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Sailust | Moorea


Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Cook's BayOur second day in Papeete, while I was lounging in the cockpit, a fellow was waving his hand at the gate to our dock trying to get my attention. He was waving and pointing to what I later learned was a six pack of Hinano. Feeling lazy and figuring he wasn’t looking at me or was mistaken, I ignored him and kept reading my book. Eventually, the guy from the boat across from me got up to let the stranger in and I figured that he knew the guy. A moment later they were all on the boat next door having a beer.

Not too long afterwards a tall, head-shaven Scandinavian-looking guy came up our boat and said, “So I hear you guys are looking for crew? That’s great because I’m looking for a boat to crew on.” I agreed with him that the situation was beneficial for both of us and we were both surprised at how easy it was to find crew and/or a boat on which to crew in Papeete. Almost every boat crossing the Pacific stops here and it’s not so isolated by air as it is by water. These properties give people the freedom to switch boats or quit on sailing altogether, like Brad did. I referred Jan (that was his name) to the captain because I didn’t want to assume any responsibility that wasn’t mine.

Long story short, Jan is Marlin’s newest crew member. He’s 40 years old and from Denmark. He crewed on a Moorings charter boat delivery from Capetown, South Africa to Tahiti, which was the boat’s final destination. I was initially wary about taking him on because he kept badmouthing his old skipper. But after talking to the his other crewmate I decided that his old skipper was indeed crazy.

On Thursday morning we left Papeete for Cook’s Bay on the Island of Moorea, which is close enough to Tahiti to see. We stayed an extra day in Papeete because Jan wanted to watch the Champion’s League game with Barcelona playing Manchester United. Barcelona, “his” team, won 2-0.

Moorea is far more tranquil that Papeete. I didn’t see much of Tahiti other than Papeete because there were no bicycles to rent, cars were too expensive to rent and I failed at figuring out the public transportation. I decided to save my explorations for the smaller islands, which is exactly what I did on Moorea. One day we walked from Pao Pao, where our boat was anchored, along the shore to Vaiare. On the way back we cut over the mountain taking a steep trail. At the top we were rewarded with a spectacular view of Moorea’s reefs and Tahiti in the distance. The next day we rented bicycles and rode around the perimeter of the island. We paced ourselves so that it took us all day to do the 62 kilometers. We started the cycle off with a stop at a local fruit juice factory that was offering free samples of their juices and liqueurs.

MastMy camera broke during the rainstorm that I got stuck in while in Galapagos. Because of this I’ve been mooching other people’s photos, which is why I’m slow to post photos here. The photo from this post I ripped off of Flickr. The camera on my iPhone still works, however, and here is a photo I took of our stickered mast. I have some friends that will get a kick out of this photo. This is the third time I’ve been on a trip that has been logged via stickers placed on the mode of transportation.

Our next stop will be Bora Bora, for which we’ll probably leave tomorrow. It will be our last stop in French Polynesia and I will finally get my bond back. (I had to pay a bond on entering French Polynesia to ensure that I left or had enough money to leave should I decide to illegally reside here.)


  1. Gabrus Says:

    That Champion’s League game was big here too.

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