Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wednesday in Huahine

But first, Monday July 12th
Bill did boat projects most of the day. Huahine is actually two islands inside the same reef: Huahine Nui and Huanine Iti, connected by a small low bridge. Huanhine specializes in Petite Tourisme. There are a few hotels, consisting of shore and over water bungalows, small pensions and family restaurants. Fare has backpacker pensions. The islands are lush with a variety of trees and plants. It's been showery off and on. As the other Societies, it's mountainous in the middle with a fairly level road all the way around.

Tuesday, July 13th
We went snorkeling near one of the channel markers. The current was really strong, so we drifted with the dinghy. There were beautiful, large, undamaged coral heads and a big variety of fish. We must get an underwater camera.  Afterwards, we went ashore for a lovely lunch on the beach at Chez Tara and a long walk through the village of Parea around the southern tip of the island. The shoreline undulates and there are motus, backed by crashing surf on the reef, creating beautiful bays.. It's a beautiful, quiet, uncommercialized place. I call it "petite tourisme". In addition to small pensions, there are campgrounds and a kids vacation camp.  Holly and Dennis invited us aboard their sleek catamaran, Tango, for a delightful evening of sangria and hors d'oeuvres. They leave for Hawaii August 10th, headed for Victoria for the winter.  What a perfect day!

OK, now it's Wednesday in Huahine, July 14th 2010
We moved from Avae Bay up to the village of Fare at the north end of Huahine. We anchored in 15ft on 100ft of chain on a sandbar. There was 2-3kts of strong current running and strong wind gusts blowing 90deg different. It was an interesting set. There were range of boats there: charter cats, French, British, Aussie, American and Canadian cruisers, and a couple mega-sailing yachts (Juliet and Uma Tulu).
We dinghied out towards the reef into 5-8ft depth, to the local "swimming pool/aquarium). It's full of a variety of round coral heads (like underwater shrubs) and lots of small fish. It's like swimming through a barely submerged garden. Between the coral heads, the bottom is small coral rubble, showing the storm destruction that occurs over the years.
We fixed our favorite pig-out dinner: Lamb, potatoes, green beans, green salad with pears and bleu cheese, french bread, pastry and chocolate. Oh yeah, and wine.. Oink!
I thought there might be some Fete de la Bastille fireworks or something, but nada. So instead, Bill is watching the convergence of Mercury, Mars, Venus and Saturn, near the new moon in the night sky. As usual, the stars are brilliant as we're in the new moon.
All's quiet, then the boat starts shaking, the flags flap, the bimini squeaks, the zippers on our cockpit cover jingle, the neighbor's halyards bang and the wind howls for 1-3 minutes, and all's quiet again. This goes on day and night. 
Fare Noise Rating (We're a ways from shore)
Wind: ***
Breezy and gusty, the rig is humming
Birdsong ***
It sounds like a big flock of birds on shore in the morning, a few too many compared to normal conditions. It reminds me of starlings at home.)
Jet Skis *
There's a few, they like to go fast.
Loud Music - *
It started 430am and ran until daylight (they musta got kicked out of somewhere else). They have an extraordinarily powerful car stereo)
Dogs Barking **
(It didn't start til late, sounded like a pack barking, then yelping, then howling. but we were far enough away could hardly hear it)
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