora Bora tomorrow and more than likely 
not have internet for about a month

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Raiatea and Tahaa...

We hired a car and drove around Raiatea.
We were shown the process at a Pearl Farm, where the oyster has a host piece harvested from one oyster, inserted into another along with a "foreign" ball.
The harvested piece is what will determine the colour of the pearl

Inserting the "foreign ball".
Harvesting the Host Piece
They are then put into these cages and put back in the sea for 18 months, 
when the pearl has developed.

Taputapuatea is a large Marae complex at Opoa. 
The site features a number of marae and other stone structures and was once considered the central temple and religious centre of Eastern Polynesia.
The Marae was established by 1000 AD.
Most significantly a truce known as the Faatau Aroha was established with the surrounding islands divided into two alliances known as Aotea (East) and Aouri (West).  This alliance lasted for many years and promoted an intense period of exploration, leading to the discovery and colonisation of all the islands of Eastern Polynesia, including Hawaii, Rapanui and Aotearoa (New Zealand).

The scenery is lovely with tropical plants and waterfalls...

and dramatic backdrops

Look what we found in the supermarket - Yes, NZ Lamb - as in a whole one
plus anchor butter and Hokey Pokey Ice-cream  - heaven!

Over at Tahaa we went snorkelling at a spot known as "The Coral Gardens"
The coral was so healthy with lots of marine life - I will let the photos tell the story...

After Tahaa, we headed back to Raiatea to collect our Screecher which had been repaired.
We were then ready to head to Bora Bora.
We had just gone through the pass when the stiching on our Headsail came away along the bottom and up most of the outer side - the UV had disintegrated the thread
so, it was turn around and back to our wonderful sail repairer.

As it was a long weekend, it could not be repaired until she reopened on the Tuesday.

I had found NZ Lamb shanks in the supermarket, so I slow cooked these with red wine, rosemary, whole head of garlic (halved across) star anise, onions, carrots etc etc
4 hours later when ready, these had to be enjoyed with a very special bottle of red wine.
Our darling friends Chris & Michael had sent a special bottle over for us with Lynnette
Thank You, Thank You

Tuesday our headsail had been repaired - using Tenana Thread (teflon coated) which will last many years.  Wednesday morning it was goodbye Raiatea and Tahaa

Hello Bora Bora