Tag Archives: liward

O' Belvedere Pool View

Dining in the Clouds: O’ Belvedere

A great weather presented itself so we hoisted the sails and left for Tahiti.  We arrived in less than 14 hours.  With lots to do, errands to run, projects to plan, and people to visit, we hit the ground running.  We visit a new restaurant called O’ Belvedere which boasts of being the highest restaurant in Polynesia.  At an altitude of 600 meters, it offers spectacular views of both Tahiti’s lagoon and Mo’orea. 

Two of our Texas friends, Bill and Jan Streep were visiting French Polynesia with a few other Texans.  As it turned out we were able to meet up with them for an afternoon. We had them onboard Sugar Shack before we made the drive to O’ Belvedere.

Bill and Jan Streep

O’ Belvedere Pool View

We hop in the rental car and make our way to O’ Belvedere.  The road up to the restaurant is ridiculously steep with sharp hairpin turns, on roads barely big enough for a small compact car.  And yes, it is a two-way road.  Lucky for us, each time we came across a vehicle coming down, we were somewhere we could slightly pull off the side of the road so they could pass.  It was a “hairy” drive!

Crazy road to O' Belvedere

Crazy road to O’ Belvedere

O’ Belvedere

After that drive, we all needed a drink to calm our nerves.  The outside of the restaurant is really nothing to look at (see top right photo).  They did not put much effort into making you feel welcome as you approach from the outside. 

However, the inside is amazing!  Immediately when you walk in you pass through the kids play area with a small foos ball table, cards, games, and puzzles.  Then you pass the glassed-in kitchen where you can watch your dinner be prepared, and a fully stocked bar.

O' Belvedere

O’ Belvedere

The bathrooms, which are off to the side, offer the best views in the world.  As you sit on the pot you have sweeping views of the valley and Tahiti lagoon through the floor to ceiling windows.  In one bathroom, you can even do your sewing.

Bathroom view from O' Belvedere

Bathroom view from O’ Belvedere

We were here mid-day to enjoy the pool before dinner.  So, the dining room was pretty empty, but we still grabbed our table and had a few cocktails before heading to the pool.

There is also an adult game room with a pool table, darts, foos ball and more games.

The Views

From every angle you have amazing views.  So beautiful.

The Pool

As you descend the stairs you come to the pool level with a negative edge.  They have a small lounge area and a lift to deliver your cocktails.

The pool offers beautiful views as well.

It was a beautiful day to hang out at the pool.  Cocktails in hand, cooling off in the water, and enjoying good company.

Matt always has me laughing.

The sunset was magnificent.

And it just kept getting better and better.

The Food

I must admit that I was not too impressed with the menu selections.  They had a lot of red meat, which I don’t eat.  No fish, chicken, or port.  I ended up with Camembert au Four which was baked brie and cold cuts for a whopping $29!.  It was a super-duper expensive restaurant, but the views make it worth it.  The others had the Rib steak with a pepper sauce and said it was delicious.

In our last blog, we shared delicious photos of the underwater pearl Champon pearl farm and of Bay Nao Nao.   Events from this blog post occurred early October.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.

Delicious Taha’a & Bay Nao Nao

We dropped the hook in Bay Apu which is the south side of Taha’a.  The home of Champon Pearl Farm.  This particular anchorage is not a favorite of mine primarily because there are well over 30 boats that moor here all the time.  The charter boats use it as a staging area and a frequent stop.  There are also at least 10-12 boats that are abandoned or have nobody caring them.  The good thing about this spot is that it is protected from the upcoming NW winds and we can check out the Champon Pearl Farm again.

Bay Apu, Taha'a

Bay Apu, Taha’a

The Pearl Farm

Matt and I took the SUPs out on a particularly calm morning (it was 0630).  You can see the water clarity from the paddle board photos.

Champon Pearl Farm

Champon Pearl Farm

We could see their pearl farm underwater which is located just in front of their dock.  The underwater pearl farm was not set too deep so we could see it all from the surface.  But I did stick the GoPro in the water to get all of these shots.

They are growing little oyster shells in tube like nets hung from lines and suspended by floats.

Growing baby oysters

Growing baby oysters

Once the baby oysters grow up, they put them in the harvesting nets which are rectangle.

And they were harvesting lots and lots of oysters.  The larger oysters that have been harvested (with the nucli) are in square or rectangle nets and suspended from a line being held up by floats.

Harvesting Pearls

Harvesting Pearls

They had a maze under water.  I wish these photos came out better, but you can see how close they are to the surface and how many lines crisscross over each other.

Here is a view from above the water looking down onto the farm.  I love the top photo where you see Matt by the red marker and the white pearl float in the foreground.  Look at me so artsy.

It rained and rained and rained while we were here.  We are lucky we had an hour to get these photos.  On the way back, we got rained on.

Bay Nao Nao

We finally had a rain free day and decided to head south to the beautiful bay of Nao Nao.  On the way, we leave the lagoon and try to catch some fish.  But, despite all the birds flying around and the jumping/flying fish, nothing got on our hook. This is me hiding in the shade while underway.

