July 1, 2001 ~ July 16, 2001
July 16, 2001
David is feeling much better today and he is READY to leave!!! (I am NOT...could stay here for another month!) So, we had a busy day starting to prepare to leave on Thursday morning. We went to town early this morning, checked out with the gendarmes, checked out the exchange rates at all three banks in town, waited in line for about 30 minutes for one clerk at the Socredo Bank to receive our bond back! We were able to get most of our money returned in New Zealand dollars traveler's checks (they had no NZ cash and these were a better exchange rate!) so I wrote my name on 100 of them!!!! We purchased fresh baquettes at the magasin and returned home for lunch. We stopped at *Windsong* to see if we could borrow diesel jerry jugs from them. Brian has a terrible urinary infection. Eric and Jason helped put the diesel into their main tanks from their jugs, and I had lunch made by the time they finished.
Pete (*Tarquin*) stopped by to introduce his daughters who are visiting from Steamboat Springs and Tucson and to tell us how wonderful the snorkeling is out by the reef! We haven't been here, since David hasn't felt well. Hopefully, we will be able to go tomorrow and Wednesday before we leave!
I spent the afternoon finishing up the remaining two flags and then stowing everything. Brian on *Windsong* had needed more medical supplies so we had dragged them out from under our bed and from under the pilot out seat, so I had alot to re-stow. He started taking Cipro and hopefully, will be feeling better tomorrow.
David and Eric dinghied over to obtain duty free diesel, which is supposed to be 48 francs since we had cleared out, but the lady at the gas station insisted that on Bora Bora it is 57 francs/liter! And once again, we have the situation of being able to pump 6 gallons into a 5 gallon container!!! Amazing!!!
Tomorrow we will go to town to update the website and to provision so that I can make rotis, etc. for our passage meals. Eric needs to go up the mast to check out the rigging and they need to clean off the bottom. Lots more to do, but, weather permitting, we will be heading west on Thursday! Our plan is to visit the Cook Island of Suvarov (Suwarrow), then possibly Pago Pago, American Samoa (we haven't heard very good reports!), then Western Samoa and Tonga. We will be in Tonga until we sail to New Zealand, towards the end of October. We will be in Tonga for a long period of time and if any is interested, we would be able to have visitors there!!!
We wish you well and hope that you are enjoying a wonderful summer! Please do keep in touch via our on board email and I promise I will answer them all! Just please be patient! Remember to change our addresses for our website and our mailing address! Take care of each other! We love you and miss you all! God bless!
July 15, 2001
Today was a boat work day, even though it was Sunday! The guys worked on fixing the Northstar (still no luck!) and figuring out what to do with these batteries (not much success there either, even with all the information from John on *Daydreamer*). I spent the entire day working at my sewing machine: mending shorts and Eric's special hat, sewing up the covers for the cockpit seat cushions and for the windsurfer. Then I made four flags: Tonga, Cook Islands, American Samoa and Western Samoa. Unfortunately, I didn't finish all the flags...will finish tomorrow. Then David will have to paint on the decorations!!!
July 14, 2001
Jason, Eric and I arrived in the town of Vaitape about 8:15am (David didn't think he was up for a parade in the hot dusty city!). Luckily the parade didn't start at 8am....they are on "Maui time" here too, so it was about 8:30+. It was a very small parade...the BIG one was probably on June 29, the Opening Day of all these Festivities. This was the last day, but officially Bastille Day. Boy Scouts, hotels, Miss Bora Bora, etc. marched in the parade and were all on the sandy field in front of the dignitaries, including the mayor, all in black suits and ties! We were feeling very sorry for all of them in the stands - they were looking straight into the sun! It was getting very HOT...and this mayor's speech was like a mayor's speech anywhere else in the world!!! much too LONG! They did serve refreshments afterwards....a drink was very much appreciated.
We stayed for the Tahitian Fruit Carrying Foot Race! One of the highlights of all the festivities! About ten rather LARGE, well built Tahitian men were the contestants. They needed to pick up a log laden with about 50 lbs of fruit (complete stalks of bananas, breadfruit, taro root, etc) on each end, put it over their shoulder, run out of the field around town (possibly a mile) and return to the field. The gentleman who won....did so, by a very large margin of minutes. Hopefully, there are pictures! Definitely worth a thousand words!
