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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bora Bora Still



Here are a couple pictures from the boat in Bora Bora

We haven't done much for the past few days. We walked to town, about 2 miles. We bought a few groceries thinking the store would give us a ride back. But no, they only give rides the opposite direction.

Trinda had a nice birthday. In Tahiti I bought her a "roll up piano" keyboard. I succeeded in getting it aboard and hiding it til then. She was so shocked that I got her something without Wyndi telling me to, that she just sat and looked at the pretty rapping paper for a couple hours before she opened it. It doesn't play quite as well as advertised, but it is something else to do. I have been trying it too. Besides the old standby, On Top of Old Smoky, I found the music I used when I was learning
the organ when I was a kid. I played Roses Are Red and Que Sara. Trinda can remember several songs too.

We went snorkeling with Bold Spirit and they had us over to play Mexican Train and eat chocolate cake for her birthday too. Yesterday we took the dinghy for a ride around the island some. The wind has been blowing so it was a really wet ride.

Tonight the caretaker at the Bora Bora Yacht Club is making a special Chinese dinner and maybe tomorrow a Polynesian pit feast. I hope he doesn't change his mind again. Last night I made lamb chops and fried taro root. Because of the nearness of New Zealand the stores are full of lamb cuts. I realize that is sacrilege to eat sheep, but they don't seem to have much beef. Sorry Uncle Jim.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Bora Bora

We sailed to Bora bora, about 25 miles from Riaitea and Tahaa. As we left Tahaa an old brig square rigger fell in behind us. It was quite a sight . It only has two masts, but seemed to have lots of sails. It was too far off to get pictures though. When they got to the southern tip of Bora Bora to turn 90 degrees to come up to the entrance pass, it took them 30 minutes to drop all the sails, make the turn and then raise the sails for that tack. It has a paid crew of 14 for all that sail handling,
plus passengers that pay to come along. They leave New Zealand each season, got to Easter Island, Pitcairn, the Marquesas, Tuamotus, Tahiti, Tonga and back to New Zealand. It must be quite an experience.

The internet here has been down for a couple of days, but they promise it will be back today.

I think we have decided to make a loop back to Hawaii for the season, then back to the Tuamotus again next season. There are two other boats planning that route. We'll save the Marshals for next year.

When we got anchored here, a boat come over and said there was to be a bar-b-que at the Bora Bora Yacht Club Sunday afternoon. We went and ate. It was prepared by the Tahitian that takes care of the club house. It was really good, grilled steak, chicken and sausage, passion cru de coco and breadfruit. There were 6 Norwegian boats out of the 10 from Norway this year that they knew of. 3 Americans, 2 French and one Japanese. Aki, the Japanese, played the guitar and sang cowboy and bluegrass. I never
thought I'd go to Bora Bora to head a Japanese version of a hoe down! Except for a few funny "R"s, he was great. Trinda later took her guitar and ukulele over to show him and play a little.

They are planning an authentic Tahition "in the ground" dinner for next Sunday. I would like to stay for it, but we'll see.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Raiatea

We made a trip to town here today. We hitchhiked the 5 kilometers in to the main part of town. It is a smallish island 11,000 people, with only 5000 living in town. There are only 5 taxis.

Trinda looked at almost every pearl there! then we bought some vegies, Taro root and taroa root. They are sorta like hard potatoes they say. a lady at the market told us how to cook the second one. The taro we learned of in Tahaa the other day and liked it fine, that's why we bought a bunch of about 6 this time. You peal it then slice it about 3/4 inch thick, boil it for 25 minutes then fry it or pour coconut cream over it as a salad. The other is similar, but less boiling and is often put in a vegetable
salad with mayonnaise.

The work yard of the little marina we are anchored in front of has a beer happy hour Fridays at 6:00, so I plan to go. Trinda is not too much for that kinda social thing, so she is just sending me.

We also found dry roasted peanuts, from China for about $2 a kilo (2.2 lbs) They are very good. I haven't had peanuts for a while.

