Turtle

Just thought I’d share a pic of our big turtle having breakfast at our breakfast bar. Papeete Marina, Tahiti.

Wet and windy weekend.

We battened down the hatches on Shiraz ready to brave out the lousy weather which was forecast for the weekend.

Many boats left the Papeete marina with the knowledge that a North westerly swell can reek havoc here. John spent hours on the computer reviewing the weather forecast information. We decided, with a handful of other boats, to stay.

Saturday night saw squalls with winds of up to 39 knots and it hammered down with rain. But, as John had predicted, the swell wasn’t too bad.

Sunday morning I went out on the bike to look around. At the mouth of the river, muddy water flowed into the sea carrying with it tree trunks and a semi submerged fridge.

The pass to the Papeete port remained open so the ferry service to Moorea remained on schedule. The locals are used to rolling around on the ferries but I expect there were a few green looking, sea sick tourists because it was very rough.

A few hardy va’a people had been out in the brown sea.

Despite the amount of rain on the ground, the burly Tahitian man was doing his daily leaf blowing job. I think the leaves were stuck firmly to the ground but he was jovial and gave me the chakkers.

Today the weather is hot and sunny. The yachts have returned to the marina.

I’ve done the washing. We’ve fished out tree branches, plastic bottles, flip-flops and even a computer from the water.

As the water cleared, I was so pleased to see that the little juvenile bat fish had survived.

More rain is forecast but today’s weather has been gorgeous. We felt quite relaxed after a somewhat stressful weekend.

Papeete Marina 2018

2018 was a busy year in the Papeete marina in Tahiti. It’s interesting hearing people’s stories. A flow of boats, which were mainly yachts, arrived from North America, South America and from the Caribbean via the Panama canal. Many passed through Tahiti continuing a western route to places like New Zealand, Fiji and Australia. Some travel in the opposite direction, having pounded against the wind and current. More yachties than ever have taken advantage of the fact that a foreign registered boat can remain in French Polynesian waters for three years as a yacht in transit. This allows ample opportunities, to explore the vast area that makes up French Polynesia.

It hasn’t always been a happy time. For some people, ill health has shattered dreams, forcing the sale of yachts. Yachts have returned to the marina dismasted.

Others have hit coral reefs causing damage below the water line. A yacht based in the marina hit a container and sank, so never made it back. The owner was airlifted to safety.
One man sailed back to the marina from the Tuamotus where his wife had drowned.
Yachts have been towed into the marina and out of the marina with broken engines or steering problems.

It certainly focuses the mind. There is no room for complacency as a sailor.

Being in the heart of the city, the Papeete marina has become the obvious place to touch base on arrival or to return to for reprovisioning and repairs.

After a time at sea, hot showers, washing machines and the use of the Wi-Fi in the air conditioned marina sitting room, are greatly appreciated. Most boats are plugged into the electrics and potable water on their pontoon berth. The marina staff are happy to collect the marina fees.

It’s pretty normal to see someone high up on their mast or deep down in the bowels of their boat trying to fix a problem.

Washing, cleaning and provisioning are on going chores.

Many yachties zip around town on fold up bikes. Dinghies are usually redundant in the marina but often require attention.

Unfortunately, over the course of the year, there have been a spate of burglaries from a number of boats in the Papeete marina. Large boats and small have been targeted. No one has been caught.

The last group of five yachts left the marina on the 3rd of January this year. The boats were loaded onto a yacht transporter, an increasingly popular option for long haul sailing, if you can afford it!

This year, 2019, the marina building complex is being expanded. The area has been fenced off and construction work is underway. It will be interesting to see the results.

Yachtlings

With the sun lowering in the sky, it took a few moments to see the three little yachtlings emerge from the super yacht.

They fluttered their sails and after a few tense moments were ripping over the water.

And racing.

Competition was fierce, egged on by the yacht crew whose laughter filled the air.

As light was fading, they really had the hang of sailing.

I hope they made it back to the safety of their mother ship.

Rise /Set


The Instructions

For this weeks photo challenge, explore the vibrant, hopeful colours of your favourite sunrise or sunset.


Inspiration

It was an oil painting belonging to my Grandparents that inspired my love of sunsets. It was a beautiful painting, reflecting vibrant colours of a sunset across the sea. I knew it would never be mine. That didn’t dissapoint me. After all, it was only the artists interpretation of a sunset, captured on canvas through his eyes. A sunset that never changed.

Ever Changing Sunsets

I’ve enjoyed so many ocean sunsets since we left the UK on our small yacht eight years ago. Every sunset is different.

Tuamotus. With no land ahoy, a sunset makes a stunning contrast from just sea and sky.

Over the reef

Cape Verde

Grenada, Caribbean

On holiday. Lake Havasu in Arizona.

Ominous sky.

From Marina Taina in Tahiti.

Papeete Dock. Tahiti

I could carry on but I won’t bore you.

Sunrise does not hold me in such awe. I associate it with sleeping. At sea on a long passage, the sunrise heralded the end of my watch and John would take over. I’m often asleep for sunrise even though Tahiti comes to life at 5 am.

Sunrise. Bora Bora
Up anchor first light. Heading back to Tahiti from Bora Bora.

Perfect day in paradise.

Moorea is Tahiti’s little sister island.

On Thursday, we entered the Vaiare pass, dodged the ferry and joined a couple of other yachts in the anchorage area inside the lagoon.

We are quite close to the Sofitel . The hotel prices are horrendous. The beautiful public Temae beach extends way past the hotel grounds.

Sofitel bungalows extending out over the reef.

Near the hotel inside the lagoon is a large coral garden. It is protected by the PGEM (Le Plan de Gestation de l’Espace Maritime) The area’s gorgeous to bimble around with a mask and snorkel.

Hanging up the suit to dry after a long snorkel through the coral gardens.

Sunday morning was so relaxing. Sunny weather and crystal clear water.

More boats arrived. Locals and visitors took to the water and had fun.

Fun and laughter from the kids on the nearby yachts. Even an Eagle ray swimming past.

Local families out and about.
Tahiti in the background.
Hire boat
View towards the pass
Dive boat with holiday makers.

Kind friends had been to the supermarket in their dinghy and bought over a couple of baguettes, marvellous people.

I doubt there will be many days so perfect as this.