We waited around for the cycling, but headed out to the boat just before they returned. We had purchased some bread for lunch, and had talked with Dad on the telephone for a short time. He definitely wasn't his normal witty self, but we did have a nice talk, in spite of the drums outside the phone booth! Every time a unit is taken of my phone card, it would beep and he seemed to be very disconcerted by them! I must admit, I was also, because it is every few seconds, since it costs so much here!!! He possibily could hear it more than I could! But it was good to hear his voice!
Jason worked out in between visits from John and Diane (John had burned a cd with information about band-aids for batteries) and Cliff. I worked on some answering some emails....PLEASE continue to be patient with me...I am working on answering ALL of them!!!
We ate early so that we could go back into town for the last night of dancing with the couples dance contest and then the prize awarding! We stood, actually Diane and I enjoyed their nice collapsible chairs (like the ones I wanted David to purchase at Costco in several different places...but we don't have room for them!!!:). while John, Eric and Jason stood. (David still didn't feel like joining the fun!) ! We also had a treat with some delicious chocolate chip cookies which Diane brought!!! I just don't seem to have the time to make cookies...it is soooo much easier and less time consuming to making brownies, muffins, or corn bread. OH...they were delicious!! I am going to have to make some! The couples contest was very enjoyable, but we gave up with the awarding of prizes, since we couldn't interpret the French well enough to understand what was really happening...so we were home early! As we were coming around into our anchorage on this side of the motu, we noticed that the Rennaissance Cruise Ship *Three* was motoring out through the harbor ....right where we had been in our little tiny dinghy...about ten minutes earlier! That was VERY scarey! We are just seen the last shuttle boat go from the wharf as we left We never thought that they would be leaving!
We were quite shocked with the news which we received in two different emails tonight. Aunt Bernice apparently fell in the shower in their hotel on Moorea last Sunday evening. The manager of the hotel called the ambulance and she, Uncle David, and all their luggage were taken to the hospital on Moorea. From Moorea, they went by helicopter to a Papeete hospital where it was determined that she had broken her leg very near the hip. Because it is such a delicate operation, they decided that she should return to the States. Somehow her tour company ( I don't know if this was Paula, Tahiti Tours or Runaway Tours) became involved and she was evacuated to Los Angeles last Thursday. She was operated on Friday, and they should be at home in Sun Valley by Tuesday, July 17, if physical therapy and all else goes as scheduled. WOW...We are sending lots and lots of healing prayers to her and Uncle David. We are sooooo very sorry that their beautiful Tahiti Adventure had to end like that, and they didn't really have a chance to experience Moorea, Papeete and the island of Tahiti. Hopefully, they will remember all the good times that we had here on *Peace and Aloha.*
The other news was about our friend and neighbor on Maui, Julie Reynolds. She was not feeling well, went to see Dr. Yee (who was also our doctor!), and he sent her to Straub in Honolulu, where she had triple-by-pass surgery!!! We hear that she is home and doing well! We are sending lots of love, aloha, and healing prayers to you also! We wish both of these dynamo-charged ladies, a very speedy recovery! We hope that they are up and about very soon and back to their very special activities!
July 13, 2001
Eric, Jason and I went into town about 9am, after stopping at *Mulloka III* to see if they wanted any bread! Just one baquette seems to be enough for all the other boats, but us...we need about 10!!! David wasn't feeling well - cold, flu, virus, whatever with cough, sore throat, head ache and muscle aches. But thank heavens, he has no fever and it is NOT dengue fever! I tried to call Dad and left two messages on his answer machine! He was scheduled for his CAT scan today! I also tried to telephone one of the marinas in New Zealand, but the line was always busy! We are trying to figure out where we will stay during our 4-6 months there. We were able to find some nice t-shirts at a reasonable price, so Jason got a birthday present! I also found two short pareos for me....800CFP instead of 500CFP which Julie paid for the same ones in Huahine, but that is better than 1500 CFP that they are priced in some of the boutiques here !! We purchased some fresh baquettes for lunch and met Kathyrn and Mayer (*Lady Kathyrn*) and Bob and Chachay (*Freedom*...whom we had last seen as they departed in the rain with *Zephyrus* and *Sleipnea* for Macchu Picchu from Puerto Lucia Yacht Club in Salinas, Ecuador many months ago!!!)!
John and Diane from *Daydreamer* asked us over...but David said that he just wasn't feeling well enough. I spent all afternoon working on administratiion and credit card bills. Finally finished all that!!! The guys worked on the computer, while David rested. We had an early night! We have too much to accomplish in the next few weeks to be sick! Hopefully, no one else will get it.
