Video clip:
       
 


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Day 1,702 - Arue, Tahiti (17° 31S 149° 32W)
08:41hrs - January 27th 2012
Where the Wild Rays Roam

There's a little patch of powdery white sand on the northern side of Moorea, Tahiti's sister island, just inside Passe Taotoi. It's an idyllic spot, where the coral reef protects you from the ocean swell, and the towering volcanic spires soften the trade winds. But what makes this little patch of sand special, which lays under five feet of the clearest water you can possibly imagine, is that it is home, during lunchtime at least, to a whole fleet of happy stingrays.

Great big well-fed stingrays to be precise, some almost the size of our dinghy, and each day they come to this little area of the lagoon to be fed. But these rays aren't trained or tamed, they're wild creatures, well, about as wild as a flock of pigeons feeding on breadcrumbs in Central Park, but wild they are.

But they're gentle too, perhaps at times a little persistent, but their majestic manner, peaceful presence, and cheeky smiles makes them easy to forgive when you have a dozen of them swimming around, under and over you.

Just a faint whiff of fish brings these stealth feeders out from hiding. Some appear from the dark blue channel gliding silently out of the deep, fluttering towards you like a flag in a soft breeze. Others conserve their energy and choose to settle in the shallows right below your dinghy, shaking the sand off their grey backs when you arrive, and all at once they wiggle, flap, glide, bank and coast their way over to you. And it is lovely.

The sharks come too - black tips - but don't worry, if you don't like swimming with sharks the rays have your back. In this area of the lagoon, at least, the sharks seem to have forgotten their place on the food chain, and outnumbered by the rays at least 10:1, they keep their distance.

So if you find yourself in Moorea on holiday, buy some fresh fish from the market or take one of the tourist boats over to Passe Taotoi, the rays are waiting, and they'll be happy to see you.

 
 


Hot Off The Press!
Click here to read our
article in the February
issue of Cruising World magazine >

 





 


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Day 1,695 - Haapiti, Moorea (17° 34S 149° 51W)
16:59hrs - January 20th 2012
Polynesian Hospitality

Experiencing two continuous weeks onboard DT, after a morning snorkel through endless mazes of tropical corals teaming with schools of vibrant & happy fish, we ventured ashore.  In the noonday sun, we sighted along the shoreline, white sandy beaches adorned with lush coconut palms swaying in the light Pacific breeze .  Arriving in the dinghy we tied up to a small local dock after being waved on by a local.  Adjacent the picturesque shoreline, we noticed ‘Fare de hotes Tehuarupe’, a quaint & private well kept hotel owned by Elda & Charles.  Hoping there was a restaurant, we walked through the inviting stonewall entrance.  Unfortunately, there was none.  However, they did serve up the best Polynesian hospitality one could imagine.  Elda greeted us with an open heart & warm friendly smile.  Striking up some conversation & not wanting us to be disappointed their Polynesian hospitality truly shined.

We must have been looking salty & sun baked as they handed us 2 tall glasses of fresh chilled orange juice to quench our thirst, graciously allowed us to use their internet to check emails, invited to go check fish traps local style with her husband Charles, provided an invitation from her to cook dinner if we caught any fish, handed 2 ice cold Budweiser’s, 3lbs of fish, 2 slices of yummy homemade pizza & a handful of fresh basil from the garden.  All were complimentary; generosity beyond compare for two strangers.

We said “merci beaucoup” (thank you very much) & headed back out to DT to go fishing.  And fish we did.  As the hot afternoon sun was setting, we daringly trolled outside the reef pass in the 9ft inflatable, landing a 4.5ft Wahoo!  The sharp fish spines abruptly punctured the rubber skin of the dingy while hauling it aboard.  With a pontoon deflating & surf breaking on either side of the pass, we made it safely back inside the lagoon, while still fishing of course.  Tonight we will enjoy dinner with our new friends’ local Polynesian style.

Dreams Upon the Sea

Sunny & warm is the tropical breeze
Lush & green, are exotic palm trees
Where sea birds fly, above Pacific seas
Mesmerizing fish & corals; my eyes they please!

