Lazy Bones Welcomes 'KK' to French Polynesia!

Friday, July 19, 2013

After a delightful 2 weeks in the Tuamotos it was time to again move. We had an uneventful 2 night sail towards Tahiti, where we had agreed to spend a much needed week doing boat work and preparing for our friend Kathy to join us aboard Lazy Bones for 10 days of sailing around the Society Islands.

When we enetered the harbor in Papeete, we were greeted by a flotilla of outrigger canoes who were competing in the local Heiva festival. Great first impression!
Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia felt quite cosmopolitan after our previous three months in remote locations - it was a dream to pick up relatively quick (but $$) Internet again; back to civilization!

Armed with a lengthy list of ‘to-dos’ and a very short timeframe, we got to work quickly. Boat jobs included:  replacing the rudder pins we had sent from France, installing the new motor for the windlass, oil and filter changes on both engines, replacing the gasket on the port engine, having the mainsail taken off and patched in several places, servicing the generator and re-stocking our depleted spares inventory. ‘Other’ jobs included: laundry, propane refilling, restocking of food and beverage provisions, cleaning of the boat, blog posts and general admin. We were pooped.

Not wanting our time in Tahiti to be all work and no play, we rented a car with our friends on Chilli Cat and spent the day touring the island. Unfortunately the ‘sights’ weren’t that numerous or exciting but an unplanned lunch stop had us joining a senior citizens luncheon! Everyone was in colourful clothes, all the women had fresh flower leis, there was a ukulele band. It was really festive and the food was delish!

Our good friend Kathy from Sydney arrived on time and after a quick trip to the Carrefour (European grocery store), we were very well stocked for the next 10 days. We set sail immediately for Moorea – 20nm and arrived by mid afternoon. Just in time for an afternoon swim!
We based ourselves on the north coast and kept ourselves busy for three days by:
Swimming with sting rays and sharks

Enjoying the views and (free Internet) at the Hilton, Moorea

And of course eating and drinking! Kathy, who is a big lover of food helped prepare some great meals aboard.

We also prepared a freshly speared sole (a.k.a. flounder]. Unfortunately it was more bone than anything else, but she persevered!

After three days, we pulled up the anchor and set off for our 80nm, overnight sail to Huahine - a small and much less developed island with a population of 6500 people.
We arrived in Huahine mid-morning, which gave us just enough time to walk around the town before we met up with our friends and enjoyed sunset happy hour Mai Tais on the waterfront.

July is the month of the Heiva festival where traditional dance competitions are held in the local towns. The festival culminates in Bora Bora at the end of the month with all of the winning groups. We were lucky enough to score some tickets in Huahine to see the dancing. What hips!

We heard the weather was due to change with increased winds and big seas. Wanting our passages to be as comfortable as possible for Kathy, we revised our plan and left Huahine early the next day and set sail for Bora Bora with a lunch stop planned at Raietea and an overnight stop at Tahaa. This really was the whistleblowers tour of the Society Islands.

Arriving in Bora Bora the next day, we had high winds and choppy seas. Blessed with the protection of the surrounding lagoon, we anchored behind the Motu Toopua for 2 nights, which was pure bliss and very sheltered. We explored the deserted Motu Tapu.

The Heiva festivities continued in Bora Bora and Kathy and I were lucky enough to catch the end of the fruit carrying contest where the local men carry loads of bananas and run with them.  Feeling pretty strong ourselves we had a go at lifting them – light as a feather! Great picture opps too!

The afternoon was full of festivities – bingo, a local version of roulette (that raised some suspicion…) and foosball.

Kathy’s good friend Moana has parents who live in Bora Bora and they wanted to show us around the island and then have us back to their place for lunch. What a treat! They have a great home high on a hill overlooking Matira beach. 
Miriama – Moana’s mother put on a beautiful spread of sashimi, salads, tuna skewers, fresh bread and wine. We enjoyed a long lunch with them, followed by an afternoon swim at the beach.

We finished the day with a huge meal at Mai Kai restaurant to celebrate Kathy’s last night. We are officially full!
After a busy but great 10 days, we said goodbye to Kathy :( Keeping a close eye on the weather, we decided to stay in Bora Bora for another week – waiting for a good weather window to make the 680nm passage to Suwarrow, in the Cook Islands. Light breezes and a full sun made it an easy decision to book a last minute helicopter ride over the lagoon.

That's Lazy Bones!

After the helicopter dropped us at the St Regis, we had a quick look around the very luxurious grounds.

Looks like a nice place to put my feet up!
 Pig roast anyone?

It was awesome having Kathy join for a tour of the Society Islands. She was a fantastic guest and it was nice to have an on board chef! You're welcome back anytime KK