Saturday, January 31, 2015

Rainy January Ends in Avea Bay, Huahine

Mark and I are still in Avea Bay, on the southwest side of laid-back Huahine. It is an attractive bay with a long stretch of yellow sand, a few houses tucked away amongst palm and other trees and relatively clear water. The deeper part of the bay is framed by a shallow sand bank which was, until recently, our preferred anchoring spot. When the current and wind turned extremely funky one day, and Irie ended up pulling on her anchor the “wrong way” (anchor behind us and we were pulling forward – the anchor was still being dug in, but because of the shallow water, the chain could possibly rub against the keels in this position), which has NEVER happened before, we decided to swap our 6ft depth for 42ft. Here, the current is less strong and when there is a rare breeze, we face into it, which provides some cooling off effect during this hot and humid summer weather.

No other cyclones have come our way yet, fortunately, but the last couple of weeks have been very grey and rainy. Our portable generator is doing a fine job of keeping our batteries charged and our computers “active”. Once in a while, a charter boat joins us in the anchorage, but mostly, we are by ourselves. We do a lot of work on the computer and a WiFi service onshore allows us access to the internet through our paid account and our Wiriepro. To get a little bit of exercise, we swim laps around the boat or stretch our legs along the quiet road. A small grocery store, about a mile away, offers fresh baguettes and non-fresh staples, a friendly lady sells fruit by her house and an interesting looking marae in the area has a dumpster next to it, so we are basically set for a little while. :-)

One day, we tried to beat the odds of the rain Gods and set out for a hike up and over a mountain to reach the village of Parea. The path was not too muddy and we managed to climb all the way up. We followed the ridge, but did not see a trail descending on the other side. So, we retraced our steps down and walked to little Parea along the island road instead. Being all hot and sweaty, we welcomed the first rain shower, resting on the trunk of a tree. When the second downpour arrived, we made use of a covered bench. Rain is a part of life here during this season, and as long as I can protect my camera and other “valuables”, I don’t mind getting wet, just like the locals. As long as the sun comes out at some point, so we can dry all our stuff. This, she finally did a couple of days ago. We are happy with the temporary change of weather and have swapped our computers for household and boat related chores to take full advantage of the sun’s qualities and the lack of gloominess!

Such a big bay and this captained charter cat anchored right on top of us - he came really close at night and we kept watch until dawn

Marae Anini on the south point of Huahine

Avea Bay and its resort, which is closed for the summer
Irie, all by herself, in the deeper part of Avea Bay

Hiking along the ridge of the mountain

You find deteriorating cars everywhere along the road. Almost every house has one!

The lagoon in Parea, with a motu across the bay

Well-attended church in Parea

Along the island road

Finding shelter for the rain  

And, more squalls and rain!

Two of the four ramoras calling Irie's shadow "home"

Sunny weather means time for laundry!!

And, sitting in the cockpit again.

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