July 12, 2001
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! JASON!!!! 28 years old!!! ...but I really shouldn't be publishing that fact out here on the internet, since it is really difficult for me to continue to be even 39!!! HAPPY HATCHDAY, SAMMIE (SAMARA)!!!!! I can't believe that she is five years old! She will be celebrating today with Julie, Chris, Julie, Manu and Nalu!!!
We spoke with *Lazy Jack* this morning on the net. We were expecting them to leave Maeva Beach towards the end of the week, since they had received their water maker. However, they discovered that they are missing a part which is absolutely crucial (isn't there a law???) for its installation and functioning. We don't know when they will catch up to us. We also talked with *Cherokee* and they will be heading west on Monday, but probably won't be in Tonga until October. For a change, we are at the head of the fleet! Then *Lady Kathyrn* called Jason, so that Mayer and Kathyrn could SING HAPPY BIRTHDAY to him over the VHF radio! Kathyrn wanted to know, if he got the message????!!! Yes, he did, loud and clear! And Thank you!!!
I cooked eggs for his special Tahiti tuna/egg sandwiches and real Coke for lunch! We will have special fish and Ghiradelli Chocolate Brownies with candles for dessert for his birthday dinner! We have spent a lazy day here (not really)...cleaning, working on the website, working on boat projects. We needed to reanchor about noon, because we have been experiencing winds up to 20+ in the anchorage and we were getting very close to another boat. They had very little scope out, no snubber, and were wrapped around a coral head (which can easily break a chain), but didn't seem to want to move...so we moved. And now, *Tarquin* has just anchored in front of us...so we will see how that works!
Eric and David spent all afternoon talking with Cliff on *Mulloka III from Australia about how to rig our boat better, how to go faster, etc. etc. Cliff was very helpful and gave us some wonderful ideas...just need to implement them, in the middle of nowhere, with no West Marine!!!
We celebrated Jason's birthday with a delicious dinner of ono, rice, beets, bean salad, French baquettes, and Ghiradelli Chocolate Brownies!!!! Julie had left a card for him to open and Cliff and June gave him an Australian pin with a kangaroo and boomerang!! Jason received lots of gifts when Julie arrived with all her loot....it is VERY hard to have a normal/land like birthday celebration and gift giving! We then watched "Mission Impossible II" which we all really enjoyed....Rent this one! A rating from the Crew on *Peace and Aloha*!!!
July 11, 2001
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DON!!! We hope that your day was special on Maui and we wish that you would get email, so that we could correspond! We hope all is well with you, Shell (heard of a boat named *Sea Shell*...thought of you!!!), and your family!
We decided to move back up to the town, so that we could enjoy the remaining festivities which will end with a blast on Saturday, Bastille Day!!! We left about 9am and decided to follow the marked channel through the coral reef instead of the shallow sandy route which Moorings recommends! (There are advantages to hitting bottom in sand, which you just plow through...as opposed to hitting coral, which can put a hole in the bottom of the boat!!!!) The other boats who had gone that way the last couple of days reported back to us that the shallowest depth they saw was 10 feet! We made it ok (there was NO current, thank heavens!) and were anchored about 11 am on the west side of Topua motu which is about the same distance from Vaitape as when we were anchored at the Bora Bora Yacht Club. We are sharing the anchorage with *Daydreamer,* *Gray Wolf,* *Stella de Marae,* *Mulloka III* plus numerous Moorings Charter Boats. It is very pretty out here and we can swim here and snorkel on the reef. When we were here on*Samara* we motored completed around Topua and anchored for the night near Bloody Mary's. We did anchor and snorkel with rays near the south end of the motu, but that is impossible now because they are building a hotel at the south end of the motu. We need to dinghy around and check it out.
We dinghied into town and made a phone call to my brother, Peter, using a full 30 units on the phone card!!! EVERYTHING is sooooo expensive here. He really couldn't add anything to his recent emails, except that the CAT scan is scheduled for Friday. We just need to wait for the results from that before proceeding to the next step. We stopped at the store, met Kathyrn *Lady Kathyrn* there, and purchased bread, bananas, tomatoes, and a few packages of cookies!!! As I said before, everything is sooooo expensive! On our return the boat, we stopped to meet June and Cliff on *Mullokka II* from Australia. We had heard them on the radio, but never met in person! They have done lots of traveling in their past seven years of cruising: Japan, Hawaii, West Coast of US, and all around...so they are heading home after hurricane season in New Zealand this year!
