Tahiti is a beautiful island, but we are anchored near the city, Papeete, so it is a busy place. However, we still awake to the sound of roosters just before sunrise. It is full of sailboats, jet skiers, mega-sailboats 150+ feet, water skiers, and such. It also has big city perks such as cold beer on tap, lots of fun cruisers, parks to toss the Frisbee in, big grocery stores for provisioning (where get mustard to improve the already delightful sardine baguette), laundry, and food vans called roulottes, which serve up tasty local treats. My favorite local food is poisson cru. Poisson cru is a bit like ceviche, but it created from raw tuna, coconut milk, and a few veggies and spices. Delicious.
We got more eggs and therefore could return to making Norwegian pancakes! And we return to inviting cruisers over for breakfast. We shared a breakfast with Paul, a Dutch, singlehander. His boat, Rebellion, is 27 feet and he left on his journey 6 years ago. During the breakfast a sea turtle swam by, so I grabbed my mask and snorkel and joined the turtle for a swim!!!
Evenings are typically spent chit-chatting with cruisers at the Dinghy Bar, which happens to serve up liter beers. Simple and delightful evenings of conversation and sometimes even poetry from Terry a gentleman Aussie. The evenings seem magical, but so simple that is difficult to describe what makes them wonderful.
We met a film crew on their way to explore an island 80 miles from Tahiti, which might be appropriate to relocate a tribe and culture from another Pacific Island, because their island is being erased by rising sea levels due to climate change. Gray and Rory are hired to sail them to the island.
One evening as we were getting back into our dingy we bumped into Gil and Kathy, two wonderful Canadians that live on Endorfin and they invite us over for a nightcap. We get to sip bevies, listen to good music, and dance on the bow in the moonlight. They give us a tour of their boat, which they have had for 17 years so the stories are incredible and the “remodeling” of the boat over the years is impressive and makes it a lovely home sweet home.
There is a surf break not too far from the boat, so we can dingy there in the mornings often with Gary and Rory after coffee. Nice waves, but it gets shallow and reefy on the inside. It is crystal clear water and one can enjoy views of coral and fish while waiting in between sets. We surfed one day with fabulous locals that were taking off late and staying in front of the barreling wave crashing on the reef behind them!!
Mo’orea is a lush and mountainous island just 20km northeast of Tahiti. Spectacular!! We headed there on June 16 for 2 nights and a day. We anchored in 10 feet of clear water. We could hop off the Twister and with a minute swim be snorkeling an impressive reef. During one snorkeling we saw what looked like a white mini-moray eel with Polynesian style tattoos. We also spotted some crazy life form that looks much like 4 feet of rope with 2 inch diameter and has a tentacle head at both ends seemingly snacking on coral. BIZARRE!
We hitched about Mo’orea. We hitched up a mountain to Belvedere lookout for a view of Moorea from above. We did a splendid short hike through the lush jungle. We found a waterfall and had an incredible fresh water rinse. Showers are extremely rare while dwelling on a sailboat, so the waterfall felt amazing. The flora was diverse with numerous types of flowers and trees. We didn’t see much wildlife. And each and every time I heard something in the jungle moving around it turned out to be a chicken or rooster!! Unexpected at first, but then it became normal. Why would there be rooster just running wild in the jungle. There are a ridiculous number of chickens on Moorea. It is evident in the morning when the roosters begin crowing. They are loud even on the sailboat anchored offshore. The night sky was delightful. The moon was just past full. So, the nights started without moonlight just impressive stars. After a few hours the nearly full moon would rise behind the mountain to join us and the stars!
We returned from Mo’orea to Tahiti after 2 nights. There was enough wind to sail most of the way.
I head back to LA tonight and as I approach the end of my trip I feel extremely lucky to have experienced the wonderful life on the Twister and also a bit like having a big cry.
“She said she usually cried at least once each day not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful and life was so short.” –Brian Andreas