Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tahiti to Huahine

Our fuel problem went from bad to worse. Island Packet could not supply a replacement and while trying to fix the one broken part, 2 others also broke. So we had to start from scratch and take the hose into a shop and ask for new parts. Fortunately we managed to get something that works, its not perfect but should get us to NZ. Once we had a working engine we left Tahiti and headed to its sister island Moorea. Moorea is only 20 miles away from Tahiti but very different, it was much quieter and very mountainous. We anchored first in Cooks Bay which was a deep bay surrounded by tall peaks and very pretty. The only down side was that the road ran around the bottom of the bay so there was some  traffic noise.

While there we did a walk to a view point called Belverdere. It was a lovely walk, but all up hill, to a view of the 2 main bays on the north side of the Island, Cooks and Oponuhu bays. We had a picnic at the top before heading back down. It was probably somewhere between 8-10 miles and we were very tired when we got back to the boat. After a few days we moved around the corner to Oponohu bay which was quieter but not quite as pretty. Then we anchored on the outside of the bay just inside the reef. It was a lovely quiet spot and the first night we were the only boat there sitting surrounded by reef and mountains. The following morning we were joined by Chris and Rani on Ladybug and the 4 of us went along the inside of the reef to see what is called Stingray City.

Stingray City is actually a shallow sandy area inside the reef where the tourist boats feed the stingrays. We arrived early before the boats with our tin of sardines to feed them. As soon as we dropped the anchor there were rays all around the boat swimming right to the surface. There were so many that it was difficult to get out of the dinghy and stand up. Unfortunately, they didn't like our tinned sardines so went back to relaxing until they heard a tour boat arrive. Then they all went over to the boat and the guide was feeding them fresh fish. The rays were climbing all over him trying to get to the food, it was amazing. The guide did not mind us joining them so we swam over and the rays were rubbing against us, it was a very strange feeling. Eventually, the sharks also arrive and there were about 6 black tips just patrolling around us. We sat watching the rays from the boat for a while and they were practically coming out of the water. A great experience.

We spent the remainder of the day with Chris and Rani and then bid farewell to them as they were returning to Tahiti and we were continuing on to Huahine. We left for Huahine late afternoon the following day. It was an 80 mile trip and we had to arrive in the day to go through the reef with good light. It was an uncomfortable sail with fairly light winds but we arrived at the entrance at about 7am. We had decided to stop on the east side of the island and anchored in 10ft of water behind a long motu which ran to the southern tip of the island. It was an idyllic spot. We were the only boat and the water was crystal clear and very still. There was a continuous flow of current so the boat just sat in the same position for 3 days. We did not move and it was flatter than being tied up in a marina.

While anchored on the east side, we did a drift snorkel from the south end of the motu back to the boat. There were patches of nice coral but also a lot of dead. We saw one area which was covered in sea anemones with lots of Nemo's living in it! We also tried to paint our toe rail again as the sea was so flat but the rain stopped that. After 3 days of solitude we have moved around to the west of the island to the main town Fare. Our friends Barbara and Michael on Astarte arrived here at the same time and we are looking forward to dinner with them this evening. We have also been into town and stocked up on fruit and veg. We have had our first bananas since the Tuamotus and we have gone at least a week without Pampelmousse (a very large grapefruit but sweeter and juicier)!

Tomorrow we are moving to another anchorage further south of where we are which hopefully has some good snorkelling. It looks as if the winds will be building over the next few days so we want a quieter place than where we currently are!

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