24 July 2014

1500 Days of Cruising

I almost missed it! We are about to start our 10th night at sea on our passage from Maupiti to Niue and intend to make landfall near dawn.

23 July 2014

Liquid Motivation: Heiva in Bora Bora

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Bora Bora is a great place to see the Heiva and we saw it here in 2012. When we were here in 2012, we noticed the fabulous restaurants they make, in temporary structures, decorated with local materials, weaving and flowers until the walls are groaning with decoration.

Thanks to David R and Carter B, we splurged on dinner and wine at one of those establishments before catching two song and dance performances at the main stage.

The beating of the drums, the harmonies, the intense emotion of the speeches in Tahitian and the solos – what a way to say goodbye to French Polynesia.

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21 July 2014

Further West

We are currently on passage having left Maupiti last week, with the intention of making landfall at Niue. Late this evening we passed the furthest west we made in 2012 (Suwarrow) and so we are officially in a new region of the Pacific, in new longitudes. We celebrated by jibing the main, jibing the poled out jib, and Carol going to bed while Livia took the watch ;)

18 July 2014

Maupiti Pics

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16 July 2014

Liquid Motivation: Cruiser Music Party

P1030693We had the delight of listening to Steve on SV Liward perform at a hotel bar in Huahine and we want to send a big thank you to Gary D for picking up the tab!

Happy hour pricing led me to splurge on one of the expensive (but now less expensive) fancy drinks complete with flours and fresh fruit garnish. Mai Tai means “The Best” in Tahitian and this version, made with fresh local fruit juices was definitely the best.

Carol had a beer which was tasty but not photo worthy ;)

14 July 2014

Logbook: Maupiti (again)

Are you tired of the farewell tour posts? We certainly aren’t tired of the farewell tour …but it is soon coming to an end. Soon we will pass the islands that are the furthest west we went in 2012 before turning back, and this time we’re going to keep on going. So, MAUPITI. How we love thee.

We used to describe Maupiti as a small, unspoiled Bora Bora. Now, we describe Bora as a crappier, larger version of Maupiti ;) The local government in Maupiti long ago voted that there would be no off island ownership of businesses – no chain hotels, no chain stores. This means that dollars spent in Maupiti, for the large part stay in Maupiti. It also means that rather than be relegated to lower paying jobs like dishwashers and clerks, the local population fill all of the positions – ownership, management, dishwashers and clerks alike.

Setting local politics aside, we thoroughly enjoyed the Maupiti manta cleaning station. We don’t get tired of swimming with mantas; it is a otherworldly experience each time.

MANTAS!

These mantas are easily 10 feet across and they come into the cleaning station, unfurling their claspers and opening their gills waiting for the little cleaning wrasse fish to come in and divest them of parasites and other gunk. When the wrasse get a particularly deep item, the mantas twitch as if they have been poked or tickled but they hold steady for the cleaning. There is usually a manta or three waiting behind, patiently (I assume) in queue for the cleaning station. They swoop away and make a circuit, often coming back for multiple rounds at the Coral Head Wrasse Salon.

Tip: Please don’t chase the mantas. Please don’t dinghy over top of the cleaning station. If there are other snorkelers and divers, give them some space. Please don’t be an eejit and try to touch them – doing so removes the protective mucus on their skin and makes them prone to infection. If they approach you, feel the joy and stay still.

And then, of course, there is the view from the peak of Maupiti. A nice hike, a fantastic summit, we spent an hour up there again this time having a light snack and enjoying the view.

P1030843Finally, and most importantly, Maupiti was a reunion with friends ashore from 2012, whom we have run into on other islands.

We were immediately ensconced in an extended family, whisked around the island in various vehicles, and enjoyed long beer drinking and world problem solving sessions. We’re going to miss these people!

We also ran into a boat in Maupiti that we met in Mopelia in 2012 who sailed to New Zealand that year and sailed back from New Zealand this year. If you are an offshore racing fan, the name Tabarly might ring a bell.

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