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Greetings from Beautiful Moorea

June 12, 2013

We are anchored on the west side of the entrance to renowned Opunohu Bay on the island of Moorea.  The anchorage is protected by a coral reef and the trade winds keep us reasonably cool while we take in the magnificent mountains and volcanic spires on the island.  Pretty sweet!

We last posted when we arrived in Papeete, Tahiti.  During our brief three-day stay in Papeete we find time to rent a car and tour the island.  We are surprised when we enter a village having a large street party complete with live music.  This is the layover for the second night of a three-day outrigger race around Tahiti and there are dozens of six-man boats pulled up on the lawn next to the ocean.  Outrigger races are very popular here.

We finish our essential provisioning in Papeete and move to an anchorage near the outskirts of town.  The next day we raise our sails in gentle winds and head toward Moorea.  But soon the winds are blowing 30 knots in the channel and we hasten to shorten sail as the fishing reel sings out.  We have hooked a very large marlin that is dancing along the surface while peeling off line.  Brian must break the line and get back to working the boat.  What would we do with a 300 pound fish?

We anchor at the mouth of Cooks Bay on Moorea and do some snorkeling on the reef.  The coral has taken a beating from the Crown of Thorns starfish and a hurricane and it is a disappointment after the lush diving in the Tuamotu Islands.  The next day we anchor in Cooks Bay with the most spectacular scenery imaginable.  Randi and Wayne rent bikes to tour the island while Brian and Sandie opt for a scouter.

After a couple of days we move to the mouth of Opunohu Bay where we share an anchorage with a dozen other boats.  We are conveniently close to the pass through the reef and enjoy scuba diving the outer reef.  It’s not the Tuamotus but it is still very nice.

Our friends Mark and Christine on Gray Matter hit a coral head with their dinghy and shear off their 50 HP outboard.  Fortunately, Randi and Wayne are following them in our dinghy and help them retrieve the motor before towing them back to their boat.  Twenty-four hours later the motor is running like new thanks to the heroic efforts of Mike on Time 2.

We move Persephone back to Cooks Bay to be close to some cruising buddies and spend the next few evenings socializing.  Randi takes the opportunity to enroll in a scuba diving class at the local dive shop and receives her PADI certification; now she’s legal!  We immediately move back to Opunohu Bay for lots of scuba diving.

Randi had met Mathew who runs the Turtle Rehabilitation Center on Moorea and set up a presentation for a group of “yachties”.  About 20 of us show up and have a great time seeing the injured turtles and how they are treated as well as swimming in their coral research lagoon.

Twice we visit “sting ray city” on a sand spit inside the reef where we snorkel in 5 feet of water while rays swim around us and nibble on our fingers and black tip sharks circle us.  It just never grows old.

We take advantage of a weather window and start circumnavigating Moorea with our first stop off Haapiti on the west side.  The diving is great and the coral in the pass has made an impressive comeback.  The pass is becoming famous for its surf break and the surfers are hard at it as we leave the next morning.

We spend the next few days anchoring and diving before arriving back at Opunohu Bay.  Our time with Randi and Wayne is running out as their flight back to Canada is on 15 June.  We have had a great time together and will miss them.

 

Surfing at the pass near Haapiti, Moorea

Surfing at the pass near Haapiti, Moorea

The grandma at the turtle center

The grandma at the turtle center

Mathew describes the difference between the green and hawksbill turtles

Mathew describes the difference between the green and hawksbill turtles

Visit to the Turtle Rehabilitation Center on Moorea

Visit to the Turtle Rehabilitation Center on Moorea

Touring the juice factory on Moorea

Touring the juice factory on Moorea

Gray Matter at the end of a rainbow

Gray Matter at the end of a rainbow

Evening drinks aboard Gray Matter

Evening drinks aboard Gray Matter

View entering Opunohu Bay, Moorea

View entering Opunohu Bay, Moorea

Brian & Sandie “scouter” around Moorea

Brian & Sandie “scouter” around Moorea

View from the belvedere on Moorea (Opunohu Bay in the background)

View from the belvedere on Moorea (Opunohu Bay in the background)

Moorea

Moorea

Persephone in Cooks Bay, Moorea

Persephone in Cooks Bay, Moorea

Rainbow on Tahiti

Rainbow on Tahiti

Outriggers in the race around Tahiti

Outriggers in the race around Tahiti

Flower on Tahiti

Flower on Tahiti

View of Moorea from Tahiti

View of Moorea from Tahiti

Sea anemone at Haapiti

Sea anemone at Haapiti

Titan Triggerfish bites through a shell for dinner

Titan Triggerfish bites through a shell for dinner

Titan Triggerfish bites through a shell for dinner

Titan Triggerfish bites through a shell for dinner

Diving the north side of Moorea

Diving the north side of Moorea

Randi & Wayne after Randi’s certification

Randi & Wayne after Randi’s certification

Green moray eel

Green moray eel

A green turtle joins us on a dive

A green turtle joins us on a dive

Curious onlooker

Curious onlooker

Brian with submerged stone tiki’s at Opunohu Bay

Brian with submerged stone tiki’s at Opunohu Bay

Sting ray and black tip shark

Sting ray and black tip shark

Mathew treats a turtle that has been speared in the neck

Mathew treats a turtle that has been speared in the neck

From → Travel

4 Comments
  1. Looks like you’re still having fun, miss you guys, hope to catch up in the spring.

  2. Barbara & Curtiss permalink

    Your photos bring back fond memories of the South Pacific. Only thing missing is s/v Sunshine and crew. Looks like you’ve found some buddies.

    • I got your email with your blog address. We will look at it tonight together. Alaska memories are great!

      Our friends Wayne and Randi have left. Now Mike and Jan come tonight for 2 weeks. They will leave on the July 8th from Bora Bora. At that time we will 5 more days in the area and then Cook’s, Tonga, and off to New Zealand.

      How is Alicia doing? Hope all is well for her.

      Talk soon,

      Sandie

      On Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 10:02 AM, Brian and Sandie's Around the World

  3. Michael McCleery permalink

    Brian, your use of present tense verbs still makes it very hard for me to read your emails.

    ________________________________

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