Tahaa to Raiatea

Tahaa was a misty (literally), magical and very lush… The weather just added to her WOW factor. We had rain at night and into the morning with fog that clings to the tree tops, it’s incredibly beautiful. We hailed Alain on the VHF, he’s the proprietor of the Vanilla Tours and we had met him when we were here in 2000. We told him we had picked up one of his mooring balls for the night and wanted to know how much we owed him and that we would be leaving by noon. He told us it was no problem, the mooring ball is gratis, as long as he didn’t have it reserved for a tour, which he didn’t until noon that day, so it all worked out… We will be back to stay longer next season.

We were underway and heading to Raiatea by noon. The sky’s were heavy still and some rain was falling. The wind once we were out of the bay was blowing between 15 and 20 knots. We were still inside the atoll and motor sailing towards Raiatea Carenage. Once we arrived, just a 2 1/2 hour trip, we called the yard and they told us to pick up a orange mooring ball. Well every time we tried to pick one up and a couple came up to us on a dinghy in dive suits and said we couldn’t use that one, it was PRIVATE. So we went over to one of the boats that was yelling to us and the man (turned out to be the manager of Carenage) told us to pick up the yellow one. Which we did after few attempts at other mooring balls, must have been a good show for the other cruisers. Right next to us on a mooring ball is Kahia, our friends from Huahine. They stopped by with their dinghy and we caught up with boat stories. They were kind enough to offer to take us ashore tomorrow morning so we can get to the office at the marina. Remember no dinghy engine. So at half nine, as Paul says, he picked us up and we took our laundry and trash in. Not knowing where to take the laundry we left it in the dinghy and went to the office to ask. She told us they didn’t have laundry service but the Moorings do. The Moorings base is not far by dinghy but to row was out of the question. So we walked. It’s a great was to see the island, you get a real sense of the place. On our way we passed a small motel called Sunset Beach, which has bungalows on the beach and pretty coconut palms lining the driveway and dotted along the property. Just a lovely setting, so we located the reception area and made a reservation for the night of the 3rd, price includes free transportation to the airport $130.00. We may even go on the 2nd, then the rates drops to $120.00 a night, not bad and they are very cute in a rustic sort of way. We finally arrive at the Moorings base and talk to the young gal their. As it turns out she does laundry, on the hush – hush from the Moorings. So we agreed she would drive over after work and pick up our laundry and return it the next day, washed, dried and folded. OK. (only $50.00 US for 20 Kilos). On our walk back we stopped at a snack shop and had lunch.

Back to the Mother ship to prepare to move her to the slip by 1500 (3:00 PM). No problem. We are now in the slip and will be here till the morning when the yard will move her onto the “Hard”. She’ll be like my turtles, going into hibernation for the season and returning next spring. LAC

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