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10. day - 07/09/2007 - Friday, Moorea Cooks BayEarly morning the spotted eagle ray brought to show us its couple. They were flying under the water together again around our anchor. Actually at the anchor chain there is a good place to snorkel with them as they spend most of their days there.
So it was Friday again and we left Tahiti on that day. The engine worked perfectly and it had to because there was not wind. But the island of Morea was only 3 hours ride from Tahiti so at least we filled up our batteries on the short way. When we left the pass of Tahiti we saw some surfers who were waiting for the big waves. The pass is easily ridable in good weather however it is not very good in bad weather because the edge of it is only 2 meters deep (the rest is around 6 meters). Leaving this pass we spared the 3 miles ride in the lagoon and we also did not had to ask for permition at the airport.
Passing some whales next to Moorea (we saw them far away) we arrived at Cooks Bay of Moore entering a pass into the lagoon.
We were alone at the anchoring place very close to the mountains of the island. The bay was perfectly protected from the swells of the ocean and it looked like a big lake without any waves. The colour of the water in the bay also had a strange greenish brownish colour because the rivers brings here mud from the mountains. It was not really for swimmers. But we had very nice view to the mountains from the deck in that peaceful bay.
There was a small village on the shore and the island was inhabited on the same way as Tahiti (houses on the shores and a surrounding road). For our suprise we found electronic price tags on the shelf in the local shop.
It was Friday so the local discotheque was on all night in the shore.
12:00 17-30.10S 149-49.30W log= 22688.2
11. day - 08/09/2007 - Saturday, Trip on MooreaWe started our breakfast when Hafskip arrived next to us. We made an excursion all together to the view point (Belvedere) of the island which was only 4-5 kms long way from the anchoring place. People say that Moorea is one of the nicest island of the Societies Islands and there is a ferry here from Tahiti. We do not know that yet whether it is the nicest, but the mountains are surely amazing.
During our excursion we passed some fruitgardens (such as papayas, pomplemousses, banana etc.) but the major products of the island are vanilla and coffee. From the view point we could see both Cooks and Opunohu Bays and also the reefs that protects the island. There were one or two archelogical site also on the way.
The threatening clouds always above the sky in the mountains and sometimes they let the rain to go. That happened also with us at the view point. We had a heavy rain and we were completely wet on the way downhill but we used to this in Tahiti.
12. day - 09/09/2007 - SundayWe left the Cooks Bay in the morning for the Opunohu Bay. We have to say we enjoyed the nice mountains and calmness of the Cooks Bay but we did not like the muddy water here.
In the bay of Opunohu we met with more sailing boats. The mountains look gorgeous from here too mostly if the sky is clear and also the water is turquoise. The guidebooks say that this bay the easiest pass in French Polynesia so we were not supprised to see a more than 100 feet long sailing boat here. We met some boats here but the most interesting was a Chinese rigged wooden English boat which was built in Canada. The captain of the boat was happy to show us around on board. We also met here Moonshadow a New Zealand boat.
We visited the hotel resort next to the anchoring place with the stilts houses. The beach is gold here but it was only for the hotel guests.
In the afternoon we went to see Muline and Martina showed us how to make some knots to build up a sail protector. It is very practical and one can use some old ropes to make it instead of buying it. We beleive we need some for Rotor against the forstays. Then Hafskip arrived to the bay and organised a nice dinner party with Muline and us.
13. day - 10/09/2007 - MondayAt 9 am we started the more than 1 hour dinghy ride with Hafskip and Muline in the lagoon. We targeted the two motus (islands) far away from the anchoring place to swim there with the sting rays. It was amazing to swim with these flying creatures in the 1 meter deep water on a reef. They touched sometimes our skin and they were very peaceful. We heard that fishing is prohibited here.
We also found some black tipped sharks around the place but these looked rather scared than dangerous. We had luck with the beautiful sunshine in the sky too. After the swimming and snorkeling we went to see the small village near the pass. The shop was again full with nice food.
In the evening we had a very nice dinner on the board of Muline with the company of some handmade pasta.
14. day - 11/09/2007 - Tuesday, Towards RaiateaThis time we headed towards the island of Raiatea in the west. We had a shiny day with 12 knots of wind so we had a pleasant sailing all the way. We were making the sail protectors on the way that we had learned from Muline. The best of the best was that there was not any squalls on the way at all (but also no moon).
15. day - 12/09/2007 - Wednesday, Ceremony 1. dayWe arrived in Opoa Bay of Raiatea Island. We have seen the big preparation on the shore from the boat. After we had dropped the anchor Muline also arrived. There was not any other sailing boat around that supprised us very much. In Opoa Bay stands Marae Taputapuatea which is one of the most important historic sites of French Polynesia. There is a rectangular courtyard paved with volcanic rocks. A small platform in the middle once bore the image of Oro (god of fertility and war). Human sacrifices and firewalking once took place on the marae. People say that firewalking is a spiritual connection between god and human beings. Also fires on the marae may once have been beacons to ancient navigators. It is also beleived that Raiatea once have been the place from where the ancient polynesians spread to the eastern islands first to Marquesas then to Hawaii.
