Tahiti is a big island and we only visited a small section of it. We took a mooring at the Tahiti Yacht Club, just East of downtown Papeete in Arue and we anchored for a few nights off the lovely park area of Point Venus.
We started our visit with a day of sightseeing rather than jumping straight into the chores of replenishing our cooking propane, diesel, gas, food, etc. We hitchhiked into downtown and walked around all day. Three notable parts of the day: the Gran Marche, the Quai, and the roulottes.
The Gran Marche is the two story market building selling everything from scented oil to produce to freshly cooked snacks to those brightly colored rectangles of cloth you can wear (pareux).
We had a couple of bao which are steamed (or sometimes baked) sticky buns, in this case with a peppery cabbage and meat interior. I grew up eating these with my Dad in Seattle and Carol is now similarly addicted. We also bought presents :)
The Quai is the downtown boardwalk, like a Mexican malecon, and apparently yachts used to drop their anchors in the harbor and back up to the sidewalk and tie their sterns to it so they could step off the back of their boat and be downtown. Cool, huh? BUT there was a bunch of theft and so now they have these less interesting plastic floats instead.
Where you would anchor before (left) and after (right):
We stopped in Les Trois Brasseurs for a pint of real beer (ahhhhh…) and waited for the roulottes to open. These are like the lunch trucks in San Francisco or other cities but these come down to the quai at night for open air dinners. We tried one of the Chinese which was of the greasy but still tasty variety. If you are from a N American city with good Asian food, you will probably enjoy the roulottes for the ambience more than the food, but the ambience itself is worth the work.
After getting our boat refilled with goodies, we spent a few nights at anchor near Point Venus where we spent two days kiting and one day enjoying a sporting event, including outrigger races. With a few yachts anchored out, they decided to use the boats as the outbound buoy so we had a close up and person view of the racers and they clipped each other rounding our boat. Very cool. One of the great things about French Polynesia is how into water sports the local population is. In Mexico, we rarely saw Mexican kiteboarders or surfers but here we always see Polynesians kiting, swimming, surfing – whatever play is to be had in the water, they are out there doing it at *all* ages.
We were able to meet up finally with a fellow Victoria BC boat, Ladybug II, and also had breakfast with Southern Cross who arrived the day we departed for Moorea.