A boat we met in Bara de Navidad, Mex. just anchored next to us. We had a nice visit, catching up.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tahaa Vanilla Tour






We took a tour of Tahaa with "Vanilla Tours". The day started with a beautiful sunrise.
Then we saw a vanilla orchid farm and then the beans curing. We stopped by a plan with really large leaves. It used to be eatable, but it took 12 hours to cook. With microwave ovens now, it is only used for umbrellas.
Then we drove to the top of the mountian and had fresh grapefruit (popplemoouse) and green coconut juice.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Kissed A Bloomie

We decided to motor around to the north end of Tahaa. We got a little further than we wanted so turned around and out to the edge of the outer reef. the lagoon here is different from most of the others we have been in. It is 100 feet deep and flat on the bottom, from the edge of the reef next to the mountain to the edge of the reef around the motus on the outer reef. We noticed a small catamaran we had met a while back, anchored near the motu, so we headed toward them. I forgot how little water a
catamaran needed. The bottom came up from the 100 foot to around 50. The water saw so clear. I was watching the coral heads slip past, the tops at 30 feet as we got close to the catamaran. Then we just stopped with a jerk! I looked over the side and sure enough the coral head looked like it was the same depth as the others at 30 feet, but it was only 6! we need 6.5!!!

Peter from the catamaran, Risho Maru, came shooting over in his dinghy to help. We just gave it a little more gas and slid right over the coral, slowly, without even any scraping noise. But then the others were even shallower. Peter had looked around good before he anchored and knew the depths of several of the other coral around u. He came aboard and help point the way between the taller ones. Trinda followed our instructions admirably as we yelled left, right, back FULL, left,... We made it back
to deeper water in about 15 minutes of careful visual navigation! And anchored in a sand patch at 30 feet with 20 foot tall coral heads all around. The anchor held fine and we relaxed a while. I snorkeled to inspect the bottom of the keel and the anchor. Only a small scratch of bottom paint missing, 3"x10". It feels nice to have a boat built like a tank sometimes.

We later went ashore to the motu.
Peter, Alexandra and young Finn and their guests were plying on the beach too. I showed them how to husk a dry coconut with a pointed stick, and they showed us how to open a green coconut to drink the water with their machete. We chased some coconut crabs, with no luck and had a nice afternoon.

The wind has come up to 17-20 during the night, so it looks like snorkeling this morning is out. We may go on around the island today when the sun gets a little higher so we can see the bloomies better!
Just a little later this rainbow appeared.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tahaa

We rested yesterday and a lot more today. We are anchored just inside the reef on the east side of the island. This morning we went snorkeling in the pass. It was the healthiest coral we have seen and lots of little fish. The pass is over 90 feet deep, so we didn't see any sharks, they mostly seem to stay toward the bottom.

There are only a few boats here, a couple of cruisers and several local charter catamarans. The water is clear about 50 feet. We anchored in 25 feet for a change. The guide book said of the two islands (motus) on each side of the pass, that one is private and doesn't appreciate visitors and the other is uninhabited. Wrong again, they both have "private Property" signs. We'll move on north around inside the reef tomorrow and see what's there.

I made red beans and cornbread for supper tonight. We slept most of the afternoon away again.

One of the boats here came over and said, "We sorta met you from the South African boat, Sarabond, who said you make a great Key Lime pie. The word was out about you!" Trinda was pleased. We may have to make a pie for them in a few days.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Tahaa - First Day

We made it OK, about 11:30. We're tired. Sleeping the rest of the day. We'll save sight seeing for tomorrow.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tahiti



We passed these boats at the begining, but...


Things are coming along. I got the wood to make a new steering oar for the wind spent a couple hours with the little spoke shave and am only about 1/3 done.

I took the propane bottle up to be refilled, but they said they don't fill "rusty" tanks! "You should clean it and put on a little paint, then maybe they won't reject it", they said. So I spent the rest of the afternoon with a wire brush. Now maybe I can take it to them Monday (weekends start on Friday of course).

We entered the Tahiti Cup Race this coming Saturday. It is a fun race 10 miles to Moorea, with activities afterward including canoe racing, which I signed up as a paddler. We'll see.

Yes that is me in the middle.

I found some more of our friend's webpages and added them to the bottom of my page. If I fail to describe something, then maybe they did, HA!

I still haven't gone diving for the block for the dinghy davit. Maybe tomorrow.

We had a nice 4th aboard a large catamaran, Bare Feet, along with about 8 other couples. Hamburgers, hotdogs and beer. Of course apple pie and Trinda and I made a pecan pie. I did the crust as usual and she did the filling. It was the hit of the desert table!

Trinda with the consulation prize. We came in last in the sail race and I came in last in the canoe!

Tahiti Market Day

Trinda in "La Truck".


We are not ready, but leaving Tahiti today anyway.

Yesterday, we went shopping and as we were crossing the market a little girl came running up saying "Hi Trinda!!". It was Eugenia from Raraka! The school teacher, Madame and her daughter are here vacationing since school is out. We spent a wonderful day visiting and walking around the shops. It really is a small world!

