Tag Archives: huahine

A Twirl Through the Societies, Part I

Our very good friend, Donald came to visit us in the Societies (The Society Archipelago).  Matt and I crewed on Donald’s boat, a Catalina 47, for years and years when we lived in Texas.  He was kind enough to bring us a bevy of supplies including an entire spool of line weighing in at 34kbs!  Poor thing.  See below for how we use this line (which is real world speak is “rope”).

We met Donald in Raiatea which has a super easy, convenient airport.  Matt and I were able to take the dinghy straight up to the platform where passengers disembarked.   After a 24-hour travel day he was a little exhausted, but he rallied well!

We left the Raiatea Carenage anchorage and headed to one of our favorite spots: Ilot Moute which is owned by the La Pirog Resort.  Perfect place to welcome Donald to the Societies.  Perfectly clear turquoise waters, a tiny motu, and only a few boats. 

Main Halyard Replacement

Yachties seem to have different names for a lot of things on a boat.  For example, the kitchen is called the galley and the bathroom is called the head.  Rope actually has multiple names.  It can be a line, halyard, lazy jack, or a sheet depending on its function.

Our main halyard lifts our main sail from the sail bag to the top of the mast.  It is a vital line and has to be very strong.  We priced the cost of replacing it in Tahiti and fell off our chair.  We needed about 75 meters and the cost was going to be between $900-$2500.  However, we could buy double the length for a fraction of the cost from the U.S.  So, we bought 165 meters for $1600 and had to ask Donald to bring it to us. Bless his heart.

New main halyard

New main halyard

The old line rubbed against our lazy jacks holding our sail bag.  Matt had tried to sew it up but it was in need of being replaced.  There is still a lot of really good, usable line left so we hope to repurpose some of it in the future.

Old main halyard

Old main halyard

Passage to Huahine

We had a great plan for Donald’s visit.  We were trying to maximize our anchorages during his 9 day stay in the Societies.  However, on day 2 we looked at the weather and it all had to change.  We made a quick decision to leave Raiatea/Taha’a area to head toward Huahine.

This was to be the best day for this passage.  However, it did not mean it was a good day. The wind was right on our nose causing us to tack back and forth and back and forth.  The good news is that it was a great sail day with full sails up.  Several rain clouds provided some wind shifts which played with our course as well.  The photo below shows the direct route (pink line). However, our actual route is the the yellow line with all the little tacks back and forth.

Passage Raiata to Huahine

Passage Raiata to Huahine

Although it was a lot of tacking to get to our destination, we still had a lovely time!

Passage Raiata to Huahine

Passage Raiata to Huahine

We had an absolutely beautiful sunset just in time for dinner

Everyone was up early to run some errands in Fare the main town on Huahine.  We needed to replace our propane tank (for cooking), dump trash and recycling, book a return ticket for Donald, and swing by the market.  Everyone was back on the boat by 0830 and preparing to head to Avea baie.

Avea Baie, Huahine

This is a new anchorage for Sugar Shack.  We have been to Huahine over a half dozen times and have never made it this far south.  Avea Baie is located on the southern tip of Huahine iti.  It is host to a beautiful little resort called La Mahana Resort.

La Mahana Resort

La Mahana Resort

We walked from the resort around the southern end of Huahine Iti and found a cool marae overlooking the baie and Motu Araara.

This is a photo of the little motu called Araara.

Marae Anini

The Societies (as well as the other archipelagos) have many maraes.  The ancient marae Anini is where the deities, Oro (the main god of war) and Hiro (the deceitful god) were worshiped.  It is rumored that at least 14 human sacrifices were made at this marae.

We entered the sacred grounds down a sandy road leading toward the beach.

Marae Anini

Marae Anini

The Anini marae has several ahu (smaller alters or platforms).  These are considered beds for the gods Oro and Hiro.  The vertical stones called ofa ‘I turui, allowed the priests and chiefs to lean back to rest or they may be memorials for the deceased chiefs.

Marae Anini

Marae Anini

This is a shot of the marae from the lagoon.

Marae Anini

Marae Anini

We enjoyed a lovely dinner at the La Mahana resort which offered tasty food, impeccable service, and beautiful food presentation.  Thank you, Donald, for a wonderful meal!  As you can see, the dining room is on the beach under a covered thatched roof overlooking the bay.

Exploring on Sweetie

We went exploring by dinghy.  First, we went around the southern tip toward the town of Parea (across from Motu Araara).  There was no decent dinghy dock so we just circled the lagoon and went on our merry way.  Next, we passed by our anchorage in Avea bay and headed to a new bay called Haapu.

They had a really nice floating dock.  So, we tied up Sweetie and went to shore. Not much in this small town.  We did find a school, le mairie (mayor), and a small magasin.  This little town had several beautiful swans made out of tires!  Yep!  Giant tires were cut up to make planters that looked like swans.  I love it.

