Category Archives: Daily Lime

Tahiti Marina Taina

Tahiti: The Land of Plenty

Toau was so beautiful that we did not want to leave.  However, I needed to get to Tahiti to prepare for my visit back to the States and we had a laundry list of chores to do before I left.  So, we head to Tahiti – the land of the plenty.  Tahiti is a necessary evil.  We go here to provision (with real grocery stores), obtain boat parts, bulk items (TP, paper towels, trash bags), hardware stores, and run errands (oh so many errands).  But first we have to get there.

Passage to Tahiti

The passage from Toau to Tahiti is about 250nm from pass to pass.  We estimated it to take 2 days to get there based on light winds from the NW.  Originally, we had hoped to fly the spinnaker for the first day and then switch to the working sails when the wind shifted to SE.  Unfortunately, the weather gods were playing tricks on us again.  We had winds directly on the nose at 2-4kts.  Not good for sailing so we ended up motoring for the first 20+ hours.  Finally, the wind filled in a smidge which allowed us to sail at 5-6kts.

We arrived into Point Venus, Tahiti in the middle of the night.  We know this anchorage and have been here several times before.  So, we felt comfortable coming into this very large, well-marked anchorage at night.  We dropped the hook, went to sleep and moved the boat to Papeete in the morning.

Things to do:

  • Pick up Matt’s new passport from U.S. Consulate
  • Pick up both of our new carte de sejure (long stay visas) from Tahiti Crew
  • Pick up 50L of rum from Airiki Noa Noa (Tahitian Rum)
  • Obtain a duty -free fuel certificate (saves us 40% on diesel)
  • Provisioning (Carrefor, Super U, Champion)
  • Big Box Stores (Maxi’s, Polynesian Trading, Tahiti Pas Cher, etc…)
  • Boat Parts (Sing Tung Hing, Ocean 2000)
  • (3) Hardware stores
  • Bank ($, $, $, $)
  • Shell Gas station to buy 20L of oil (for both diesel engines)
  • Errands: Electrosav, Auto Parts, Wing Chang (25kilo flour)


  • Fix outboard at Yamaha (not shifting properly)
  • Inspect and fill Dive Tanks and repair regulator
  • Get fuel (both diesel and gasoline)
  • Provision for fresh goods (fruit and veggie), frozen and cold goods

Normally, Matt and I have to make a bazillion trips to each of the stores because we don’t have a car and can only carry so much.  Typically, it is a 2+ mile walk, a bus ride, and another 0.5 mile walk to the dinghy, load the dinghy and then transfer onto Sugar Shack. 

However, we had to go to the U.S. Consulate which is well over 10 miles away with no direct bus route, and a $30+ cab ride one way.  So, we decided to rent a car last minute to get there and  then get all our heavy lifting out of the way (rental $55).  We were able to complete the top 10 items above in one day! It was one hell of a long day, but it got done!  We had to make 2 trips back to the boat to unload the car, but we got it all done. 

Fuel the hubby and the boat.  40L of beer, 50L of rum (blue drums) and 20L of oil.

Tahitian Beer and Rum

Tahitian Beer and Rum

Picked up boat and cleaning supplies.  The items in the photo came from about 8 different stores.  No such thing as a one stop shop.

Bulk stores provided great buys on American brand snacks and treats. This batch of stuff will last us 8-9 months.

My 25kilo bag of flour – yes, we do a lot of baking.  We make our own bread, pizza, dough, English muffins, focaccia, muffins, cakes, cookies, etc…

Big Bag o Flour from Tahiti

Big Bag o Flour from Tahiti

Beautiful rainbow over Marina Taina which is in Papeete, Tahiti.  We anchored outside of the marina.

Tahiti Marina Taina

Tahiti Marina Taina

Errands and Chores

We continue to work on boat chores when we are not running around.  Slowly knocking the projects off the list.  Stay tuned for the major redo of all of our exterior teak that took me well over 4 days to complete.

It is a necessary evil to be in Tahiti, the land of the plenty.  We love it because we can get a lot done and reprovision the boat.  But hate it because it is a huge city, filled with lots of people, we spend tons of money, and that boat get’s dirty from the busy anchorages.

