Bora Bora, Tahaa and Raiatea islands in the Societies

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After Moorea we did an overnight sail to Raiatea but motored the whole way with no wind 🙁

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We picked up a mooring near the CNI yard for a haulout to address increased play in the rudder we noticed after the pacific crossing.

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They yard had an old school way of hauling out boats.. with a tractor!! But it worked really well.

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We removed the rudder and re-glued the lower bearing a little tighter.. Viola! minimal rudder play. It was also a good chance to lube the feathering prop, change the zincs, check the cutlass bearing and clean the bottom..

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While we were in the yard we got a chance to seeing traditional dancing in Uturoa the town in Raiatea, part of the month long Heiva celebrations. This is the women dancing..

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Then the men come and start dancing..

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Then the men dance with the women..

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Which results in cute kids dancing..   the story of life 😉

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Tahaa is only island in the societies where you can sail all the way around.. so we left Raiatea to circumnavigate Tahaa.

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It was wonderful sailing in flat water with a decent breeze surrounded by beautiful palm studded motus and turquoise water..

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We anchored in Haamene Bay to check out the Hibiscus Turtle sanctuary..

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Glenda enjoying the turtles..

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Our favorite turtle.. In Darwin’s day they ate these on their passage back to England..

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After circumnavigating Tahaa, we provisioned at the big supermarket in Uturoa.. I won’t go hungry in my bunk that’s for sure..

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Finally we set sail for Bora Bora, supposedly one of the most beautiful islands in the south pacific..  Bora Bora is in the distance as we exit the Pai Pai pass in Tahaa.

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Glenda enjoying the sailing, she missed the bumpy ocean swells.. Raiatea in the background..

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Approaching majestic Bora Bora..

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Through the pass and inside the Bora Bora lagoon..

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We took a mooring at the Bora Bora Yacht Club to be with our friends on Merkava, Songline, Savannah and Rutea. Sudden Stops in the middle.

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They were renovating the yacht club under new management.. We enjoyed many sunsets on the club house deck..

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Glenda modeling a pareus at a party on S/V Songline.

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Vaitape the main town in Bora Bora was charming..

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We saw more Heiva dancing and celebrations in Bora Bora…

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After a week at the yacht club we anchored in a beautiful spot next to Motu Toopua..

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And snorkeled in turquoise water near Motu Tapu, an uninhabited island owned by the Hilton resort.

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I hereby name this motu.. “Chet Island”..

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We next anchored on south side of Bora Bora on a sand shelf in turquoise water..

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The fish in Bora Bora loved eating stale baguettes out of our hands..

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However the most interesting creatures we saw while snorkeling were tourists in these weird submersibles!!

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Our final stop in Bora Bora was the famous Bloody Mary’s restaurant.. We picked up a mooring next to the restaurant pier.

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Bloody Mary’s from the top of our mast..

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Glenda posing as Bloody Mary!

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Ah.. relaxing after finally getting the boat ready for the next adventure.. Bye Bye French Polynesia.. 

Next Destination: 700 miles west, the famous Suvarrow atoll in the Cooks islands.

Tahiti and Moorea

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Tahiti and Moorea of the Society islands. The Tuamotus were so amazing, but after more than 6 weeks in the boonies, we were looking forward to getting to Tahiti. We hadn’t been to a city since leaving Puerto Vallarta in Mexico..

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Arriving at the Tahiti Yacht Club in Arue. All the anchorages in Tahiti were getting packed to the gills due to he upcoming Tahiti Moorea Rendervous, and were lucky to find a space at the Tahiti Yacht Club with the help of S/V Songline..

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Even better.. all their moorings were taken up so they put us in the Marina for the price of the mooring bouy (about $10)! Sweet!!!!! Finally my luck was changing.. hopefully..

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Our time in Tahiti was busy busy busy because we had to leave for the Tahiti Moorea Rendervous in 6 days.. We ran around like headless chickens provisioning and shopping getting it all done in the nick of time.. We were so tired in the evenings that we eat at the roulettes (not so cheap mobile eateries) nearly every night.

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The famous market in Papette, the capital city of French Polynesia..

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Leaving Tahiti Yacht Club in the morning with S/V Merkava and the Japanese to head to the start line for the Tahiti Moorea Rendezvous race..

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Moorea in the distance.. The finish line was at the entrance bouys at Opunohu bay and the start line was a committee boat and red entrance bouy at Papette.

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Just after the start of the race..It was supposed to be a fun race, but I hadn’t raced in more than 3 years and was eager to see how we could do.. We won the start but that wasn’t saying much. We were the only starboard tack boat close to the line.. and the gun went off 60 seconds later than it was supposed to.. I realized that I was probably taking it a little too seriously 😉

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The race started off in really light winds with a big swell running, making it very difficult to fill the sails.. Then at around noon the usual south easterly winds filled in.. Then it was zoom zoom zoooooommm at 8.5 knots with the G2 asymmetric.. Only 7 boats out of the 40 or so boats in the race actually sailed the whole way.. We came in 4th place out of the 7, and all the boats ahead of us were bigger than us, so we felt we did ok.. It was fun to get some of our racing juices going again..

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Arriving at beautiful Opunohu Bay in Moorea

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The anchorage was jam packed with all the boats from the Rendezvous.. We were lucky to find a spot in the sardine can.. The upside was that we were able to reconnect with boats we haven't seen in a while as well as make new friends..

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They had a lot of fun activities for all the boats the next day after the race.. The best was outrigger race..

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We finished in 2nd place, but alas not good enough to get to the semi finals :-(.. Cyrille was leaving the boat after the Rendezvous and it was a great opportunity to have one last party with him before he left.

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So.. I learnt Tahitian dancing.. well not sure how much I actually learnt given I have two left feet..

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..and Glenda learnt how to make hats the traditional way.. Traditional hats, traditional coconut bread.. Glenda will have to take on a Tahitian name soon!

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Sporting our new permanent “Pacific Puddle Jump Survivor” tattoos

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The view of Opunohu pass from the tropical botanical gardens we visited after the Rendezvous celebrations died down..

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The snorkeling on the other side of the pass was amazing.. Someone had left these fake polynesian stone sculptures in the water for us to marvel at..

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Anyone know what type of fish this is?

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I got up close and personal with some rays.. They got very close and even rubbed themselves on us.. Let’s hope those were the females ones 😉

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Glenda hovering over a whole bunch of them.. We also fed them by literally putting bits of fish into their mouths.. I almost lost two fingers!

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They were also plenty of black tip sharks that came to see what the action was about..

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We had a chillaxed motor sail to nearby Cooks Bay..

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Stops Anchored in beautiful Cooks Bay.. Cooks bay is named after the famous explorer who arrived in 1769..

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Amazing panoramic view of the two bays in Moorea from the high up at the Belvedere.. thanks to Cyrille’s new super duper camera..

Next stop the leewards islands of the Societies..