Swans made out of tires

Swans made out of tires

Fantastic Fare

We headed back to Fare hoping to find a break from the wind.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.  But we were closer to town.

In the morning we were blessed with a beautiful display of love between a mother and baby whale.  They were playing in the channel just in front of the boat.  Mostly we saw their spouts and backs with an occasional tale.  So amazing.  Whales are all over the Societies (Huahine, Mo’orea, Bora Bora).

We turned in Donald’s self covid test and enjoyed a super tasty lunch at Izzy’s Burgers and More!

Later that afternoon, we met Helen from “Wow” and Mike from “Easy” at the Huahine Yacht club for happy hour.  Half priced beer and cocktails plus an amazing sunset!

And the sunset is just stunning – without filters or editing.  Just pure beauty in the Societies.

Check in next time as we head back to Raiatea, discover a few bays, and say goodbye to Donald.  Events from this post occurred during 26 Sept – 2 Oct 2020.  Our blog posts run 6-8 weeks behind our adventures.

The Konis's: Troy, Kimberly, Cole, Cameron

The Konis’s Hit the Society Islands: Part I

My sister and her family came for a visit to the Society Islands.  Kimberly, Troy, Cameron and Cole {the Konis family} arrived in Tahiti at dawn.  I greeted them with fresh floral leis and fresh baked rosemary bread.  After a quick stop at the boat, we rushed them to the fresh market to pick up fruit and veggies.  The market is located in the center of Papeete so they got a quick glimpse of downtown and a feel for the local life as a Polynesian.

The Konis's: Troy, Kimberly, Cole, Cameron

The Konis’s: Troy, Kimberly, Cole, Cameron

We returned to the boat and began the fun process of unpacking and uncovering new goodies for the boat.  Our pack mules delivered a 50lb bag of stuff just for us, sweet! 

And the Adventure Begins

Several hours later, we decided it was time to head back into town.  We enjoyed a tasty lunch at the Bora Bora Yacht Club (which is really just a restaurant), did some shopping, and discovered pearl picking.  We walked to the market, found a cool post office box and noted the empty streets.  It was Sunday after all and covid still is in play.  Not the best introduction to the Society Islands, but it still was fun.  We did stumble upon a tiny park called Parc Bougainville with a quaint coy pond and shaded pathways and greenery.

Welcome to Tahiti

Welcome to Tahiti

For dinner we took them to B3 Brasserie where we enjoyed half price beer and pizza for dinner.  A few other cruisers showed up and “gave us our space” because we had guests visiting from the states.

Our first day was a big day.  We retired “early” to be ready for tomorrow.

Our goal during this trip was to visit 7 islands within the Society Island Archipelago.  Starting with Tahiti, Mo’orea, Huahine Nui, Huahine Iti, Raiatea, Taha’a and finally Bora Bora.

Day 2: Mo’orea

The next morning, we made a healthy breakfast to ready our new sailors for their first passage across the Pacific.  It was less than a 20nm trip from Tahiti to Mo’orea, but still a “passage.”  Our crew did wonderfully as we sailed with the jib across the pond.  We anchored in Oponohu Bay in 2.5 meters of turquoise, sandy water. 

Mo'orea

Mo’orea

After lunch, we headed the short distance to sting ray city by dinghy.  It is a fun dinghy ride between coral heads and a reef and past the Mo’orea Intercontinental Hotel (which was closed).  We grabbed a mooring and jumped in.  Dozens of black tip sharks and sting rays hang out here and they greeted the Konis family nobly.  These majestic creatures are just as curious of us as we are of them.  They swim close enough to look them in the eye and touch their wings.

Sting Ray City off Mo'orea

Sting Ray City off Mo’orea

Then you have the dozens of black tip sharks that are looking for scraps of anything.  They are all pretty fat and healthy looking so you know they are not going hungry.  They don’t swim too close, which is all right with me.

Sting Ray City off Mo'orea

Sting Ray City off Mo’orea

A fun tour guide telling us that the sharks only like to eat men (not women or children).

Day 3: Mo’orea

A quick zip to shore to explore the town of Vaihere.  We were in search of an eatery to have lunch.  Unfortunately, the Oponohu Bay does not have much activity, hikes, or places to see.  We found several places for good photo ops though.

Konis's in Mo'orea

Konis’s in Mo’orea

However, we did find a super cute pension (small, local hotel) willing to serve us lunch at Fare Maheata.  It was situated right on the beach overlooking the beautiful bay and served a tasty lunch.

Lunch at Mo'orea

Lunch at Mo’orea

We headed back to the boat, after everyone was well fed and had a little exercise.  Preparations were made for the Konis’s first night passage.  Our next island is 85nm away.

