Tuesday, 23 July 2013

bouncing into and out of Taha'a

A pretty Cariba, passing us, again!

A lively exit out of the pass was the beginning of a fun and boisterous 6 and a half hour sail to Taha’a’.* Taha’a, is just north of Raiatea, (both islands are surrounded by one reef) and are located east of Bora Bora. Once settled in Haamene Bay, Isabelle and I went for a walk, “pour se dégourdir les jambes”, while the guys did some errands and chilled in the tiny village of Haamene.

The following morning, there were wind gusts to 30 knots and more, but we were well ensconced in mud at the head of the bay. Due to bad weather warnings and such, we had to hold off going to Bora Bora, but the sun was shining, we listened to Gab’s Top 500 songs playlist and brewed ourselves a second cup of coffee. You do what you gotta do…

And since the weather made poking our noses out of the bay unappealing, Isa and I decided to go hiking for the day. The guys were happy to putter aboard Nyon and Cariba. Reassured that the boats would be looked after, we set off. While we were out gallivanting, Rick dusted off his Bodhram and played his little heart out, and later he and Gab had some “guy time”, which means they talked non-stop. In the meantime, Izzy and I soaked in some green energy.

View of Haamene Bay, with Nyon and Cariba hanging out

The entrance of the same bay (it's long)

Izzy as we near the village of Patio
We had a great time hiking the traversée to the northern village of Patio. We wandered around the village and decided we’d hitchhike back to Haamene… Most vehicles were traveling in the other direction, and the 4 or 5 vehicles going our way, didn’t even slow down. A Frenchman riding his bike down the road, told us everyone was in weekend mode. We may not get picked up. We wondered how long it would take us to walk all the way back. That is, until a white pick-up truck with a canvas cover stopped, and asked us where we were going. When we said Haamene (20 km away), the driver initially shook his head and said “We’re full”. Isa looked around the back and said “But there’s room!” As they awkwardly added, “Oh but they’re paying…” We realized they wanted us to offer money for a ride, so we both said in unison, “We’ll pay!”  (We didn't want to walk down the road in the dark after all.) We hopped in the back and found
Going down a country road in Taha'a
ourselves seated with a genial group of French travelers… all in their sixties. They’d chartered a 52’ sailboat captained by one of their sons who is a professional captain in Antarctica, and the conversation went from there, friendly and animated. We managed to bargain a decent price for the ride, and walked the last 2 km over the isthmus to our bay on the east side of the island. (The Frenchies were going to the bay on the west side. But we didn’t get off before the driver and his companion showed us a three headed coconut palm tree. Apparently, they’re rare. It did look a little weird.

View as we walked down the road back to Haamene
(before we got picked up)

The three-headed coconut palm tree
After more rabblerousing aboard Cariba that evening, we woke up the next morning, to more wind warnings (the swell was the big concern for this area), and I began fretting about what to do next. Time was running out, the weather was getting worse, but we had to check out. What to do? Our first step, was to weigh anchor and head south to Raiatea, since it was the nearest port of entry. I'll write more about that later.

*We had decided to break up our trip to Bora Bora with an overnight stop in Taha’a, so we could avoid an overnight passage and make things a little more comfortable for me as my Ankylosing Spondylitis had been kicking my a** these last few days. Turns out we had to stay longer, since Mother Nature had to have a temper tantrum.

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