But we got a lot done.  Matt will continue to check things off our list as I make my way back to the states.  In the meantime, life is good and we feel blessed.

Va’a Race Mo’orea to Tahiti

Shell sponsored a va’a race from Mo’orea to Tahiti with 6-man teams in each va’a.  A va’a is like a canoe with an arm out to one side, which is called an alma.  The teams of 6 members would race from Mo’orea to Marina Taina.  It as a flood of speeds boats in the channel causing all sorts of rocus.

Va'a Race Mo'orea to Tahiti

Va’a Race Mo’orea to Tahiti

As the va’a teams approached our boat, they entered a marked off area called the “transition area”.  Right in front of Sugar Shack, they changed teams in the va’a.  It was so amazing to see the hordes of boats around the transition area.  A boat would drop off 6 men/women in the water. Then their team would bring the va’a up to them.  The team in the va’a would jump in the water as the team in the water jumped in the va’a.  It took only a few seconds for the transition and then they were off again.

Va'a Teams

Va’a Teams

The 6 teams spent well over 6 hours paddling and trying to win the prize money. The top transition time was 4 seconds and the worse was when one team capsized and had to regain their loss time.

Pretty amazing event.  It takes a lot of skill and expertise to paddle these va’a’s.  Especially today as the weather was not cooperating and it was rainy and windy. They had to cross 15nm from Mo’orea to Tahiti!

Just for Fun

A few Tahiti happy hours to end the busy days.  Some of our cruiser friends.

Events from this blog post occurred during mid-June, 2021.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.


The Tantalizing Beauty of Toau

There were close to 25 boats in the N Fakarava town anchorage.  So, we decided to go to a smaller, more isolated atoll called Toau (pronounced “toe-ow”).  We have visited here before, but we went to the False Pass which is on the opposite side of the island.  Weather was predicted to be light N-NW winds which would be good for entering a new pass and exploring a new atoll. 

Our friends on Agape (Josh and Rachel) followed us out and we motored the short 15nm to the next atoll.  We had wind directly on the nose at 3kts.  Not good sailing conditions, but we did not have far to go.  We entered the pass with no concerns and found a nice anchoring spot in the midst of tons of bommies (coral heads).

There are two passes on the SE side of the Toau atoll that allow vessels to enter the lagoon.  One is used far more frequently because there are range markers helping you navigate through the pass.

Two passes in Toau

Two passes in Toau

This is just a glorious shot.  Shows the exposed motu at low tide and the pass in the distance.


This drone shot shows the very large coral heads that we had to navigate around to get to our anchor spot.  We came around the two large bommies in the upper left and thru the little pass to the anchorage.

Toau SE Anchorage

Toau SE Anchorage

The Anchorage

You can see all the coral heads (black spots) in the lagoon side in this drone shot. Then 3 boats in front of the false pass and the Pacific on the other side of the motu.  Toau at

Toau SE Anchorage

Toau SE Anchorage

This is a great shot from the Pacific looking over the motu to the Toau lagoon.  The reflection of the clouds is so spectacular and in contrast to the motu and the reef.

Toau SE Anchorage

Toau SE Anchorage

Sugar Shack sitting pretty at sunrise.

Toau Anchorage

Toau Anchorage

This is a fun photo of a super cool coral tower.

We did not stay very long here as a weather window opened up for us to head to Tahiti.  A return visit is a must as this was just a beautiful atoll to visit.

Events from this blog post occurred during the beginning of June, 2021.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.

Topaka Lighthouse

Oh Fakarava!

It was time for us to leave the beautiful atoll of Tahanea to make our way toward Fakarava.  Matt and I decided to sail the 9+ miles back to the pass.  It was a lovely morning, nice breeze, calm seas.  We hoisted our parasail and enjoyed the 2-hour sail.  It’s sailing like this that make me just love sailing! Of course, we are inside the lagoon and not in true “sea conditions” but none the less it was spectacular.

A mile out from the pass we doused the sail and prepared for anchoring.  We noticed dark, foreboding clouds in the distance so we got to anchoring rather quickly.  A torrential down pour and 25kt winds came upon us just as we dropped the hook and secured the sail.  Talk about good timing.