We had an early dinner so that we could attend the contests for: the best Tahitian folkloric percussion group, Best Tahitian Male Dancer, and the Best Tahitian Female Dancer. Unfortunately, we were not with Aunt Bernice and Uncle David so we stood for the entire performance with many of the other locals from all over the island. The stands were full and sold out with five deep all around the sand performance field. We think that the entire island was out watching and rooting for their district contestants! There were five districts who performed: Tipoto, Nunue, Anau, Faanui and Amanahune. We were thoroughlly entertained for well over two hours! I took some pictures (We definitely need a digital video camera to record the entire performance! Julie now has our other video camera!) and hopefully, some of them will be included. Some of the costumes, epecially the women's, were very elaborately decorated with flowers! We are eagerly awaiting the prize -giving ceremonies on Saturday night!
July 10, 2001
OUR TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY FOR OUR DEPARTURE FROM PORT STANLEY, ONTARIO, CANADA!!!
We were up early listening to the nets, getting weather faxes and emails. Winlink is having some difficulty with some of their servers, so we are not sure that our emails are going out. Please be patient, we are working on answering them as soon as we can. Please continue to write us...we LOVE to hear from all of you!
Eric took me out in the dinghy so that I could take pictures with both cameras of PEACE AND ALOHA, with the famous mountain peak (Mt. Otemanu)as a back-drop. It would have been wonderful to have had our Christmas card picture taken here!!!! Then Jason, Eric and I dinghied across to the market "magasin" in Anau for bread and I picked up some postcards of Bora Bora. I don't send them...I just keep them for my scrap book, since they usually have the most spectacular pictures!
While we were eating our lunch on these delicious baquettes (we have decided that there must be two bakeries on the island and the bread baker who supplies Anau makes much better bread than the one in the major town of Vaitape!), two guys (unfortunately, for Eric and Jason, they were NOT mermaids of even beautiful Tahitians princesses!) swam over to introduce themselves! Brian and Cecil are from Australia and chartering a Sun Yacht boat for a few weeks. We now have their phone numbers and emails all filed away for our arrival in Australia in November 2002!!!
We snorkeled for another hour again out on the reef, where it was much calmer than the last few days. We did see a shark, plus all the wonderfully colored clams (we REALLY wish that we had an underwater camera to share these beauties with you!) and brightly colored fish and coral. Unfortunately, we tend to get very cold after that long in the water! I don't know what we are going to do with the much cooler temperatures in New Zealand????
We also had an email from Julie that she, Chris, Julia and Nalu are HOME!!! She left Raiatea on June 27 but did not arrive home until June 29. They helped Chris's Dad, Bill, move into his new home, and left on July 1 to drive to Minnesota for a family reunion (Chris's Mom's family). From Minnesota, they drove to Virginia to visit with other members of Chris's family. Enroute to Virginia, they stopped in Cincinnati on July 5 to visit with Julie's Grandfather (my Dad) and her Uncle Peter (my brother). From all reports Chris (and even Nalu) passed with flying colors and now has the Brooks stamp of approval!!! Peter was kind enough to take them all out to dinner, before they headed on to Virginia. Thanks Peter!
July 9, 2001
We awoke to high winds, dark clouds, and rain ...which apparently was just a local squall since we could find no evidence of it on any of our weather faxes. We had off and on clouds all day, so I spent the morning cleaning and making my whole wheat bread recipe, since I was not sure how soon we were going to venture to the store either in Anau or back to the main town of Vaitape. Eric and David started working on the battery problem!!! We seem to have very low capacity on these new batteries which aren't even 9 months old! Another BIG problem!
I worked on writing emails for our change of address after lunch. Then just David and I went snorkeling out on the reef again, where it was a little calmer. We continued to be amazed st the incredible colors with different hues of purple, green, blue, brown with what appears to be individualized designs mixed with blacks and tans on these clams! David did see a shark!
The email from my brother Peter about my Dad's present condition was NOT good! He has scheduled different tests, etc. for him, but has returned to Philadelphia. I only hope and pray that there is a competent doctor there in Cincinnati who is able to diagnose his problem immediately, before it progresses too far!