Night Passage: Mo’orea to Huahine

The longest passage between the Society Islands is from Mo’orea to Huahine (if you are going from island to island in sequential order).

We left late afternoon so the Konis clan could start the trip in the day light.  It would be a downwind sail with light winds and fairly calm seas.  However, that doesn’t mean “smooth” sailing for newbies.  The motion of the boat was odd because the waves were coming from the quarter panel.  Slightly pushing us forward, but also rocking us side to side.  Everyone slept outside or in the salon as sleeping is more challenging down below in the cabins.  Lucky for us, everyone slept through the night – despite claims of wanting to pull a night shift 😉 

Night Passage Mo'orea to Huahine

Night Passage Mo’orea to Huahine

We arrived in Huahine at dawn and found a lovely mooring in the flats between the two passes.  Each of the Society Islands offer different experiences from landscape, to activities.

Day 4: Huahine 

Everyone was tired upon arrival.  Even though they slept through the night it was a restless sleep being under passage.  So, we took it easy in the morning and did not head into town until lunch.  We walked around town, checked out a few shops and artisan markets and headed to our favorite eatery in French Polynesia called Izzy’s Burgers.  For dessert we stopped by the Distillerie Huahine Passion for rum tasting. Chocolate rhum – yum!

Huahine Izzy's and Distillery

Huahine Izzy’s and Distillery

The distillery serves dozens of flavors ranging from 80 proof to liqueurs to basic rums.  We started out with 3 shots splitting 2 people per shot and ended with one shot and all 6 of us tasting the one.  With 4-25cl (1/4 of liter) bottles in our bag we headed back to the boat.

Day 5: Huahine Nui

We had reserved 6 bikes for a leisure ride around the island.  However, the local kids did not return them so we had to hoof it on foot.  Our goal was to walk to the Fare Pote’e museum and archaeological sites with Marae.  It is a 4.2 mile walk one way so we were in for a long walk.  About half way to our destination we passed by a beautiful lagoon called Lac Maeva.

Huahine 8.2 mile walk

Huahine 8.2 mile walk

We arrived to the museum on a beautiful, sunny morning.  The calm waters and bright blue skies showcasing the marae and museum nicely.  Matt and I did not go inside the museum (as we’ve seen it and posted about it several times).

Huahine Museum

Huahine Museum

After the Konis family filled their brains with local history, we hiked up to the Marae Mata’ire’a Rahi which is another archaeological site marked by a large banyan tree.  It is an easy trail up the Chemin de Randonnee.  We tried to find the other marae but the trail was hidden in the dense bushes.

Hike to Marae in Huahine

Hike to Marae in Huahine

We returned to town clocking in at 8.2 miles.  Not a bad walk.  Lucky for us, we were able to secure 6 bikes for the next day.  We enjoyed some cocktails at the Huahine Yacht Club and returned to the boat for a tasty pad thai dinner.

Day 6: Huahine Nui

Attempt #2 to ride bikes around Huahine.  We were not technically planning on riding the bikes all the way around the island because there is a rather large hill on the opposite side.  It would make it challenging to go up it and treacherous to go down it after the rain.  So, our plan was just to bike to the Sacred Blue-Eyed Eels which was about 16 miles round trip.

We should have taken a photo of our bikes, but we forgot.  The Konis family was amused in the quality of the bikes as most did not have breaks, some had faulty steering, all had crappy seats and were rusted.  But these were fabulous compared to the bikes we rented in Hao.

We pushed the bikes to their limits and rode hard to Anguilles Sacrees de Faie.  I took the boys down to the water’s edge to hand feed the eels.  The eels love sardines which are horribly smelly!

Sacred Blue Eyed Eels

Sacred Blue Eyed Eels

A local tour guide and his group showed up a few minutes later.  The guide showed us how to exercise the eels by placing sardines on the little ledge. Pretty wild to watch.

Exercising the Eels

Exercising the Eels

Quick Stop at a Pearl Farm in the Middle of the Lagoon

On the way back to town, we stopped to take a tour of a pearl farm.  They pick you up in a small panga and drive you 5 minutes to the pearl farm located in the lagoon.

Huahine Pearl Farm Tour

Huahine Pearl Farm Tour

They sold pottery, shells, pearls and jewelry.  It was rather pricey, especially compared to Gambier prices.  But I guess they have the market here.  Every Society Island sells pearls, but none are more beautiful or cost effective as those found in the Gambiers.

Huahine Pearl Farm Tour

Huahine Pearl Farm Tour

Cole and Cameron enjoying a breezy spot on the deck of the pearl farm.

