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

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!