Saturday, August 15, 2009

boat bound

It's been blowing hard for the last 3 days and the next two are supposed to blow even harder. Makes the anchorages a wee bit less relaxing because the boat swings and if you're near anyone, they swing toward you and maybe slide a little bit closer. The rigging alternately sounds like someone banging on a door, someone playing the same three musical notes over and over, or a ghoul screaming on Halloween night. Because it was a little less windy yesterday than any other time in the next 3 days, we left Huahine yesterday and sailed to Raiatea, 20 miles away. I was nauseous about 80% of the time, so Brian did all the work. Just as we arrived at the pass into Raiatea's lagoon, a lovely squall blew over with pelting rain adding to the 20ish knots of wind. Luckily, it is a well-marked, deep pass with no breaking waves so we went on in and into the less rolly but equally windy lagoon. Now, we say Raiatea (pronounced rye-uh-tay-uh) but it actually is two separate islands, Raiatea and Tahaa, enclosed by one coral reef with about 2 miles of lagoon and reef in between the two. We're anchored all alone in on the West coast of Tahaa, the north island, in Hurepeti Bay. These two islands produce 70% of the Tahitian vanilla. When we walked around this morning we saw these distinctive orchids being cultivated in many pockets of the forests and in large shaded green houses in peoples' yards (next to the canoes and the headstones). We hope to take a tour of a vanilla farm and a pearl farm (also quite prevalent here) some time before we leave.

So all this wind has us feeling quite boat bound. The surf is all blown out, and snorkeling or swimming is no fun with so much chop. Inviting people over is not so great because everyone wants to be tucked on their boats doing anchor watch before it gets dark. So, we've had movie night two nights in a row and tonight. Today, Brian has proposed a "dress up" night just for something different to do. I guess I'll go see if any of my nice clothes aren't too moldy to wear!

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