Monthly Archives: December 2021

Resting turtle

Turtle Diving in Mo’orea

Diving in Mo’orea brings us up close and personal with over a dozen turtles and many curious fish.   It had been a long time since I dove.  Like almost 3.5 years, since Galapagos.  I was more than a bit anxious, but I was diving with Matt and two of our friends who each have hundreds of dives and safety certifications.  Our goal was to find Rachel’s friend “Sonny” who is a racoon butterfly fish and a turtle or 12.

We load all the dive gear in Sweetie and head to the pass.  There are a few floats to tie our dinghies.  We jump in and my stomach is full of butterflies.  We descend slowly and I can see the coral bottom clearly.  It is not far, maybe 20 meters (60’).  Once I remember to stop exhaling through my nose, I get a little more comfortable.  The air exhaled through my nose caused my mask to separate from my face which leaked water down my cheeks.  It was a back and forth I played with my mask before I figured it out.  Yep, a little out of practice.

Sonny immediately comes out to join us.  He is a raccoon butterfly fish that Rachel met 2 years ago.  Every time she dives this spot, she has an interaction with him.  It is really quite amazing to see their relationship in person as I’ve watched it blossom on her Instagram account (moore_rachel).  He is a curious little guy and thoroughly checked out Matt before returning to Rachel.

Turtles, Turtles, Turtles everywhere

We don’t have to swim far to spot our first turtle as they are everywhere!  They are perched on top of the coral…see the yellow fish hiding under his back flipper?

Just hanging out, resting

Resting their little heads on top of the coral as if it were a comfy pillow

This just doesn’t look comfortable to me…but he is clearly in the “zone.”

Resting turtle

Resting turtle

Some blend in with the coral

And others sandwich themselves under the coral. I wonder how he will get out of this predicament?

We caught a few as they were heading up to get a sip of air.

We also come across a beautiful porcupine puffer who seemed to be challenging Matt.

Rachel and Josh from Agape (Voyages of Agape).

Rachel and Josh, Agape

Rachel and Josh, Agape

You might remember my blog about the very special Turtle Sanctuary, Te Mana O Te Moana.  They rescue turtles from all over French Polynesia.  I wonder if any of these beauties are around as a result of their rescue mission.

We jam Cruiser style in our last blog.  Events from this blog post occurred the end of September.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.

Polynesian Jam Session: Cruiser Style

Our friends, Steve and Lili from the boat Liward came back to French Polynesia after being stateside for the past 10 months.  Steve is a fantastic musician and has put on many jam sessions around French Polynesia.  Our last jam session was called “Rock the Barge” and was held in Huahine.

This time we had to do things a little different.  Technically, no live music is allowed during our confinement.  So, Steve thought, well we can host an impromptu jam session off the back of his boat.  We were all technically respecting the 1 meter distance and we are all vaccinated.

Steve has an all in one guitar which can be used as an electric or acoustic guitar.  He uses a luper where he can record himself playing and then play over it at the same time.  It is amazing to watch and listen to!  Steve plays a lot of Polynesian music and some American rock. 


We had about 8 dinghies show up carrying 22 people.  All from the Opunohu anchorage.

Some close ups of our friends.

It started right around dusk and lasted a few hours.  Super cool  We had a beautiful sunset to go with the amazing musical talents of our friend Steve.

Sugar Shack is right next door.  We could have easily seen and heard the music from our boat but it would not have been nearly as fun!

We take the ferry to Tahiti and are duly impressed with the Aremiti 2, the last blog.  Events from this blog post occurred the end of September.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.

Aremiti 2 Ferry

Fun, Ferry Adventure

Typically, we are not too fond of ferries.  They cause huge wakes and can be a bit noisy disrupting the anchorage.  We’ve been watching a variety of different ferries come and go at an unusually high frequency during the last 5 weeks of confinement.  Then one day, we decided, let’s take the ferry to Tahiti.  We needed to run some errands and see a few friends who were departing in October.  Fun, a ferry adventure to change our opinion of ferries!