Conditions were rough.  The swell was 1.5 – 2 meters inside the anchorage.  It is a good thing we only stayed here for a few hours as we waited for slack tide to exit the pass.  It is only 59nm to Fakarava South Pass which would normally take us about 10 hours.  But we could not time our departure at slack tide with our arrival at slack tide properly so we just left early during daylight hours.

It was a chore to try to slow the boat down.  We had both the main and jib double reefed the entire way and we were still making 5kts.  So, we reefed some more and slowed down to 3-4kts.  We still arrived at the wee hours of the morning and had to bob around waiting for slack tide and the sun to wake up.  We entered with no problems as the sun welcomed us to Fakarava.

Fakarava Hirifa Anchorage

We have only been to the Hirifa Anchorage once and were not able to leave the boat due to poor sea conditions.  So, it was fabulous to explore the beaches with new and old friends.   At the end of the beach is an eatery called Hirifa Café which was closed.  But they did have a plethora of baby animals running around.  About 12-15 piglets, kittens and puppies.

Matt and I decided to head to N Fakarava to get some provisions and beer.  We were low on everything as we have not provisioned in over 6+ weeks (out of sugar, flour, eggs, fresh fruit and veg) and beer. Fakarava is a long atoll and N Faka is about 30nm from S Faka. 

Matt wanted to test out our newly repaired spinnaker.  He repaired the clew (lower right corner) and along the bottom.  If you look closely you will see another repair at the top.  She’s been a good sail, with lots of repairs, but what can you say when she is over 20 years old!

The sail is primarily used for light winds coming from behind the boat (downwind at 180°).  However our winds were wonky and came from 60°-180°). Technically we should not have been able to sail once the winds hit 90° but damned if we did not make it work.  Fakarava at


The last time we visited Faka N most everything was closed.  However, now everything is open and it is a wonderland!  We had our first dinner out in 9 months at a lovely, family owned place called Hirinaki Lounge and it was marvelous!  This place was so beautiful with drift wood art, sea shells and local wood floors.  Open air concept and super tasty food and drinks!

Topaka Lighthouse

The Phare de Topaka lighthouse is one of the oldest in Polynesia at nearly 100 years old.  It is built from giant slabs of coral limestone rock and stands on the ocean side of Fakarava atoll.  It stands 14 meters high (45’ tall) and is surrounded by beautiful palm trees.  You can see this immense structure from anywhere in the North Fakarava anchorage.  It is an incredibly unusual style with ten terraces made of stones, coral, and cement.  Built in 1957 under the direction of a woman, Mrs. Taui Degage.

Originally, the lighthouse served as a landmark for fishermen and pleasure boats day and night.  Today, it is no longer active or in use because other more modern models have replaced it.  It is likely to be demolished as it is in the protection zone of the airport.

Matt and I made haste and went to visit this monument that will most likely be torn down soon.  But we took the long way around. We crossed over to the windward side of the atoll to do some shelling and took a long leisurely walk to the lighthouse, 2.8miles away. 

Along the way we found a small monument which believe is a tombstone.  The lighthouse was immense and truly an oddity in its surroundings.

A Round of Celebrations

Our friends, Josh and Rachel met up with us in N. Faka.  They were entertaining Jack (Rachel’s dad).  We had two fabulous meals!  We took them back to Hirinaki Lounge.

Hirinaki Lounge

Hirinaki Lounge

The food was just as amazing as we remembered.  I got the mahi grill and Matt got poison cru (their version of ceviche).

The next day we headed to Havaiki Lodge for lunch and some water time!  They have several concrete tables in the shallows of the water where you can sit and enjoy a tasty drink while under the hatch roof.  It is a beautiful property with lots of art and funny statues.

Havaiki Pearl Lodge

Havaiki Pearl Lodge

We took full advantage of the lovely setting and cold drinks!  Josh, Rachel, Jack, Matt and I.

They had these fun red chairs at the end of the dock that were calling to us!

Fakarava always seems to surprise me.  Great internet, new, tasty eateries, decent provisioning, and great people.

Events from this blog post occurred during the end of May, 2021 – early June, 2021.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.