July 8, 2001
We did another load of wash, plus emails and working on this website. After lunch, we stopped to meet Liz and Ian on *Merida* from Vancouver. We then snorkeled again at the same place in the coral gardens for almost an hour. There were several sets of waves that would come over the reef and push us around a bit, but we had another wonderful snorkel with the beautiful coral and clams, plus we saw a black tip reef shark (our first one in the Society Islands) and a black/white eel. We always enjoy the damsel fish which are either translucent turquoise/royal blue, or black/white, or bright yellow with royal blue eye rings and they are always found swimming around the finger coral heads. They will come out to greet you and then retreat back into the safety of their coral head. Jason worked out while we went snorkeling.
We had another dinner of ono....hopefully, we will have enough fish to last until we leave Bora Bora. There are NO fish to spear inside the reef and we have had no luck trolling between the islands. These islands are pretty much fished out! I guess we will have to eat more of our 600 cans of tuna which we purchased in Colon!
July 7, 2001
We listened to the morning nets and received our weather faxes, while we did another wash, while we were running our generator, making water and charging our batteries. *Bow Bells* and *Silver Heels* stopped by as they were circumnavigating Bora Bora in their dinghy! They also told us that they had climbed one of the mountain peaks here, which sounded interesting but very technical! We know that Aunt Bernice would have jumped at the chance to climb that mountain! We understand the view was magnificient!
Brian and Betsey *Windsong, Seattle* and Pete Bartoe *Tarquin* stopped after they had been snorkeling in the coral gardens. The swells, with such a high spring tide, were breaking inside the lagoon, so that we were experiencing cloudy/murky water and some swells here in the anchorage. They had given up trying to snorkel today...so we didn't even try it. We had seen *Tarquin* at Tahuata, the Marquesas. Pete was president of Ball Brothers Research Corporation in Boulder, CO when I worked there from 1967 when I graduated from the University of Colorado until July of 1973 when Jason was born. We were both having some difficulty remembering names....it has only been 28 years! Once again, I will say....it is definitely "a small world after all!" Please email us if you were at Ball Brothers during that time! We would love to hear from you!
We watched "Witness Protection," an HBO film, which was informative...if you like to know about that sort of subject! We have seen much much worse movies, but I am not going to recommend that you rush right out and rent this one!
July 6, 2001
We spend the morning working: I cleaned the entire boat and washed, while David wrote emails to health insurance companies! We have been notified that our health insurance will be cancelled as of August 15! We have had this coverage for almost ten years (through the University of Colorado Alumni Association) and we have only had two claims for David! If anyone has a company that they would like to recommend, we would definitely appreciate it. We are considering being completely un-insured for both our health and the boat. The premiums are sooo expensive and then you have soooo much difficulty trying to get any money out of them, when you have a claim. We would definitely appreciate any information that anyone has to offer. Thank you.
We dinghied over to the coral gardens, southeast around this motu out towards the reef. The waves were very large outside, so the current was very strong inside. We did a couple of drift snorkels with the dinghy, but we were traveling so fast, we couldn't enjoy everything! We managed to anchor the dinghy behind an extended reef in a really protected area and snorkeled for almost an hour in absolutely crystal clear waters with beautifully colored clams and coral! Did you know that clams can be brightly colored purples, greens, blues, and browns with different designs on each? Unfortunately, we do not have an underwater camera to be able to show you this beautiful colors.
July 5, 2001
We made two trips (Jason with all their luggage and then the rest of us) to the airport (because the winds and the waves were up...and our dinghy tends to be very slow and very wet...) and checked in on time at 9:15 for their 10:15 departure, which probably left about 10:30am or later. We took lots of pictures! We are hoping that we got some good ones! They will travel to Huahine, Moorea and Papeete/Tahiti before flying back to Sun Valley on July 11. We hope that they enjoyed their time with us. We also hope that they have a better understanding about our cruising life and the beauty of the tropical oceans! They are really remarkable for what they are doing at their ages (78 and 82) and with Uncle David having Alzheimer's.
