What a strange feeling…. after so many months of small populated towns, if any at all, small grocery stores that had just enough supplies to restock a few select fresh fruit (mainly grapefruit, imported apples, and bananas), and quiet surroundings with only nature to be heard, we made landfall in the busiest, most populated island in French Polynesia, Tahiti, June 24th, 2018.
Our overnight passage from Toau was pretty much seamless after our exciting 3 am departure was out of the way. 36 hours and a Wahoo later we found ourselves just reaching the north end of the island of Tahiti. We made way for Venus Point, the same anchorage Capt. Cook landed in on the Bounty to observe the transit of Venus across the Sun on June 3, 1769. That was 249 years ago! This very protected, easy navigable, black sand bay, eased our entry into “city life” for just one night. The black sand was something we, on Shawnigan, had not experienced yet. When we dropped the hook, we assumed the water was dirty and that we would not be able to see the bottom. As soon as the anchor was down we hopped on paddle boards and toured around. It didn’t take long to realize that we could actually see the bottom from the surface. At 20 feet down, our silver anchor glistened half dug into the black sand.
The next morning we made way for the anchorage just north of Marina Taina, which is just south of Papeete, Tahiti’s largest city and the Capital of French Polynesia. On our way in through he pass, we motored by a popular surf spot, no not Teahupoo, but lovely to see. I think its safe to say that we all felt shell shocked. So much to see, the surfers were beautiful, the landscape was beautiful, the people on outriggers givin’her were beautiful, the water was beautiful, the list could go on. Shortly after, as we made our way up the channel, our friend named Gilles, whom we met a few years back in Sausalito as he and his family sailed through on SV Coccinelle, came to greet us on his dinghy. He hopped aboard, tied his dinghy to Shawnigan and lead the way to the anchorage.
The anchorage was tight, but we found a spot. It was exciting to see so many boats anchored and moored in a few mile radius. The kids were especially excited, because big city means more kid boats coming together in one location, therefore new kids to meet and make connections with. A few other things to be excited about: BIG grocery stores and free wifi access from the town hall, family visiting, and a tour of the island via rental car. Yay!
Every morning the outriggers were out practicing.
Play time with cousin Lola.
Ages 17 – 5 years old.
Ellamae’s send-off crew (Boat kids from La Cigale, Raftkin, and our Shawnigan crew).
That’s Nina, doing some kind of funky pose.
Taj is in awe with the size of the waterfall.
We finally met S/V Bonaire!
Nina and Taj coming into shore in the dinghy to pick me up.
Taj (at 5 years old) being towed behind a dinghy on a hydrofoil. Thanks Jeremy with starboardSupNZ !
Kid boat meet up at the park near the marina in Pape’ete. Kids from S/V Today, S/V Coastal Drifter, S/V La Cigale, us (S/V Shawnigan), S/Y Panacea and S/V ManuiaBus ride back from town with S/Y Panacea crew.
S/V Alondra kids, S/V Bajka Kids, and Taj at the office in Marina Taina.
Playing with the “BajkaBoys”Ship Shape time…while the laundry dries.
Taj posing with his signed Frankie Hill skateboard that was given to him.
Our farewell as we departed Tahiti from our Starboard SUP New Zealand friend Victoria.
coming up next…. Mo’orea