There are several companies that run between Tahiti and Mo’orea.  There is Aremiti which has 2 boats, Vodaphone, and Teravau. 

Vodaphone and Terevau ferries

Vodaphone and Terevau ferries

We wanted to go on the largest ferry, the Aremiti 2.

Aremiti 2 Ferry

Aremiti 2 Ferry

The tickets are normally $10 (1000xpf) each way / per person. But since we are considered residents, we got a little discount.  Sweet. 

The Aremiti 2 Ferry

You enter from the stern of the boat where the cars load.  It is massive space with multiple floors!  This enormous aluminum boat takes my breath away. 

Aremiti 2 Stern Entrance

Aremiti 2 Stern Entrance

We walk up 4 flights of stairs to get to the main passenger area.  And boy oh boy were we pleasantly surprised.  The first section is the “café” area where they serve snacks, hot and cold drinks, and sandwiches.  You can sit in comfortable seats while on your passage.  Once you pass through this area you go to the “front” of the boat where they have more seats.  Which by the way, I loved the seats as they slightly reclined and had great lumbar support!  None of this straight up and done like in the states (I mean really, who sits like that?).

Before we enjoyed a cold beverage and a seat, we decided to go upstairs to the viewing outdoor area.  Another expanse of seating.  How many people take this ferry?  Gesh!

The view out the front section was spectacular.  As the ferry runs smoothly across the turbulent waters, you can hardly feel a thing.

The ferry averaged 22-23nm per hour and arrived within 45 minutes of our departure.  This trip would have taken Sugar Shack several hours and would not have been nearly as pleasant.

Arrival in Tahiti

Many of you know we have two inflatable paddle boards that we bought used in Bonaire 5 years ago.  They are ok.  1) they are meant for kids so they are short (like 8’9″) and they only  work/float for about an hour before they deflate.  We have had to patch them numerous times.  In fact, Matt has patched the entire seam around each board at least once!  Needless to say it was time to replace them, especially when you consider the fact that Matt uses the board at least 3-4 times a week.  Matt had been watching the Facebook Marketplace for the area and found a hard board for sale.  On the ferry, we texted an offer and he accepted.  Wowza, we were not expecting that!  So, immediately when we disembarked, we found an ATM and met the seller downtown Papeete.

This is a 4-year-old paddle board and is made by Riviera, and designed by Jerry Lopez.  It stands at 11’3” and is 29” wide.  It is a HUGE board!  The seller met us promptly with the board tied to the top of his truck.  Matt had to carry it from there to our friend’s boat which was about ½ mile.  The bottom left photo is the board coming off the ferry in Mo’orea.  It is at the top extending beyond the front and the back – too funny!

Matt buys an 11' stand up paddle board

Matt buys an 11′ stand up paddle board

Errands and Friends

Matt and I run a few errands.  We go to both ACE mart stores, NautiSport, and Sing Tung Hing.  We end up separating as he continues on to Ocean 2000 and HyperBrico.  I had to go to a store in downtown Papeete and the post office before meeting my friends for lunch.

I meet up with my friend Jen from Slingshot and Wendy from Due South.  We did not take any photos as Wendy is in the middle of chemo treatments and was not feeling it.  But, we had a spectacular time with tasty food and a beautiful view!

It was a crazy busy and productive visit to Tahiti. It was time to head back to the ferry.  On the way back to Mo’orea on the ferry we enjoy seeing Sugar Shack at anchor!

Can you see Sugar Shack in the distance?

Can you see Sugar Shack in the distance?

Here is the route while underway in each direction on the ferry.  We though the ferry, Aremiti 2 hit speeds in the 30’s but we never saw anything above 22-23nm.

Faces of Tahiti

Being in Mo’orea gives us a great view of Tahiti.  We have seen many different faces of Tahiti over the last month.

Disaster strikes time and time again, read the gory details In the last blog.  Events from this blog post occurred the end of September.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.