Tag Archives: hoodoo

Manutea: 22 Alcoholic Drinks from Fruit

Missy and Yanell, our friends on “Hoodoo” take us on a hike to Manutea Rotui Juice Factory and Distillery on Mo’orea.  Walking along the road which parallels the bay, we arrive at the Manutea factory 2.4 miles later.  There is a self-tour and a gift shop with free tastings.

Manutea Tahiti

Manutea Tahiti

This unique facility is geared toward finding “pleasures of the mouth.”  They harvest six different fruits: pineapple, guava, papaya, grapefruit, mango, and noni for a variety of alcoholic beverages.  These fresh fruits and the sugar cane are harvested throughout the leeward islands (Society archipelago), but mainly on Mo’orea.  Over 200 people or 60 families are employed to produce and harvest the fruit and sugar cane each year.

The sugar cane, freshly cut by hand is crushed on the plantation the same day (without adding water) before it is fermented.  These suave notes characterize the Manutea agricultural rhum.  The harvest period is usually from August to October, when the cane reaches full maturity.

The team believes their beverages offer tropical flavors unlike any other and are a true expression of the land.  They have been rewarded with ISO certifications in 2006, 2009.

Touring Manutea Juice Factory

The Manutea factory was producing, bottling, and packaging juice during our self-tour.  I must admit that I have not had the opportunity to be in different factories. I was mesmerized watching the sleek machines.  From expanding the juice box, to filling, capping, and packaging.

Juice factory

Juice factory

This factory produces 11 different types of juices under the “Rotui” brand.  We have purchased mango, pineapple, and mixed fruits before. But we tasted a new peach flavor that rocked!

We then made our way to the rhum distillery.  It was not in operation during our visit, but it was impressive none the less.

Seven types of agricultural rhum are distilled at this factory, including (3) aged rhums.  Matt and I, and in fact most Americans, Europeans, and Canadians prefer “rum” which is made from maple syrup as opposed to sugar cane because it is smoother and not as harsh.  They are typically less concentrated as well (lighter proof).

In addition to the rhum, Manutea Tahiti produces (2) white wines (one with a pineapple taste and one dry), champaign, (3) premixed Tahiti drinks (fruit flavored with rhum, dark rhum, and tequila), (7) liqueurs, and (2) Vahine cream liqueurs.

Taste Test

The sampling was amusing.  The lady wanted us in and out to get a larger group in.  Since it was covid they had to wait for us.  So, we tasted 8 shots in 6 minutes.  Wowza!  She started off with the sweet white wine with a touch of pineapple.  Sounds super weird, but it was delicious!  We moved on to the champaign, then the new Tahiti Drink with tequila (which we bought).  Next was Mo’orea Coco (which would be great over vanilla ice cream), then the 60 proof rhum and finally the 80 proof.  Yikes!  Luckily, she ended the tasting with a shot of the new peach flavored tea and then a shot of pure mango pure.  We wobbled out of there.  Lucky for us we had a 2.4 mile walk back to the dinghy.

Juice factory and distillery http://manuteatahiti.com/

Events from this blog occurred on 2 November, 2020.  Our blog posts run 8 weeks behind our adventures.

The Stunning Island of Maupiti

Maupiti is a luscious, remote island located 27nm west of Bora Bora.  We had always hoped to visit this lovely piece of paradise but were unable to make it happen until now.

Maupiti Island

Maupiti Island

We visited the Society Archipelago (where Maupiti is located) last year but did not have time to navigate to this distant island.  An opportunity arose after we dropped off my family at the Bora Bora airport.  This island has a challenging pass to enter and depart the lagoon.  It is known to be difficult as you cannot enter when the winds are close to 20kts, or when there is a 2+ meter swell or if winds are coming from the south.  The prevailing winds come from the south a lot.

Where the pink and red lines meet is the entrance of the pass.  The green ships are other boats on AIS and the blue area is the channel from the pass to the village. 



This is a good photo of the island with all the motus around it.  You can see the one pass at the bottom of the island/photo.



