Yeah, we are in Tahiti still. Can you feel the sarcasm oozing off the page? I know, most people think of Tahiti as a truly exotic and beautiful place to holiday, but for us as cruisers it is a congested, city where we have to provision, refuel, and get boat parts. In addition, we are sandwiched between many derelict boats.
The tourists typically stay in resorts with private, white sandy beaches, negative edge pools, air-conditioned rooms and a full staff to wait on you hand and foot. We unfortunately do not have the same experience. Where we anchor, which is directly across from the Intercontinental hotel’s over the water huts, there are lots of derelict boats. Why do we anchor here then? I’d like to say it’s because these ugly, abandoned boats make Sugar Shack look like royalty, but that is not why (really, its not). We anchor here because the water is shallow, 2m, sandy, and good holding. And we can get internet, for free, from the hotel. Yep, you got it, that is really the real reason we anchor here.
Marina Taina is about 1-1.25nm from here. The airport anchorage, where most boats anchor is another ½-3/4 of a mile away and downtown is about 2.5-3nm away. Not convenient, but these are our only anchoring options. The marina is saddled with many abandoned boats. They move these derelict boats from the marina slips (where they can fill with a paying customer) out to the mooring fields (which they own as well). And then they are left to die. It is so sad.
The last time we were here, there was a small monohull tied to another monohull called Voodoo Child. We returned 5 months later and the small monohull had sunk with its mast sticking above water. It sank in 2 meters of water so it is no surprise that the mast is above water.
I swam over to it and got some photos of the inside which has been stripped clean (looters). You can even see where they tied the rope to a wench and the broken line that is tied to the mooring.
There is a blue boat that is abandoned but still floating happily. However, when you swim underneath it you find a sea garden on the prop, rudder, and hull.
A neighboring catamaran lost its mast last year. It is super close to the boat that sunk. And another mono is left abandoned near those two.
Takai Boat Sinking
A small monohull on a mooring in front of Sugar Shack looked like it had owners because there was a canvas tent over the cockpit. But we never saw anyone on the boat during the entire time we were anchored here. Then one morning we work up to it sinking. Yep, the entire bow was taking on water. We took photos, posted it on the local French Polynesia Cruiser Facebook page, emailed the marina, Port Authority, and DPAM.
They responded within 30 minutes and the marina sent 4 people out with a pump to make repairs. They worked for hours to get all the water out and then fix the issue. Since we don’t speak French, we don’t know what the issue was, but it has been floating since they left.
We’ve heard that France has strict laws about jettisoning derelict boats. I am not sure what those rules are but evidently, they are strict and French Polynesia cannot take abandoned boats (devoid of batteries, fuel, and harmful elements) out at sea. All of the marinas and yards have abandoned or derelict boats that they can’t get rid of which costs them lots of money. It is really very sad.
But, lucky for us, we are still in crystal clear turquoise waters, with sunny skies, green hillsides, and lovely Tahitians. Always a matter of how you look at it and we chose to look it through rose colored glasses.
Our Yamaha 25hp Enduro gets repaired in our last blog. Events from this blog post occurred early November. Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.