The Raraka crowd.

I bought a coconut shredder, what they use to make homemade shredded coconut and coconut cream. Now we can try to make our own Passion Cru de Coco, the raw fish with coconut cream on top.

I got ythe wood to make a new steering oar for the windvane, but haven't finished shaping it. Will work more on it under way. We are headed for Tahaa and Bora Bora. It is about 120 miles so maybe 24 hours. Maybe the internet will be better there.


Trinda and Madame, the school teacher, with the band at lunch.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Tahiti

Things are coming along. I got the wood to make a new steering oar for the wind spent a couple hours with the little spoke shave and am only about 1/3 done.

I took the propane bottle up to be refilled, but they said they don't fill "rusty" tanks! "You should clean it and put on a little paint, then maybe they won't reject it", they said. So I spent the rest of the afternoon with a wire brush. Now maybe I can take it to them Monday (weekends start on Friday of course).

We entered the Tahiti Cup Race this coming Saturday. It is a fun race 10 miles to Moorea, with activities afterward including canoe racing, which I signed up as a paddler. We'll see.

I found some more of our friend's webpages and added them to the bottom of my page. If I fail to describe something, then maybe they did, HA!

I still haven't gone diving for the block for the dinghy davit. Maybe tomorrow.

We had a nice 4th aboard a large catamaran, Bare Feet, along with about 8 other couples. Hamburgers, hotdogs and beer. Of course apple pie and Trinda and I made a pecan pie. I did the crust as usual and she did the filling. It was the hit of the desert table!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Raraka Loot



I finally took a picture of the pearl stuff from Raraka. Donnies and Trinda and Mine. Trinda's tree looks similar to Donnie's.

Another Sh*ty Day in Paradise


The first day in Tahiti was calm and beautiful. We relaxed and watched a movie as we rested from the rough crossing from Rangiroa. The next day we spent the day shopping. I found the marine stores and welding shops. They are all 10 to 15 blocks past the end of the bus lines. Lots of walking. Trinda found the craft supply store and the pearl stores too.
When we returned to the boat just before sundown it was apparent that we had dragged anchor some. We busily reset the anchor a little further form the neighbors and watch the wind build. During the night, the wind switched around to the south and came up to 25 to 30. We dragged a little again. We took down all the awnings and shade tarps and the boat settled down some and stopped moving. It then blew all the next day and the next. No one seems to have left their boats. This morning it seemed like
it was going to stop, but by 10:00 it was blowing 20 again.

The surf on the reef.



During the first blow, the dinghy was off the davits and the new block I ordered in Nuka Hiva came loose in the gusting wind and unstrung. One of the blocks and its shackles came completely off the line and sunk. It is about 60 feet deep, so it will be possible to scuba dive to look for it after the seas calm and settle. When we first anchored, I could see the bottom some, but the wind has stirred up the sand and added bubbles so visibility is below 30 feet now.

We haven't been able to visit the other boats because of the wind and waves. Even though we are inside the reef and there is less than a mile of open water, the wind waves are 2 to 3 feet high.

With the cool weather, we have had spaghetti and oxtail stew. I did make it ashore for bread and a few veggies. Trinda has been doing the laundry and polishing some shells.

Tomorrow, if the wind dies back like it is supposed to, I will go pickup the new heat exchanger for the transmission oil cooler and get the stanchion base welded.

Tahiti is very pretty from a distance. in town, the first "big" town we've seen in some time, there's lots of noise, dirt, traffic and air pollution. Everyone is rushing around and have little patience. There are two bus lines, the regular bus and 'la truck'. La truck is a small flatbed type truck with wooden seats along the insides, a roof and most have windows that can be closed. it is cheep, at 130cfp or about $1.50 each way the 5 miles to downtown Papeete.

Trinda says, "But it does have big grocery stores!" One called "Cost & Co" even has a lot of Kirkland brand stuff, just like Costco. The groceries are still very expensive. The only bargin here is bread. A regular French bagget is about 50 cents. eggs are $4 a dozen, beer is $60 a case for Hinaken and $50 for the local stuff, Hinino. Thank goodness we still have a little $20 Mexican beer left and don't have to buy it. All we could fit in our 2 back-packs was over $150, that's about 3 regular shopping
bags. The French have lots of tax on everything.

Photos Uploaded

Eldon has uploaded the CD of our photos.
Look for My Cruising Photo Album, 2007, and below.
or
http://www.tcls.com/~larryl/log_katielee/photos/