Traveling to Maupiti

However, we picked a travel day with virtually no wind (2-5kts) coming from the east with less than a meter swell.  We arrived promptly at 1130 and on the approach swallowed hard as we noticed the huge swell breaking on the reef.  The photo below shows the reef and the small pass entrance and then the reef again.

From the photo below, you can clearly see the reef on either side of the small pass.  It is a tricky one.

Pass from high view point

Pass from high view point

A few locals were fishing off the reef of the pass indicating just how calm it was when we entered.

Pass to enter the lagoon

Pass to enter the lagoon

Once we lined up the two markers and put the boat in the center of the pass we only encountered 1kt of outgoing current.  It was smooth as silk!  We hung a left and picked up a mooring just outside the pass and close to the manta ray cleaning station (more on this later).

Our friends on Hoodoo showed up an hour later and decided it would be a drinking day!  It was great fun catching up with Yanell and Missy!

Hiking to the Top Mount Teurafaatiu

There are several towering mountain peaks that scream for our attention.  We started out around 0930 and easily found what we thought was the start of the trail.  We were using maps.me and gps coordinates from a previous cruiser.  Locals had marked the trail with 3 lines: white, red, white.  However, somewhere at the beginning of the hike we got on another trail marked with red, black, yellow.  Hmmm…well it is still a trail so we continued on.

It was almost straight up the mountain, over rocks, under trees, and with the use of a few climbing ropes on the slippery parts.  The boys forged ahead while Missy got stuck with me lagging behind (poor thing).  But, we caught up to the boys maybe 7-8 minutes behind them.

Missy (Hoodoo) and I

Missy (Hoodoo) and I

The top offered spectacular views of the lagoon, pass, and outer motus.  We also found several other trails that needed to be conquered.

The views are just amazing from the top.

Always wanting to mix it up, we traversed down the opposite side of the mountain and found the original white, red, white trail!  This trail going down was very well marked.  It is more exposed to the sun so it was also drier and easier going down.  Interesting.  Oh well, new sights and adventures.

  • Miles Hiked: 5.1
  • Steps:  13,221
  • Flights Climbed: 90 floors
  • Elevation: 1250

Bike Ride Around the Island

Missy and Yanell have fold up bikes so Matt and I rented bikes for 1,000xpf ($10) per day.  The island is not very big, a total of 7 miles all the way around, but we did manage to go down every road, dead end, and dirt path.  There Is one huge hill with a 21% incline and a 20% decline.  I walked down part of the hill as the brakes on my biked slipped.  However, the brave ones rode down the hill.

On the west side of the island we found a beautiful beach and park with the prettiest turquoise waters.

Palace by the Sea

On The way back, we stumbled across the Le Palais de la Mer (Palace of the Sea) which was incredibly beautiful.  One man has been working on the Palace by the Sea for over 20 years.  He offers tours for $20/pp which seems expensive but our friends said it was worth it.  He provides entertainment, free hand weaved palm front hats, shell jewelry, and coconut champaign.

Photo taken and posted by Les Deux Peids Dehors.


We found a sign that read “Petroglyphes.”  Superb!  We turned down the road (in Haranae Valley) and followed the trail.  

Fun Photos

Me enjoying being princess for a moment as Missy and Yanell pull Sweetie across some shallow waters.

Town markers around the island.  

Sunset and sunrise photos in Maupiti are simply stunning.

One morning I captured the sunrise and the moon (see top photo)

History of Maupti

  • Population: 1200
  • Living on 4.2 square miles
  • Technically an atoll with an island in the center (meaning it is an older island)
  • Highest peak is 1250’
  • Primary economy is noni production
  • There are ancient Polynesian archaeological artifacts dating from at least AD 850.
  • The island has had many names including Vaitu and Maurua.
  • Maupiti created the stone called “penu” a utensil used to mash food.

Maupiti’s lagoon is well-known for being one of the most beautiful! The different shades of blue will astonish you.  The coral reefs and sandbanks really bring out the shallow crystal-clear water in some places.

