Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Pass into the Lagoon on the Eastern side of Huahine
The strong gusty winds continue, and a number of yachts have shifted after dragging their anchors. – One catamaran slid down the side of a nice big Beneteau whose crew managed to put fenders down in time, one of them jumped on board the cat and once it had dragged further into clearer water, paid out lots of anchor chain and it stopped. Shortly after the crew of the Cat appeared in a dinghy and eventually the cat motored off somewhere else. I had to reset my anchor after dragging in Moorea, the only time that’s happened so far, and, interestingly, it was when the Anchor Buddy had somehow managed to come off the anchor chain. Here in Huahine I have the added security in these amazing gusts of having my anchor chain wrapped round a small lump of coral in the mostly sandy bottom – its clearly visible 15 feet down – and I don’t expect when the time comes to  leave it will be too difficult to free up but we shall see.

Today I went ashore just after eight to collect the Pushbike I had booked for the day. In the village an open air Market was in full swing with lots of fresh produce on sale including some unusual looking fresh fish as well as Tuna hanging off a tree. I was about to head off when I noticed men unloading drums and guitars from a van, and then women and young girls started appearing with hula costumes on so I waited and soon enough the street in front of the main supermarket was blocked off by a lively hula performance with singing and drumming – not sure why but it was great to have a free concert. And then I set off this time clockwise round the island on a very comfortable almost new bike with 30 gears and a basket in front for my backpack.

The Bridge joining the two islands is Top Right
Huahine is like Tahiti in that it consists of two islands joined together – though here there actually is water separating the two but  a small bridge gets you from one to the other. I cycled only one of the islands  but crossed the Bridge for a photo. On the way round there were some fascinating ancient Marae sites alongside a lake. At one there were information panels set out overlooking the various parts of the site which consisted of large paved rectangular courtyards with stone walls and large flat stones lined up standing in rows. Unfortunately the Information Panels were so old the writing and whatever was originally on them had completely disappeared so it was impossible to know anything at all about the sites function and age. A lovely new traditional thatched roof building is nearing completion and will have all the information inside once its completed.

Further on I saw stone walls built in a river to guide fish into traps – I think these are quite ancient too and beyond that, ten Sacred Eels in a  creek by a bridge. The eels were large and quite tame – but they didn’t really like being touched by a little girl who stepped in among them. Further along still I stopped at a Map under a tree where several young men were listening to loud Rasta style music and smoking dope out of a bong made from an empty plastic drink container, a hollow stalk from some nearby tree and a small cone made from a piece of a coke can. They offered it to me but I declined – they were Polynesians but the next guy who offered me dope was a white dude who was so wasted he could hardly stand up. I ran in to him back in Fare later on in the afternoon. . The round island trip took 4 hours and I got back sooner than I thought I would, so I ordered a Beer and read my book for an hour before taking the Bike back and returning to the Boat.

I’ve sent an email to Raiatea Carenage to enquire about leaving the boat with them for a few months, having now received two reports from other sailors who have used their services and been happy. Its looking like the 2011 Cruise might finish at the end of the month.

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