A couple of days ago we had seen a poster in Papeete which had showed that there would be a culturel and traditional meeting in Taputapuatea from the 10 September to the 14 September where all the Royal Families and High Chieftainship of the Pacific would meet. The guests were invited from the geographical triangle among New Zealand, Easter Island and Hawaii.
We have not really seen tourists around but we have seen cameramen and photoriporters from the televisions and news (also from the Maori Television). We also met with photoripoters who were at the Kon-Tiki celebration in the Tuamotus. We beleive this culturel meeting was a very nice and interesting event.
At around 2 pm the Royal Families and High Chieftainship arrived to the marae and most of them were dressed according to their national costumes. We liked the best the costumes of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) as it was the most interesting and a bit special from other islands but other delegations had also nice dresses too. They were welcommed with the local dancers and drummers of the island and Tahiti and they were leaded to the marae. Everybody stepped on it with bare feet then set down in a circle. A nice choir started then during the ceremony all the delegations were introduced and greeted. The greetings were also confirmed with a local alcoholic drink which was cooked from fruits. (We were also allowed to taste this drink after the ceremony.) After the ceremony everybody was welcommed on a meal under the tent of the beach meanwhile the Maori delegation danced the Haka. There were many fruits and cakes we could choose from it and also coconut drinks. We felt we were again at a really good place at the right time.
10:00 16-50.00S 151-21.90W log= 22785.3
16. day - 13/09/2007 - Thursday, Ceremony 2. dayOn the second day we joined the events when the Polynesian canoes arrived from Huahine. The competitors started from around 20 miles from the bay and arrived at around 11 am. They can make around 6 knots average speed with these canoes. The first were Bora Bora the second team was Huahine (on home land) etc. They were greeted with flower necklaces and they got some money award after the results were given. When the lunch strted we were also invited by the locals to join them. They had a nice local stew this time on the tables.
In the night a ritual event the firewalking started and we were again very happy to see thing like this in French Polynesia. People say that the firewalking makes connection between god and human being based on the Polynesian religion. It was done in the Umu-ti on bare feet and had strict rules which were the followings:
- Nobody was not allowed to record it or make pictures of it.
- You were not allowed to walk on fire after you had alcohol.
- You were not allowed to walk on fire with pregnancy.
- You needed permission to walk on fire with your period.
- Turn and talk was not allowed during firewalking.
- The firewalkers had to accept all of the rules above.
The firewalking is prepared on the same way as the earth oven (for foods). They lie stones on the fire where everybody could walk with rules above. The organiser Tahitien strted the rituale then the delegations were invited to do it. At the end everybody was allowed to walk on the fire with the rules above. The skipper of Muline and Rotor both did the firewalking.
17. day - 14/09/2007 - Friday, Ceremony 3. day
On the last days of the events the delegations took on their bests costumes. This time also the Maori delegation dressed up in their national costumes and their face were painted (also the girls with the nice Moko on their chin). The delegations moved with dances and singings to the ceremony place. This time a stone was uncovered which was made by an artist from Rapa Nui. This stone represented the Polynesian cultural unity with the geographical triangle of New Zealand, Easter Island and Hawaii and all the other islands from the Pacific among them. The delegations gave some presents to each other and they planted some trees which symbolised the future and strength of this unity. At the end of the ceremony the Tahitien girls and boys started to dance again with their nice hip movements.
In the afternoon Stephan visited us from Muline and Geza fixed the navigation software of them. In the evening we invited Muline to a been goulash party and they brought a nice T-shirt from the event to always remember the date and place of it..
18. day - 15/09/2007 - Saturday, Faaroa RiverRaiatea is the second largest island of Tahiti Polynesia. The polynesians were spread from here and the interesting thing is the ancient name of this island was Havaii.
It is really good that nearly the entire island can be sailed around. First we sailed to the Bay of Faaroa. We were very lazy so we only sailed with our genoa. We left the Taputapuatea with its nice church behind.
We started our little exploration of the island with Faaroa Bay by going up on the river with Stephan (skipper of Muline) by our dinghy. We could not get to far because there were some rapids on the river which closed the way. But the river was nice and calm with houses all the way on its banks and fruit gardens. We saw also some sweetwater eels too.
Raiatea is also called the island of flowers because every hosues and streets are full with beautiful flowers (sometimes also in the canals).
In the evening we said bye to Muline. They were heading towards Bora Bora.
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