Saturday, July 2, 2016

Papeete, Moorea, Tahiti


Having caught up on a few boat jobs in Papeete Jude’s sister and niece arrived from Sydney to spend a week with us on the boat. After a couple of days looking around the town it was time to head off to Moorea, the closest island, about 17 miles away. It is great to see Irit and Gaba asits been nearly three years since I last saw them!  

We anchored in Opunohu bay with a spectacular backdrop of high, jagged mountains with verdant vegetation, quite different from the Tuamotus. The island is still ringed by a reef with a few passes to enter the anchorages of the islands. I think it took all of three minutes for us to jump in the clear waters for a swim, even Irit with her stringent warm water threshold of 27 degrees was in for a swim.

One of the highlights of visiting the island was swimming with the sting rays and reef sharks, a 25 minute dinghy ride from the anchorage. The sting rays are very friendly and will come right up to you. Katya seemed to be the “sting ray whisperer” as they were most interested in her. As well as the sting rays there are many reef sharks swimming around, thankfully they are harmless and beautiful to watch, once you get over the idea of swimming with sharks.

The island also has a number of great hikes, one of which we took up to the Belvedere viewpoint staring at the head of Opunohu bay slowly working our way up the hill, with a convenient stop off at a tropical agriculture college for some refreshing sorbet and then an even more refreshing coconut at the top.

The route down passes a number of ancient and abandoned Polynesian home sites on a beautiful walk through the rainforest, crossing refreshing streams and pineapple plantations. All in all it was a great hike and satisfying to stretch our legs.

Natural tree swing - Go Jane!
Pineapple flower
View from the top of the Belvedere hike
We lingered a couple of more days on Moorea visiting our friends on Red Thread doing a wall dive on the outer reef with Neil and more swimming but all good things must come to an end as we had to head back to Papeete to drop Irit and Gabs off and continue our boat projects in preparation for our onward journey to the Cook Islands.  

Lobster dinner!

Dinghy ride to swim with the sting rays

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