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.
We 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 ;)
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.
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.
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.
A 500ml Hinano (the big can) costs 350 Polynesia Francs which is approximately $4.12 USD. A 330ml Hinano (the “normal” can) costs 300 Polynesian Francs or about $3.88 USD. Of the cans, clearly the 500ml is the better financial (i.e., dirtbag) value. Of course, the better value is still incredibly expensive for the quality (ouch!). Good thing that our years in Victoria have accustomed us to spending more for beers than we did in Colorado Springs.
There is also a 750ml Hinano bottle which you can get in some locations, hit or miss in others, which requires a deposit if you don’t have bottles to exchange. It costs the least per liter, after the initial outlay of deposits, and is the best value if you have space to carry the bottles and if you are cruising in locations where you can swap them out. The Hinano big bottle also has the advantage of being reused.
However, it is a relatively large beer commitment for Carol and I because, outside of microbrew territory, I am a huge, huge fan of small glass of cold, carbonated, beer at the end of a hot sunny day of boat work, kiting, diving or whatever, but after the first glass the cold frosty deliciousness peters out and I am left with the fact that the beer is…not a craft brew.
With a 500ml Hinano can (see left), Carol and I can split a big beer in the cockpit with a sunset, or down below listening to an SSB net, before desalting and starting dinner prep.
Beyond replacing our battery bank and the normal repairs, we've been busy with the normal assortment of boat jobs. We work on projects either a little each day or several full days a week depending on our social schedule, the urgency of the repair, and our travel schedule. We don't write as much about maintenance anymore as we did when we were prepping. As examples of what we're not blogging about, here are a few items we've tackled recently:
Mainsail: We don't know exactly how old our mainsail is. When we bought the boat in 2007 it already had seen some good use. We've put a lot of miles on our boat and the sail has been doing generally well. Good job Neil Pryde. Our Dutchman system, however, causes our sails to flake in exactly the same place, folding in the same creases, on every drop. This makes reefing a delight. However, the mainsail cover, fluttering in the wind, is fluttering against the Dacron in exactly the same spot and has gradually started to chafe at the sail.
We took the main to the beach in Moorea and applied liberal amounts of polyester sail tape to the chafe points but this is going to be a regular maintenance item as we lay down large amounts of miles this year. A new mainsail is likely in our not too distant future and the big dilemma will be whether we go with the Dutchman system again.
Dodger: The stitching on our dodger has rotted away. We borrowed a normal sewing machine in Tahiti last year and used PTFE (UV proof) thread (Goretex's Tenara) to resew every area of the dodger that a non industrial machine could handle. Now we are hand stitching the areas that we couldn't do as they fall apart. I spent most of a day recently resewing strataglass windows into the dodger that had rotten stitching.
Foresails: Speaking of rotten stitching, we have redone the entire sunbrella stitching on both of our headsails AND completed small section repairs to the already redone sections in the 7 years we have owned the boat. Crazy, huh?
Varnish: While we don't have brightwork we care to maintain on the outside of the boat we have been putting in the hours touching up sections of the interior. Epifanes Rubbed Effect is what we had used previously and love the matte "hand waxed" look it gives the interior. This is an ongoing project that has recently been interrupted because we are out of varnish.