Finding provisions - no big brand stores
Crossing oceans to distant shores
A world of freedom & independence soars
Adventure & exploration, a lifetime of tours

Sailing onward, no land in sight
No place to stop & spend the night
We sail all day, we sail all night
Clear sky, full moon, a sailors delight

Black pearls glisten where mermaids roam
Towering spires & volcanic domes
Polynesian hospitality in these islands roam
On board Dream Time, it feels like home

A solid plan we have indeed
Navigating safely upon the sea
Perhaps I'm dreaming a fantasy
No awake - sailing on Dream Time in Tahiti!

                                                                                by: Nick Maznek



Traveling to Tahiti / Moorea?
If you ever find yourself in Moorea, we highly recommend staying at Fare de hotes Tehuarupe. The newly constructed private bungalows, each made with natural local materials, overlook the setting sun across Moorea's unspoiled western lagoon. The view is spectacular, the infinity pool stunning, and the hosts, Elda and Charles, are delightful.

Learn more about the hotel at: www.moorea-paradise.com





     

 


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Day 1,690 - Opunohu Bay, Moorea (17° 29S 149° 51W)
21:18hrs - January 15th 2012
Another Idyllic Rendezvous

Belize!  Panama Canal!!  Tonga!!!  Now I find myself onboard Dream Time for the fourth time, in French Polynesia!!!!  While my arrival may not have been ideal:

  • Arrived at midnight in a tropical downpour
  • Was then held up by immigration till almost everyone had left the airport
  • Splashed through the darkness on a spirited bone & luggage soaked dingy ride to reach DT anchored at Lagon D’ Arue/Tahiti Yacht Club in 25 knot winds & rolling seas

A small price to pay for a two and a half week sailing adventure in FP. After a rolly & turbulent five hour dry heave inducing motor sail, I now find myself relishing in the serene tropical skylines of the worlds most idyllic landscapes; the South Pacific island of Moorea’s Cook & Opunohu Bay’s. Lush green mountains jet upwards several thousand feet into the blue backlit sky, forming jagged & pointed spires at their volcanic peaks. The crystal azure waters reflect dancing rays of sunlight as playful tropical fish swim leisurely around the boat.

Not to mention, this is the land of the ever alluring ‘Polynesian Black Pearl’; found only here. Combined with legendary French baguettes, fresh produce, fine French Bordeaux & a few Hinano’s (local beer),
I feel like I am living life.

Paradise isn’t always perfect, however, it’s still paradise to me and I have two more weeks to go!
French Polynesia beckons your call...







  Video clips from the Marquesan Cultural Festival:
       

 


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Day 1,682 - Arue, Tahiti (17° 31.3S 149° 32.1W)
12:33hrs - January 7th 2012
Drink Anyone?

Just a quick update: Although there's nothing to report here, really, other than it is raining - big, fat, heavy globs of rain that sound like a kids running around on our coachroof. Rain that you can hear coming long before it hits you, and when it does, there's so much of it, it saturates even the air.

It has rained for the last 36 hours, almost continuously, and our once pristine, blue lagoon has been converted to a muddy debris field with coconuts, branches and eddies of trash all making their way past the boat, through the reef passage and out to sea.

It's not surprising really, the rain that is, after-all it's summertime here in the South Pacific - rainy season, and while we can't run our watermaker in these conditions (the seawater filters would become clogged in silt), we are able to top-up our water supply - old school - by catching rain off our canopies and running it right into our tanks, compliments of mother nature.

The World Health Organization deems water with up to 1,000 PPM (parts per million) suitable for drinking. Spectra watermakers (our particular brand of desalinator) prefer their equipment to produce water with under 500 PPM, but mother nature, as with most of her creations, has the most stringent quality control of all, and delivers the best product - the pure, Tahitian rain falling from the sky and filling our water tanks registers a mere 63 PPM on our handheld TDS-3 water tester - and best of all, it's free, every last drop!

Cheers!