Thursday, July 22, 2010

Huahine - Writing Resumes in Paradise

Huahine, Society Archipelago, French Polynesia

After an easy overnight sail from Moorea to Huahine, we found ourselves at a stunning island - perhaps one of the most beautiful islands we've seen yet in this Archipelago. It is so very lush and green here, with trees lining the mountain slopes, white sand beaches, and beautiful blue waters.

Our first stop in Huahine was the town of Fare. The largest town on this island of 4000+, all the amenities that you might need can be found here - an awesome grocery store, banks, post office, trinket shops, etc. Apparently, there is also a couple of world class surf waves here, and the forecast was that they should be running in a day or two, so we may get to see some action before we leave here. Early in the evening we joined cruisers from Escapade, Dignity (, Kamaya, Dillon, and others at the bar for happy hour. This is the first time we've seen pints this cheap since Mexico. Beer is definitely not cheap here!! Almost as good was the steak and frites we enjoyed at the roulettes (mobile food vans) afterwards!!

For our second day we rented bikes and decided to tour the island. Even though the bikes seemed to be brand new, we had a few problems. My crank wasn't tightened, and we had to stop every few minutes to hand tighten it, or I would end up one-footed! Mike taco'ed his front wheel on a tight corner, and although he managed to make it spin, it was a wobbly ride. Even so, we had a great tour of the north end of the island, met interesting people, toured a pearl farm, and generally enjoyed ourselves. But clearly, our bike-butts need reconditioning...we just aren't accustomed to bike seats anymore!

A cool part of the day was finding ourselves at a blessing ceremony for a traditional canoe that was leaving Huahine on its way to Shanghai. We were able to witness speeches, songs, dancing, and tears, as the sailors prepared to disembark. The boat had already had some technical difficulties on its journey from Tahiti, so we hope they arrive safely! Check it out at

We also spent one night at the southern end of the island - Baie Avea - and it was a gorgeous spot. Unfortunately, the snorkeling wasn't very exiting...kinda like swimming in a sea cucumber farm. Yuck. We did enjoy a walk ashore, and met up with Dignity for a drink. Although, we're continually shocked at how many large resorts are closed down here. Apparently, tourism is down 70% this year.

Since we'll be home in a couple weeks, we've started to think about what we'll do for work. French Polynesia is a crazy expensive place. Almost everything costs more than at home, and in some cases, much more. Considering that everything is imported, it makes sense...but still, it sure makes a dent in our cruising kitty. So...we've been thinking about work, and have spent time trying to get online, search for jobs, and write applications!

Our Position: 16°48.70'S and 150°59.54'W

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Swimming with Sting Rays in Moorea

Moorea, Society Islands, French Polynesia

One of the big attractions for all the honeymooners here on Moorea is to swim with the Sting Rays. Mike and I joined up with a few other cruising boats - Dignity, Scream, Sidewinder, Escapade - and took our dinghys to check it out. First, we stopped to snorkel around some tiki heads in the bay, then made our way to the 'big show'. Steve and Ben had the foresight to bring along some old tuna, and we had a great time swimming with the rays and sharks. Who would have guessed that their skin would be so silky smooth!?!?

At first, every time they came close, I was a bit jumpy (remember Steve Irwin?).... But soon enough we were enjoying the experience, and getting excited about these beautiful animals. Their skin really is as soft as the finest silk. And it was quite a surreal experience to be hanging out in waist deep water with these beauties. Just at the edge of the sand bar, the sharks lingered around, waiting for the fish head that the big tourism boats brought along. I've seen lots of reef sharks on our travels here, but it was Mike's first time and thought it was super cool.