Cole and Cameron

Cole and Cameron

Relaxing after a long bike ride

After our brief tour we headed back into town.  We returned our bikes and enjoyed some drinks at the Huahine Yacht Club.  Our friends on Flip Flops were there so we invited them over for sun downers on Sugar Shack.  Troy booked flights from Bora Bora to Tahiti at the local Air Tahiti office so they are all set.  We had a gorgeous sunset during our sun downer party.

More Fun photos on Sugar Shack with the Konis’s in the Society Islands.

The Konis Family on Sugar Shack

The Konis Family on Sugar Shack

Day 7: Huahine Iti

We had not intended on spending this much time in Huahine, but we had to show the Konis family Huahine Iti before they left.  We motored the 5-miles to Hana Iti beach located on the western side of Huahine Iti in the Baie Teapaa. Huahine Nui (large) and Huahine Iti (small) are both located in the same lagoon and are connected by a bridge on land.

We had a superb beach day, hanging out in the water, SUP’ing, playing volleyball and bacchi ball.

Huahine Iti Beach Day

Huahine Iti Beach Day

Back at the boat, Matt taught the boys how to dive between our davits into the water.  Kimberly was down below during this time – thank goodness.

Tune in to the next blog, “The Society Islands Welcome the Konis’s: Part II” as we continue our adventures with Cameron, Cole, Kimberly and Troy Konis.

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

Jumping for Joy

Sacred Sites, Eels and Memories

Taking the Lemberger’s to see sacred sites, visit sacred eels and made sacred memories. We took John, Missy and Carl on 4 passages to get from Tahiti to Bora Bora.  We sailed from Tahiti to Mo’orea to Huahine to Raiatea/Taha’a and then to Bora Bora.  Three of the four passages are about 20-25nm or 5 hours.  However, Mo’orea to Huahine is an overnight passage at about 90nm or 16 hours.

Overnight passages can be challenging for anyone.  You don’t have a point of reference, like the horizon.  You are rocking and rolling in all sorts of directions and you are tired.  Our guests held up well and slept through most of the passage, which was good news.  We only had a sliver of a moon and a few phosphorescence playing with us.  Nothing but smiles the next morning.

Lemberger's Onboard Sugar Shac

Lemberger’s Onboard Sugar Shac

Early in the morning, we were surprised to see 3 whales.  A mamma, baby and companion.  Unfortunately, we were not able to get our cameras out fast enough to share with you.  But, take my word for it – it was amaze balls! As a consolation, here are a few photos of the pretty sunrise.

Sunrise on the approach to Huahine

Sunrise on the approach to Huahine

Our first stop was off Point Teapaa near Motu Vaiorea.  We anchored fairly close to the beach in 3.5 meters of water.  The boys enjoyed a little SUP time.  As you can see from the photos, we had this little motu to ourselves for a short while.

Huahine Private Motu Adventures

Huahine Private Motu Adventures

John and Carl took the SUPs to the beach while Matt drove the ladies in Sweetie.  We had the beach to ourselves and enjoyed an awesome lazy afternoon.

Beach off Motu

Beach off Motu

FARE, HUAHINE

After jollying around at the beach, we headed to Fare, the main village on Huahine.  We hopped in a rental car and made our way to Pote’e Museum which is one of the largest and most sacred Mare’s collections on the island.

Pote'e Museum

Pote’e Museum

Matt and I goofed around the grounds while waiting for them.

Pote'e Museum

Pote’e Museum

Just past the museum is a small hiking trail to another mare.  The trail is called Chemin de Randonnee and was a really nice stroll through the forest and trees.

Hiking Trail to Marae

Hiking Trail to Marae

There were some enormous trees and alluring vista views at the top.

Super cool tall trees

Super cool tall trees

Anguilles Sacres de Faie

Missy and Carl are extremely brave and have an uncanny way with all animals.  We stood on the wall overlooking the river when we visited the eels last time.  This time, we got in the water and got up close and personal.

Sacred Eels

Sacred Eels

We worked up an appetite after our explorations and headed to Izzy’s Burgers and More.

Izzy's Burgers and More

Izzy’s Burgers and More

RAIATEA AND TAHA’A

It was a short 23 nm trip to Raiatea.  Unfortunately, we had no wind and ended up motoring the entire way.  We took John, Missy, and Carl on a big hike to the top of Tapioi.  It was a particularly hot day and there were not many places to hide from the sun.  But, the reward at the top of the mountain was worth it.  The top right photo shows our friends at the bottom and they hiked to the top of the radio tower.  5 miles and 11,323 steps.

Hike To Top of Taipi

Hike To Top of Tapioi

It is easy to take lovely photos with vistas like these.

Hike to Tapioi

Hike to Tapioi

We had a little fun with some jumping shots.

Jumping for Joy

Jumping for Joy

And can’t forget Matt’s “screaming tree” pose.

Top of Tapioi

Top of Tapioi