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

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Tuamotos, Tahiti and Moorea...

Arriving in Tuamotos had to be timed with tide, current and sun...
Entering (and exiting) the Atolls (a small pass in the reef system) had to be timed accurately, otherwise you had "standing waves" at the pass and at times extremely strong current.
All navigation had to be done with "eyeball" sighting as the charts were not accurate.

The Tuamotos are very picturesque...

of course we had to have a fire on the beach, and once burned down, toasted marshmallows

with Dean having his own private island...

Richard and Dean went for a scuba dive through one of the passes
with Richard seeing a huge manta ray - it would have been 15 feet across
(unfortunately no photo)

Most places we anchored we were surrounded by sharks...

At Fakarava Atoll, this local man happily fed this nurse shark

Fakarava was our leaving point to sail to Tahiti - after 3 months Dean was extremely excited with the prospect of seeing Lynnette, who had decided to fly up to meet us 
(with Kane and Jess & Deans Mum) however the weather had other thoughts.
A system had come through and was hanging on, meaning that our carefully laid plans of having plenty of time to spare to get to Papeete before her arrival was looking dubious.
We will not take risks with the weather, so with that in mind, Dean booked a flight

The last meal (brunch) (for this part of the journey) aboard Our Rose in Fakarava

then a very short dinghy trip to the dock at the airport

and Dean was on his way. 
Thank You so much Deano for joining us for this journey...
You were such a great help on Our Rose and a wonderful friend!

So, as Murphys Law would have it the weather forecast showed perfect conditions for us to sail to Papeete, however on our second night we had 4 hours of 35 knots with lightning everywhere and interesting seas.  
We were so thankful to arrive without a strike on Our Rose!

We then sailed to Moorea, where Lynnette had organised a house 
and we anchored just off with Our Rose.

We had the most fantastic week of laughter, fun, wine/cocktails and more wine/cocktails
with wonderful food.  They had brought up NZ Lamb, Eye Filet, Scotch Filet and we had Tuna aplenty.

The photo below is Me, Lynnette, Anna (Deans Mum) and Jess...
on our "Cocktail Evening"

The two of us, and Anna and me...

Kane and Jess on Our Rose...

Richard did a dive Introduction with Kane & Refresh with Lynnette...

Jess was ready to jump in the Kayak to follow them...

It was sad to see everybody leave and look forward to the next time we see them again, 
Wherever that may be!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Galapagos to Marquesas...

On 29th February we left Galapagos for our journey to Marquesas,
taking exactly 21 days and 3095 nautical miles...

We needed to motor for 3 days only during the trip.
A week in and our beautiful screecher sail blew out – damn!
Richard had to do repairs on both the generator and watermaker while underway, 
however all in all it was a wonderful uneventful trip.

The dolphins came out to meet us as we approach Marquesas...

Our first sight of land was amazing and what a spectacular anchorage – Fatu Hiva - purported to be one of the most beautiful anchorages in the world

We presented Dean with this certificate while having a well deserved drink
After 21 days of no alcohol it was like nectar to the gods!

and we got into some guitar lessons with a few drinks...

We met Daniel – a Frenchman who arrived here six months ago 
and hasn’t left (we can understand why)…

Daniel is a true gentleman, taking us ashore to meet the locals
and organizing the most amazing fruit

Which was given to us by Poi (in photo below)

Poi is also an amazing bone carver – we bought a beautiful  piece from him
for my hair

We went on a wonderful walk to a local waterfall

After a couple of days of enjoying being at anchorage
we headed to Viatehu, Tahuata
The church here is magnificent which overlooks the anchorage

Inside, the pulpit is hand carved

Easter was again upon us, so I baked
Chicken Pies, Mince and Cheese Pies and of course Hot Cross Buns...

We finally headed to Hiva Oa to check into French Polynesia

We then headed to Hanamenu on Hiva Oa
The casting was great off the back of Our Rose

However this shark was returned to live another day

While heading to Ua Pou we came across birds working
Great schools of tuna – needless to say it was Sashimi and Sesame Seared Tuna Medallions for dinner!..

We anchored at "Daniels Bay" a gorgeous spot... 
the yacht next to us - a young french couple had a chicken aboard
they thought it would lay eggs for them (they collected it in Galapagos)
Needless to say - no eggs
However was a visual feast for the boys as she wore NOTHING!

Went for a long walk to the third highest waterfall in the world

We are now at Niku Hiva, with the first internet since we arrived, 
and leaving for the Tuamotos tomorrow…

This amazing mural is on the wall of a snack place here,
showing the full body tattoos of the Marquesan ancestors