HBYC RETURNS TO THE SOUTH PACIFIC
The Honey Badgers have completed another fantastic voyage - our second sail around French Polynesia!
We first sailed Tahiti in 2013 with the mindset that it would be a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity. But when the trip was over we thought "why would we only do this just once?!" Thus, the Honey Badgers have been having Tahitian dreams of that "one particular harbor" ever since.
I have to admit - anyone who goes to Tahiti is lucky, anyone who sails there is really lucky. And to go there and sail twice?! - I could die a Happy Honey Badger.
A fair warning to anyone thinking of taking this trip in the future: Visiting Tahiti will ruin any other vacation you can possibly take. Her beauty is unmatched by anywhere else in the world.
When the shark laughs with the dolphin, there is a devilish spirit at play.
- Tahitian Proverb
Everyone flew into Papeete (pronounced: pah-peh-eh-tay), the capital of French Polynesia. Papeete means "water from a basket".
Folks came from California, Ohio, Texas, New York, and Philadelphia.
(Our group of Honey Badgers is spreading out).
From Papeete, we hopped another puddle jumper to Ra'iatea, the home port for the Moorings charter base.
On Friday, March 30th - a handful of us stayed at the Ra'iatea Lodge for a short trip to the charter base in the morning. Dinner that night was a delicious meal at the Lodge.
A stand-up paddle boarder cruises along the gentle protected waters as the majestic
Bora Bora sets a striking backdrop.
Saturday, March 31st
At the charter base we got paperwork, provisions, and check out of the boat taken care of quickly.
When it came time for the chart briefing: we were greeted by a familiar face. Enter: Laurent.
The same giggly, semi-inappropriate, off-the-wall Laurent from 5-years ago. He's a thin, young-ish Tahitian who has perhaps overly-embraced French culture.
When I told Laurant it was nice to see him again, he giggled: "Hee hee, you may remember me, but I don't remember yoooou!"
We did our "boat blessings" with *Rasputin and rum, and then we were on our way! That afternoon - at around 2pm we headed off to our first overnight anchorage: Taha'a.
*(The roll of Rasputin was handled by Kathleen who looked quite natural sporting a strap-on beard).
La Pirogue Api
(Private Island / Resort)
We anchored near a petit private motu where a French couple had built a mini resort: La Pirogue Api..
It only has 3 or 4 rooms for rent: all of which come with an incredible view. If "exclusive" is what you're looking for, then this is it.
We we dinghied up to the dock and met the woman who helps to run the resort. She told us that they would not be able to accommodate us for dinner because the chef simply wasn't prepared to feed all of us.
That said, the host was very friendly and she offered us a lounge area along with cocktails and appetizers - good enough for us!
We'd have a few drinks and apps, and then dinner on the boat. Ben was gracious enough to cook for us while we hung out and checked out the motu. After watching the sun go down, we returned to the boat to a delicious meal cooked up by Chef Rand.
Sunday, April 1st
Up early, we were ready to push eastbound through the Pacific to Huahine.
There was absolutely no wind, so our voyage required a motor the entire way. The distance from the pass at Taha'a to the entrance to Huahine is 23 nautical miles. Ben trolled for fish as we pushed east. The open Pacific was a touch rolly, but fairly tame compared to the last time we sailed to Bora Bora.
After reaching the entrance to Huahine we still needed to travel another 7nm south to our overnight anchorage: Baie D'Avea.
Huahine's name comes from "hua" which means "sex" (gender) and "hine", which means "woman". The locals say that Huahine actually means "pregnant woman" since the Tavaiura mountain resembles a woman lying on her back with a bulging belly up.
Shortly after anchoring at Huahine, the crew of Pele went for a swim off the stern of the boat. Badger Jake was making rum drinks... large ones. He kept pouring and they kept drinking.
Several of the crew of Pele went to check out the beach.
At this point one of our crew members had started to feel the impact of Jake's rum drinks. Said crew member dubbed herself: "Jenny-Jenny." We learned that Trisha didn't approve of all of "Jenny-Jenny's friends."
(And that's all of this story that's fit to print).
The beach was relatively busy with French kids playing and swimming. Huahine is more of a "locals" island.
Just before sunset, both crews rallied on Tangaroa for our first themed party. It was a 60's themed party and Tangaroa brought their A-game, as they were fully dressed as the cast of Gilligan's Island.
Tangaroa was a hands-down WIN. They looked GREAT!
For dinner: whole group dined outdoors on the beach at the Huahine Yacht Club.
Huahine -> Taha'a (West Side)
Monday, April 2nd
We shoved off at 6:45am heading west across the Pacific back to Taha'a. The plan: A day stop at Apu Bay for the pearl farm.
The trip back was again fairly calm. We surfed the waves on the way back. We took the lower pass through the reef into Taha'a and then grabbed a mooring ball at Apu Bay.
Last time in French Polynesia we stopped at the Champon Pearl Farm and so we knew it was a must for this trip as well.
At the pearl farm one of the pearl farmers gave us a course on how the pearls are made and then it was time to shop.
After Tricia bought another car's worth of pearls we wandered across the dirt road over to Philo's for ice cream.
It was nice to see Philomina again. I don't think she remembered us, but she was still sweet. Her hubby Te'o was not around to visit with us this time, but we did learn that his name is Te'o and not Cyril.
After the afternoon playtime we cruised north west up to (position T-11) for our overnight anchorage.
The anchorage is near a private resort with no "shore access" so dinner was on the boat - Brooklyn Benny on the grill!
Our anchorage was unique since we dropped anchor in around 20 feet of water, with about 2 feet of water under our rudder. The boat was floating over a giant underwater drop-off and it made for a dramatic over-head photo.
If you look closely, you can actually see in the sand next to our boat where another boat must have scraped bottom a bit.
The crew snorkeled near the private resort at a nearby motu.