Eric and David went out to check the depth of the route around to our favorite anchorages on the south side of Bora Bora in the dinghy, since Bruno at Moorings had told us that we could have problems in this one spot! We had lunch and headed south about 1pm. We didn't have any problems where we thought we might! However, in front of the Le Meridien Hotel, which has 85 overwater bungalows extending out from the motu across from the Lagoonarium, we reached a depth of 9.0. Our draft is 7.5-8 feet. Then Eric went in front of us in the dinghy to lead us across to deeper water, however, he almost led us into a coral ledge!!! We backed out and managed to retreat....and to NOT hit anything ! Thank you VERY much! We were anchored at about 4pm by Motu Taurere on the southeastern side of Bora Bora, with THE most spectacular view of the mountain. (We were sorry that we did not have the time to bring Aunt Bernice and Uncle David around to this side. We were also sorry that we had run out of time with Julie...she REALLY wanted to return here to Bora Bora!) We will just have to take lots of pictures and put them on this website for all of you to enjoy!
We went snorkeling in the absolutely crystal clear waters....turquoise and many other colors of blue...we are anchored in 30 feet of water and we can see the anchor! It looks like it is in sand on the bottom of a 10 foot swimming pool! There are several other boats here....*Tarquin,* *Lady Meg,* *Windsong,* *Merida,* *Shadowfax* (mostly Canadian boats!) and several Moorings boats. We are always concerned with the anchoring abilities, or lack thereof, of charter boats! They tend to dump the anchor in a pile with no scope and don't set the anchor....so they tend to drag when the wind comes up or changes direction!
July 4, 2001
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, USA!!! We continue to consider ourselves blessed to be citizens of the United States of America! Thank you!
Apparently, everyone in the Honolulu weather fax office took the day off....since none of us were able to get our weather fax this morning!!! It was on the worst day possible...since there appeared to be quite a storm developing with lots of very black (and a few green!) clouds to the south of us. We cleaned up the boat and moved to anchor closer to the airport to be ready for their departure tomorrow. We anchored in about 20 feet of water, very near the airport, but out of the way of the airport shuttle boats. Air Tahiti shuttles most of their passengers from the wharf in Vaitape to the airport, which was built by the USA in World War II on a motu, which was the only land flat enough for an airstrip!
David and Eric took Uncle David and Aunt Bernice for a dinghy ride in search of coral (but forgot the look bucket) and a place to snorkel, before the storm arrived. All the motus are private, so they saw lots of crystal clear water and coral, but no place for them to be able to snorkel from the beach. The storm passed us by (Thank you!)...it was looking very very nasty for a while! So, they spent the afternoon packing and getting organized to leave in the morning, while Eric changed the oil in the generator and discovered it was leaking carbon monoxide (another problem to solve!) and I wrote an email update.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS BOOKS:
1. Website address: www.peaceandaloha.com
2. Snail mail address: 6175 Habitat Drive #1068 Boulder, CO 80301
We heard via email that my brother was going to Cincinnati to visit my Dad. Julie and Chris will also be visiting him tomorrow on their drive from a family reunion (Chris's Mom's family) in Minnesota to visit another relative in Virginia. We also heard that our really good friend, Ed Harper (He and his family from Oklahoma chartered *Samara* with us about 4 years ago), several days after spending three wonderful weeks on Maui, had a pacemaker inserted after his heart stopped beating several times!!! We understand that he is fine and back at work....We wish him well and are sending lots of healing prayers to Oklahoma!!
July 3, 2001
We moved to anchor in front of the Bora Bora Yacht Club (we took a picture in front of the club with all NINE of us when we chartered *Samara*! We have the picture on a magnet, thanks to Rod, next to our microwave!!!), which is closer to the town of Vaitape. We had to anchor in 90 feet of water! While we were moving, I cleaned the entire boat and we were ready to dinghy into town, where we purchased bread, bananas and pamplemousse (so Aunt Bernice and Uncle David could sample them...they are still not as delicious as the ones grown on Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas!), and stamps for Aunt Bernice to mail her post cards. We were able to watch the canoe races (part of their month long Bastille Day Festivities) from the town wharf! They were all dressed up in brightly colored pareos with flowers on their heads to compete! Unfortunately, we were not close enough to snap good pictures.