This post was written in August 2020.  Our blog posts are usually 6 to 7 weeks behind are true adventures.  

Peaceful Paradise in Tahanea

Tahanea is peaceful, tranquil, and mesmerizing.  On most days, it called one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Untouched by civilization, rarely visited by man, and generally as God created it.  We’ve spent several weeks here last year and 3 weeks this year.  This an uninhabited island truly reflects the beauty of French Polynesia.

We spent most of our time in the SE corner of Tahanea.  This particular period of time of our visit was during maramu (storm) season.  The majority of the storms come from the SE so we were hiding behind the motus for protection.

As you might recall, the Tuamotus archipelago is made up of dozens of atolls (not islands).  These atolls have passes that lead into a lagoon.  The lagoon is surrounded by a reef and several motus (tiny islands) that separates the Pacific Ocean from the lagoon.  The navionics photo below shows the image of Tahanea.  The green indicates the reef.  The little yellow spots (within the green area) are motus or small islands.  The blue is the lagoon and the red arrow is Sugar Shack.

When you zoom into the chart you can see the difference more clearly.  In the SE corner there are several motus to explore (yellow areas in green section).


There are a few motus that are being harvested for copra (coconuts).  The locals come from other islands and stay for 10-14 days harvesting the coconuts and then go back to their main island.  They set up huts or shacks on the island that really consist of 3 walls and a roof.  The copra farm in front of our boat is a rather large one.

The locals collect the coconuts, husk them, crack open the center, then use a rapier to shred the coconut meat.  They will sell the coconut meat, use the coconut milk and water and dry the coconuts.  It is hard labor for very little reward.

One group of copra farmers had left a dog behind.  Not sure if the dog had wandered off when they left and they forgot or if it was intentional.  The FP population has a different mentality when it comes to animals.  When our friends on Jolly Dogs found this puppy, she had worms, mange and was starving.  They quickly rallied the cruisers to help her.  Mike on “Easy” brought worm medication for her.  Cruisers bathed her and covered her in oil daily.  The oil suffocates the mange.  And everyone has chipped in on the feeding rotations. 

Her name is Lassie and she has an incredibly sweet disposition. She doesn’t bark, but she loves to howl.  She will follow anyone down the beach and will swim out to you to go on a paddle board ride down island.  He mange is slowly disappearing (you can see her hind quarters and tail are hairless).

Mike on “Easy” was kind enough to take her to Fakarava where there is village, more people, and more opportunity for her.  It will give her a much better chance of survival.  Thank goodness.

Baby Boobies

We explored one of the far off motus while we were in the SE corner where we found several baby boobies.  The red foot boobies build their nests in the low hanging branches of the trees.  They are so darn cute and fuzzy.

Swimming with Manta Rays and Marlin

We sailed up to the pass when we had a break in the weather.  We needed a change of scenery and wanted to snorkel the pass.  Last year, we had an amazing opportunity to swim with the mantas and got an up close and personal opportunity. 

This year we swam the same pass, the north pass, and were blessed to swim with two very large mantas.  Unfortunately, they were 12-15 meters deep so I only saw them from the top.  However, our friend Mike on “Easy” is a free diver and was able to see them up close.

Mike was showing off and decided to swim down to a sleeping shark.  The poor shark was peaceful in his sleep and woke up to an intruder.

We had a sundowner / happy hour on Sugar Shack with great friends and libations!


Matt flew the drone on one particularly calm day.  He captured the sunrise over this peaceful and majestic anchorage.  Mike on “Easy” followed us back to the SE corner to get a prime spot for hiding out from the upcoming storm.  By the end of the day, there were 16 boats anchored here.

Sunrise photos inside the lagoon of Tahanea. 

Kinda takes your breath away…right?

“Easy” and Sugar Shack resting in peace in Tahanea. 

Tahanea's SE Corner

Tahanea’s SE Corner

Bird’s eye view of Sugar Shack from the sky

This post was written in June 2020.  Our blog posts are usually 6 to 7 weeks behind are true adventures. 

Did you miss our other post on Tahanea?  Check it out here.