Tin Tin's Sailing Calendar

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Tahiti farewell

Saturday 3rd June 2917 After a week of dealing with maintenance and repairs we were all glad to put to sea onFriday afternoon. There had been a succession of engineers dealing with generator, engine,, refrigeration, electrical systems and sails, p,us all our own efforts finding spares and doing much needed maintenance. Our dock position on a main pier by the Casa Bianca restaurant and bar had given us a constant stream of people passing us and stopping to chat. It also gave us easy access to Happy Hour, at which point the strains of the day could fall away, chatting to other sailors.

On our last night we were joined by Fabien, skipper of an enormous yacht, Annatta, and it's engineer, Toma, together with Etienne, local agent. Toma enquirer after "the Hairy Gonad" which puzzled us a little, but Etienne disappeared to his office and came back with a refrigerated coconut and five espresso cups. A couple of wooden plugs protruded like horns from the hairy coconut and when removed , out poured a delectable liquor with the strength of rum and the aroma of coconut. The rum had been stored in their for two months and was delicious...thanks to Etienne for sharing that delight with us!

During the week Emily and Julian had hired a scooter, and explored Tahiti thoroughly as well as running errands to find essentials in shops all over town. In addition they had a number of scuba divers, and Julien started o the process of getting his PADI diving qualification. I rather wanted to do the same, but there was too much to do on the boat.

Before we left the security guard had serious words with us, once he discovered that we were sailing to his native island of Huahine. Apparently there is a sacred site at the southern tip of the island, where underwater tikis exert a powerful mana and we would be in danger if we trespassed. Many boats had disappeared there.

The following morning after a windless night motoring, we gave the sacred site a wide berth, and entered a pass further up. It's a beautiful island and as we anchored in crystal clear light blue water above white sand, the hills impressed us with the richly varied forest cover, made up of so many different textures and shapes of canopy.

Ashore we tied to a dock at the Huahine Yacht Club, and wandered along the seafront. The music that had been coming across the water emanated from a lustily singing lady, microphone in hand, under an awning, whilst a group of muscle men were pumping iron, and other workout routines in time to the beat. Every so often she would count them down to change position, and the small crowd on plastic chairs and in pickup trucks would applaud.

Huahiné surprised us with its Super U shop, which opened out, Tardis-like, into a vast store stocked with an astonishing array of goods from fishing rods, yoga mats, cat food, frozen foods, and clothes. I found some Tahiti Moorea mugs and a bright floral shirt which, with Emily's approval, I am now wearing. It was election Saturday, so all alcohol sales were banned, which is interesting

Eventually I perched on a dockside bollard to sketch the view of the bay and was soon surrounded by small boys on bicycles, who I organised to select and hand me the right colour pencil as I needed it. One lad begged the use of my pen and worked up some nice tattoo patterns on his arm, but has to wait till he is 19 to have it done properly.

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