Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Back to Usual on Irie

From the moment Mark and I arrived back to Irie in Tahiti from the United States, where we spent over three months for health reasons, we have been extremely busy. First, we had to get the boat ready to be lived and sailed on again, then we had to do massive shopping and cleaning, and get back to the daily errands. In the meantime, Mark was - and still is - working extremely hard on a new line of the Wirie products (more about that in a couple of months) and I keep up with writing articles.

Taha'a, seen from Mt. Tapioi
After a few weeks, we finally visited Moorea, which alluringly laid on the horizon for many months while we were in Tahiti. We had a fabulous (but still busy) time there, something we had been looking forward to for half a year. In the beginning of October, we prepared our boat for visitors (cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, stocking up on water and fuel …) and moved back to Tahiti, where we awaited the arrival of my cousin Griet and her husband Wim. With them, we saw a lot of sights and quite a few islands, while we sailed west all the way to Taha’a in the Leeward Society Islands.

Loading up the Maupiti Express
Unfortunately, we did not make it to Bora Bora, due to un-cooperating weather and the fact that we don’t like to motor if we don’t really have to. Plus, after hosting and entertaining two guests for two weeks, while moving the boat a lot, keeping up with the daily chores and boat errands, and dealing with work stuff, Mark and I were pretty exhausted. Which doesn’t mean we didn’t have a great and special time with my family, of course!! They are the perfect boat guests and it is always a pleasure to have them on Irie!

Our visitors on their way to Bora Bora
With the silhouette of Bora Bora visible just across 25 miles of ocean, Griet and Wim took a ferry there (Maupiti Express – 5500 xpf/person/one way) and left us on October 24th to spent the last days of their holiday on the “Pearl of the Pacific”. Mark and I stayed on the city dock of Uturoa, Raiatea, to change Irie back from “vacation mode” to “living and maintaining mode”: the tools came back out, the guest bunk filled up with stuff again, the computers appeared permanently, and Mark and I focused back on errands and work full time; this time it is Bora Bora luring on the horizon!

The wind totally dropped for almost a week. The days on the dock became intolerable with the heat and the mosquitoes. On Sunday, we woke early and finally climbed Mount Tapioi ourselves to enjoy the expansive view over the lagoon and the surrounding Leeward islands. Even on the way back down, we dripped with sweat from the sun and the humidity. 

The following day, we moved to motu Aito across the channel to anchor in 6 feet of clear water and sandy bottom. The (unmarked) entrance to this beautiful anchorage is a bit tricky, but doable with a shallow draft boat and in good light. The lagoon is super flat and the anticipated breeze is holding off for a few more days, but Mark and I are very happy to be back at anchor and to be surrounded by peace, blue skies and a tropical environment of breaking reefs, a little islands, and azure waters with black tip reef sharks, puffer fish and stingrays! 

Griet and Wim ready to leave with the shell necklaces we gave them for a "happy return to French Polynesia" in the future

Uturoa, French Polynesia's second biggest "city", with the marina and motu Aito

Motu Aito, our destination after Uturoa - a very nice anchorage!

Taha'a (with Bora Bora to its left) and the lagoon, seen from Mount Tapioi

The east side of the lagoon, Huahine under the clouds and some motus, seen from Mount Tapioi

Weekly cruise ship in Uturoa, Raiatea

VERY flat lagoon during the "no wind" days

Stingray in the shallow anchorage seen from Irie

Huahine to the east, during sunset

Romance in the anchorage

Huahine on a hot and clear day

Laundry day on Irie - in a nice setting!

Thai papaya salad; a time consuming endeavor

Rainbow over the Aito anchorage

Charterers walking on the (calm!) outer reef - a normal thing to do here, apparently...

Orangeband surgeon fish

Picasso trigger fish protecting its hole

If only all of these pretty shells were empty...

Stingray under water - no coral here, but lots of life

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