I forgot two things in my last post! Shame on me!
1) in Tahiti on our drive around, we stopped at a small water feature that had many, many cairns, which actually looked like sculptures. They were very carefully balanced I was certain they must have had bars or glue or something but no. We walked along the side and all the way in the back I noticed some small eels in the water. As we walked back towards the car, one of the locals who was swimming shouted for our attention. We looked at him as he stood up, cradling a giant eel in his arms! The eel slide around and slipped through his arms several times, but the man was always able to find him and pick him up again. It was wild!
2) in coming back into Cook’s Bay Friday, we encountered a pod of small dolphins. I also encountered (probably) the same pod on Saturday.
After Liz and Brandon left us bright and early Saturday, we stayed in Cook’s Bay to wait for the Tahiti-Moorea Rendevous to catch up to us. We were rewarded with a full rainbow.
The sailing part of the Rendevous started in Tahiti at 10:30, so we watched as the boats filtered in throughout the morning. Again, this was a lot of boats that we knew already; SwiftSure, Margansie, Blue Raven, Carthago, etc. Also, some cruisers we knew hitched a ride on other boats and left their boat in Tahiti, such as Blowin Bubbles and Beachhouse. Also, many people used the ease of traveling in and out of Tahiti and the celebration as a good time to have guests aboard. We got to meet friends and family members of our cruising buddies. There were about 150 people attending the event.
At five we headed in to the Bali Hai hotel for cocktails and entertainment. There was an hour or so of mingling and socializing, and then some presentations were given by some partners – marinas in Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia. We picked up materials to read later – all these places seem so far away right now, we barely have a detailed plan a few days in advance.
After the presentation the entertainment started up and we all sat for dinner. I think the show was the same entertainers we watched Friday night with Liz and Brandon, but the show was bigger and included fire dancing. To see this show twice was pretty great, considering you have to pay $110 per person to go see the show and dinner at the Tiki Village on Moorea.
The meal was a house of steak or fish. I had the fish and David had the steak. Some people at our table got the steak but it was way too underdone so they had to send it back. A few other tables had complaints about the service (like not getting their food) but David and I both got lucky and enjoyed the meal.
The next morning (Sunday) we headed to shore in the morning for the outrigger races. Cruisers had made 35 teams of four to race outriggers. It was a neat set up. With five boats, and a collection of about 20 experienced paddlers, each canoe had two locals (one coxswain and one in front) with us. I was on a team called Greek Tragedy with Margansie.
There were seven initial heats. We lost, but enjoyed cheering our friends on and David got Phoenix up to take video. After the seven heats, there were three semi-finals, a kids run, and then the finals.
Some of the boats were surprisingly good. One family (two adults and two boys) have apparently spent the last year here in French Polynesia and have taken to paddling an outrigger together very often. It was amazing to watch the coordination they had.
After the races we had lunch. It was served buffet style, and was billed as a Polynesian menu. I loved it! There was veal, pork and chicken, plus Polynesian poisson cru, poisson cru chinoise (Chinese), sashimi, potato salad, rice and green salad. I really enjoyed the poisson cru chinoise, and now I’ve found a recipe for it to try at home. They also served a dessert, something with a firm jelly consistency. It was also quite tasty.
After lunch David and I were feeling pretty maxed out. It had been a busy two weeks, so we headed back to Starry Horizons for a nap. The rest of the cruisers enjoyed dance lessons and coconut husking lessons.
After things broke up, we had some friends over for cocktails: Carthago, Blue Raven, and Nauti Nauti. Blue Raven had a guest and Nauti Nauti had a guest couple as well, so in total we had 13 people on board.
Tuesday we departed after sunset to head to the island Huahine, about 80 nm away.