Thursday, August 18, 2016

Moorea and Huahini

The trip over from Tahiti to Moorea was a quick one.  We left Tahiti around lunchtime, and made it to Cook's Bay in Moorea that afternoon.  Moorea reminded us a little of the Bay of Virgins in the Marquesas, with its huge peaks looming over the bay.  The island, like most of the Society Islands, is surrounded by a reef, and the water around the reef was crystal clear.  Entering the pass was nothing like the atolls in the Tuamotus, and soon we were at anchor and enjoying sundowners!  We spent 1 night in Cook's Bay, and the next afternoon moved over to the neighboring anchorage in Opunohu Bay.  

Dave and Ben relaxing at anchor - Cook's Bay in Moorea

Moorea's Opunohu Bay

Beautiful clear water and a another view of Opunohu Bay in Moorea

We left Moorea on Sunday evening (August 14th) to head over to Huahini, the closest of the Leeward Society islands.  Since the trip is about 90 miles, we had to time our departure from Moorea to coincide with a morning arrival in Huahini, so we could enter the pass there.  By leaving just before dusk, and averaging a speed of 5 knots, we were able to arrive in Huahine at sunrise.  We traveled with 2 other boats that left at the same time, and it was the first time we'd done an overnighter with other boats.  It was both strange, and comforting to see their red port lights behind us all night.  We spoke to them on the VHF radio, and they were both Australian boats, and they were on their last leg of their circumnavigation!

We arrived in Huahine at sunrise, but had to travel up the side of the island to enter the pass, and then travel all the way down again to reach our anchorage at the southern tip of the island.  This scenic cruise gave us some gorgeous views into the interior of this island that is known as "the wild one".

Land Ahoy - sunrise over Huahine - morning of August 15th, 2016
 After we anchored and snorkeled and explored a bit, we saw 2 new boats enter the anchorage.  Not too long after that, a paddle board came over with a mom and 2 little girls.  They were from "Invictus", a beautiful, 52 foot Lagoon catamaran that we had seen coming in.  They are a German family, and the 2 little girls are 3 and 4 years old!!  They are the cutest little things, and are completely bilingual, with their mom, Nicole, speaking only English to them, even though both parents are German.  While we were chatting with them, another dinghy came over and we were introduced to Nicolas, Ann-Marie and their 3 kids on the French boat, Excalibur.  Soon all kids, and all parents were at the beach getting to know each other.  To me, this is what cruising is all about.  Where in the world can you get 7 kids together:  3 French, 2 German and 2 American, of ages ranging from 3 to 12, all playing (and somehow communicating!) together on the beach and in the water, while the parents sit on the beach comparing boat and cruising notes?!  It was great to meet these new families, and we've made plans to keep each other posted on our whereabouts and we will definitely meet up with them again after we leave this anchorage.

Tuesday, August 16th dawned and it was Captain Dave's birthday!  The kids had made happy birthday cards, and the "Happy Birthday" banner was hung!  We looked back to a year ago when we were celebrating his 50th birthday in Florida, and were speculating where we would be a year from then...and here we are!  Not quite Bora Bora, but close enough!  We dropped the kids off at "Excalibur", the French boat, where they had a ball swinging from ropes and fenders off the side of the boat into the water.  I believe Dave has (or will) upload some video of the fun they were having.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!!  (Card by Gaby)
Dave and I took a dinghy ride around the point and explored another pass.  He really wanted to surf on his birthday, and we found a surf spot at the pass, but there was a little too much current and a reef a little too close, so Dave decided to give it a miss.  But we did enjoy watching the local surfers catch a ride, and we enjoyed dinghying around, exploring the beautiful surroundings.

Crystal clear water

A little cove we discovered on our dinghy ride

We also stumbled upon this archaeological site.  We still need to investigate what the significance is of the stones and how they were arranged, but it was pretty cool to find it!

 We celebrated Dave's birthday that evening with dinner at this little restaurant with chairs on the beach, bare feet in the sand!  It was terribly expensive, but, oh well...special occasion!!

Dave's birthday dinner in Avea Bay with Adrian, Michelle and Rebecca
Sunset over the anchorage
Tomorrow we move our home again to another anchorage on the next islands of Raiatea and Tahaa.  They are 2 islands that share a reef, and a big lagoon in the middle, and we've read that there is no shortage of beautiful, secluded anchorages.  So off we go again, to see what we can see!  For now, farewell from all aboard Cool Runnings!

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