I worked on more administration after lunch and we had an early dinner at 5pm, so that we could dinghy back to town for the dance presentation, which started at 8pm. Aunt Bernice and Uncle David treated us to wonderful seats for the show! And it was a wonderful show by two completely different dance troops. The first troop, Otea Nunue, dressed in brilliant red dresses and shirts with green ti leaf haku leis on their heads (hawaiian name, I do not know the correct Tahitian name.), sang and danced rather sedately. They performed for about 45 minutes. The second troop, Himene Tiipoto, performed for over an hour, with many different costume changes, accompanied by drums, ukuleles, guitars and singers. We were in awe of the hip movements of both men and women....they had quite a work out! We hope to see more performances during the actual dance contest as the festivities continue through July 14. This popular celebration named The Heiva of Bora Bora takes place yearly in July on Bora Bora at Motoi Square in Vaitape. This celebration features spectacular folkloric demonstrations (dancing, weaving, basket making, arts and crafts) and athletic sports (canoe races, javelin throwing at a coconut on a pole!, copra preparation races, fruit carrying races) inherited from their ancestors. This celebration gives everyone an opportunity to reunite, to exchange and to take part in ancestral traditiions in an atmosphere of joy and happiness as demonstrated by the athletes, dance groups, the singers, and the musicians.
July 2, 2001
We listened to the morning nets and received weather faxes, cleaned up the boat (Aunt Bernice and Uncle David were sleeping on the settees in the main cabin, so we had to make/remake their beds in the morning and at night...just like a hide-a-bed sofa on land!), and motored across the Grand Banks again to Moorings at 7:30am. Bruno (the manager) was MOST helpful by talking with Tahiti Tours and arranging and assuring Aunt Bernice that her missing hotel and travel vouchers would be waiting for her when they arrived at their hotel (Te Tiare Beach Resort) in Huahine on July 5. Now, she doesn't have to worry any more about that! Also, Paula (our travel agent on Maui who had arranged their trip) had also contacted Tahiti Tours after we had emailed her. Hopefully, the missing vouchers will be there! (We can understand Aunt Bernice's feelings....she had paid dearly for these hotel rooms!)
I wanted to purchase a phone card (but they had none!), so Bruno allowed me to use his phone (He definitely went above and beyond in helping us!!! We are sooooo very appreciative!) to call my brother; however, he was not there!!! Then we walked to the "magasin" and NO bread!!! I waited for about ten minutes, since it was due....at any minute! In the mean time, David decided that we ought to head to Bora Bora immediately to avoid a change in wind direction with possible inclement weather, even though we would have to motor!
We immediately returned to the boat and made her ready for a passage....and left Raiatea about 10:30am. We motored all the way with no wind with a slight roll on the beam! The smoothest easiest trip that we have ever had to Bora Bora, considering the last two times, I was soooo sick! I was not alone on the last trip, with all the Harpers and Rod to keep me company using all the pans from the galley on *Samara*! Actually, it was just as well to have a very smooth passage for them! As it was, just before we arrived and were anchored off Motu Tevairoa near the passe, Aunt Bernice tripped and fell, hitting her head, while trying to take a picture! We shaved off some of her hair and used butterfly bandages to put it back together. When she left it looked like it was healing well...we hope so! Hopefully, she will not have a bad scar!
July 1, 2001
We cleaned and picked up the boat, while we were listening to the morning nets and getting weather faxes. We took Aunt Bernice and Uncle David in the dinghy with the look bucket out along the pass so that they could see the moray eels and all the coral along there. Unfortunately, they were not able to get into the water there to snorkel, they just looked over the side in the look bucket! We then went to the other side of the motu and they were able to walk out, swim a little with a mask and snorkel on! Apparently someone has been feeding the reef fish because all of a sudden, I was surround by millions of beautifully colored fish....all wanting bread or peas (we had not brought any!) or whatever they feed them here! There was also a flounder on the bottom for them to observe. That was quite an experience for these mountain people! They never realized how absolutely beautiful the coral, clams and fish are in the tropics! We feel fortunate to have been able to share a little bit of this with them!
David and I took a LONG swim out to the reef for about an hour and a half in a different direction. We have been seeing many scorpion fish/lion fish under the coral ledges. These fish are extremely venomous! But on the other hand, we have seen NO sharks of any kind! We were also able to find many different shells...of course, the most beautiful are either alive or have a resident hermit crab, which means that they are observed, enjoyed and returned to the sea! We also discovered there were shell trails, which we could follow and then find the shells. We managed to find some and Aunt Bernice took them home as souvenirs!
I received an email from my brother, Peter, this evening indicating that our Dad was experiencing extreme confusion/depression. Hopefully, by the time you read this website, he will be back to his normal jovial witty self! Unfortunately, I am definitely not in a position to be much help from here! On the positive side, I could easily fly out of here to Cincinnati!