Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pictures from the Tuamotus - finally!

I know, it took awhile, but I am finally posting some pictures of Tahanea and Fakarava! This is just a glimpse of these beautiful islands/atolls. The clear blue waters (every shade you can imagine) really do take your breath away. We thoroughly enjoyed our adventures in the Tuamtous and we will be sailing through them again in a couple of months. Looking forward to it.

Leaving some of Steve in Tahanea
Steve, our best friend who passed away in March, has been a crew member on Moondance since we left Mexico. We are spreading Steve's ashes as we cruise the South Pacific. We know how much he loved these islands and how much he wanted to visit them again. We miss you Steve!

Ah, Tahanea...
We enjoyed our time in Tahanea, which we spent snorkeling, beach combing, and socializing with the other cruisers. We missed the lobster hunt, but we did get to enjoy the catch - yummy.

Amazing snorkeling
No village here, just a few cruising boats - our kind of place. There was a big coral head close to our boat, so we had to check it out. Lots of fishes of all different shapes, sizes, and colors and only 1 shark. Pretty cool stuff.

Dennis and on the Hooka
Doug and Dennis used the Hooka to snorkel through the pass while Carol and I paddled the dinghy trying to keep up with them. Their words "amazing"! So far, that has been the best snorkeling we found.

BBQ in Tahanea
All of the cruisers decided to throw a BBQ on the beach to celebrate a birthday, catching lobsters, and generally just being together in French Polynesia. 3 languages spoken, but we were able to communicate. Mostly due to the Italians and French speaking English so well - thank goodness!

Kids enjoying BBQ and S'mores
The kids had a blast and especially enjoyed their first tastes of S'mores. Not quite the American version, but they were pretty darn good.

Anchor Boy cooling off
Since there is so much coral in the atolls, Doug (Anchor Boy) has to snorkel and make sure that the anchor doesn't wrap around the coral, plus it is a great way to cool off. So clear...

Motu - southern end of Fakarava
Next, we sailed to the southern end of Fakarava. It took a couple of days. Not that it is very far, it is just challenging timing it to hit slack tide. We did good and going through the pass was a piece of cake!

Carol - enjoying the beautiful reef
There is a small village with a hotel/pension, a restaurant, and 2 dive shops. What a place - the restaurant is over the water and surrounded by beautiful coral and lots and lots of sharks.

Fakarava is well-known for all of the sharks in the lagoon and through the pass. Many different kinds of sharks (big and little) and people pay lots of money to dive with them. How crazy is that?

Trash Burning party
We were invited to join the other cruisers in a Trash Burning party on the beach, which turned into a great social event. We even went hunting for coconut crabs with out flashlights. Didn't find any, but it was quite the adventure. We hope to find one eventually. They are supposed to be very tasty.

Bocci Ball competion
Our own private island - beautiful and a great place for a round of Bocci Ball. We spread some of Steve around here too - knew he would like it.

Biking in Fakarava
We motor/sailed through the lagoon about 30 miles to the nortern end of Fakarava. Even though we were in the channel you had to be on watch for big coral heads, but we enjoyed the ride and the view.

Resting at Hotel Fakarava
The Rotoava Village at the northern end of Fakarava was very nice - grocery stores and everything. We enjoyed exploring the village, plus a 12 mile bike ride along the island - good thing it was flat.

We have been in Tahiti a week all ready. Can't believe how fast time is flying by. There are lots of cruisers here and it is very social. We have been exploring the big city of Papeete (by bus) and provisioning, laundry (lots), projects, etc.

Tomorrow starts the Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous. Can't wait!


Ana said...

Wow! Love you guys.

Sarah and Darrell said...

Great pictures. Green with envy. So glad Steve is there with you! Tres Cool.

Aimee said...

Just was catching up on your blog! Your pictures are beautiful! We were sorry to read about your best friend Steve! Sounds like sailing is going well.

Its hard to beleive its been over a year since we met you in Matzalan!

Your friends from Indiana!

Aimee & Ron

Crit said...

Hey Guys, what great pictures! You two, Pooped? I doubt it! It can't happen. It looks wonderful and social and lots of fun! I might still be preparing for that. I have discovered that one doesn't just fall into cruising one must master it and I am on the road while you two have mastered it and then some!!