Loading Map

Monday, July 19, 2010


We left Moorea before sunset last Tuesday and had to motor until 8 PM when the wind finally filled in for a fast sail to Huahine. The island was in sight before dawn and we entered Passe Avapehi without any problems. There were 10 boats anchored off of Fare, the largest city on Huahine, so we decided to drop the hook in shallow water halfway to the village. It turned out that this was where all the surfer cruising boats were anchored for easy access out of either pass (Avapehi or Avamoa) depending on what the surf was doing each day.

We scrambled to launch the dinghy when we heard drums on shore after the anchor was set. We arrived in town just in time to catch a parade of local dancers as part of the Bastille Day festivities. Each group performed a short piece in the town square before standing aside for the next group in line on the road. Three songs were played for the raising of the French, French Polynesian, and Tahitian (or Society Islands) flags and of course we only recognized the Marseilles (if that's how you spell the name of the French national anthem...). When the speeches started we hit the grocery store which was packed with people. We were surprised to find it open on a holiday, and it closed very shortly after our visit.

Both of the snorkels we did on the reef next to the boat were disappointing, although perhaps better than Moorea. We saw a few crown of thorns and lots of dead coral, but some of it was okay. So once again we focused on hiking. In Fare we walked 7 km to the village of Maeva where there are several marae (historic) sites. There's a big reconstructed one right off the side of the road which received all of the tourist attention. But we followed a hiking trail through the woods to see several more, which we had all to ourselves except for a few locals doing maintenance work at one. It was a beautiful walk and it felt great to get off the road for awhile. But we were dead tired by the time we finished the trail so we hitched a ride back to Fare with a Marquesan woman and her 10 month old baby. She's married to a New Zealander and they've done quite a bit of travel themselves.

On Friday we moved south to Baie Teapaa but it was windy so I didn't feel like getting off the boat. John went in for a walk and reported nothing much going on in the very small village there, although we heard drums for a little while just before sunset. The next morning we moved to Baie Avea at the southernmost end of Huahine. This is as far as you can take a big boat on the western side of the island because the lagoon is choked with coral at the southern point. It continued windy with a few rain showers over the weekend, but we were able to get off the boat for a walk on Sunday. We visited a small marae around the point and walked through the village of Parea before returning to a trail head across the street from the entrance to the marae. The trail climbed up a pine covered ridge for great views of Baie Parea and Baie Avea, but it looped back to Parea so we turned around at the top of the ridge and went back down the way we had come.

This morning we snorkeled inside Passe Araara where the current was too strong but I got to see two anemones each with a pair of colorful anemonefish (not actual clown fish like Nemo though!). Then we tried the east side of Motu Araara where I was amazed by the number of sea urchins. John went as far as he could out to the reef and said it was live coral all the way there instead of having a big dead ditch inside the reef like we saw at Fare.

After lunch we motored the eight miles back to Fare and anchored off the village this time. John is at the bar next to the dinghy dock enjoying the 5:30-6:30 PM happy hour with S/V Dignity while I catch up on internet chores. Big Hinano draft beers are only 250 CFP and maitais are half price at 450 CFP!

After popping in for fresh baguettes in the morning, Tuesday we'll sail across the channel to visit Raiatea, the second largest island in the Societies.


{GMST}16|43.222|S|151|02.378|W|Fare surfers anchorage|Huanine{GEND}



{GMST}16|42.756|S|151|02.346|W|Fare Village|Huanine{GEND}