We went for a walk with our friends Steve and Lili (from the boat Liward) and we met the most interesting, self-proclaimed extremist who believed it was imperative to bring back the old culture and history of Polynesians.  It was super interesting and educational to talk to him. He is covered head to toe with stories on his body (in tattoos).

He built his own maraes in 2012, to represent his family, ancestors and protection for his house and island.

Ile Haio / Bay Nao Nao

This is truly one of the prettiest bays in Raiatea.  I call it Bay Nao Nao but technically it is really Ile Haio.  The motu by the pass is called Nao Nao, but the motu where we grab a mooring ball is actually called Ile Haio.  Technicality, but just wanted to point it out.  It has been raining a lot.  Bummer for activities, but great for the islands.  It makes everything so very pretty and green!

Bay Nao Nao aka Ile Haio

Bay Nao Nao aka Ile Haio

And Sugar Shack is looking oh so lovely sitting in this bay!

We had a “Flag off” with our friends on Liward.  They are registered in Kemah (Houston).  They put up their 4’x6’ which was so cute!  So, we put up our Texas flag which is 12’x18’.  We won in the size department, but we lost in the flying department.  Our flag was so big that the slight breeze was not able to get her up and flying properly.  But she still looked pretty.  Then we had to dry her off as she got soaked in the rain storm. Where do you dry such a huge flag? 

One night we had Tequila and Nachos on Liward. Man oh man it was tasty.

I was gifted one of the patron bottles which I promptly cleaned and filled with sea shells.  Liward is in the background.

Matt getting artsy with a bottle….makes you thirsty, right?

In our last blog, we enjoy a hoppin good time in Huahine.   Events from this blog post occurred early October.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.

Hoppin Huahine

We finally had a good weather window to head to Huahine. We typically do this passage at night because it is far enough (almost 80nm) where we cannot make it during daylight hours. So, we leave at 1600 and usually arrive around 0800-0900.

We had a beautiful beam reach sail from Mo’orea to Huahine. We had a reefed main and jib as we did not want to go “too fast” and arrive before sunrise. As it turned out, Sugar Shack wanted to move. Matt kept trimming the sails to slow her down, but she was on a mission to get to the Leeward islands. As it turned out, we managed to slow down enough to arrive at dawn.

Trip Details

Total Miles: 89nm
Total Hours: 14.5
Avg Speed: 5.96
Max Speed: 11.9

First 50 miles rocking it
Avg Speed: 7.7
Max Speed: 11.9

Friends Abound

Our first stop is Izzy’s burgers. Doesn’t matter how tired you are, you stop at Izzy’s! We have been craving her burgers for months and months. As it turned out we stopped by 3 different times for lunch and once for breakfast and it never disappoints!

She makes an Izzy burger that Matt is in love with! It is a regular burger with bacon wrapped shrimp, lettuce, tomato and special sauce. I usually get the veggie burger with cheese and on my last day I topped it off with bacon wrapped shrimp and found a new favorite! One day her plate dejure was shrimp salad and I loved it! For breakfast I had a giant omelet and Matt had poison cru with a shredded coconut (an Izzy special).

Izzys at Huahine

Izzys at Huahine

We met Anne in Gambier. Her best friend is Poerani, our friend who is an English teacher in Gambier. Anne lives in Huahine and is an English teacher as well. We brought her a bunch of school supplies and books for her students. We even had Anne and Lizzy, another teacher on the boat for an afternoon of fun.

Matt, me, Anne at the Huahine Yacht Club



Our friends Steve and Lili on the boat Liward joined us in Huahine. Steve plays with a few of the locals and decided to put together another concert. As you might recall, he played at Rock the Barge and Polynesian Jam Session in Mo’orea.

Steve secured a private bungalow on shore at the Huahine Dream Beach House. We had it for the afternoon and early evening. What a really beautiful place right on the beach with gorgeous views. It has a huge deck with a full size table and chairs, lounge chairs, and BBQ. Inside is a spacious living area and a marvelous kitchen with a chef worthy range and refrigerator. It has two bedrooms and can sleep 7 people, but 5 comfortably.

Huahine Dream Beach House

Huahine Dream Beach House

Our friends on Bella (Ulreka and Matias), Matt and I helped Steve and Lili bring all their gear to the bungalow and set up. We enjoyed a lazy day on the deck and beach until our event started.

A few of the locals brought floral crowns, which just made our day! The couples….Matt and I, Steve and Lili (lower left), Ulreka and Matias (lower right).

The ladies:

Taha’a Bound

After a week in Huahine we went to Taha’a and Raiatea. Lucky for us it was an easy 20nm downwind run so we flew Big Bertha and made it no time!

On the way we pass my 2nd yacht – Lady Christine which is a 68m (150’) by 12.5m wide (she is as wide as we are long)! She boasts of a helicopter, negative edge pool on the stern, cinema, workout room, guest suits for 10, 2 dinghies, and a 10m sailboat. Check out the photos on the above link as they are spectacular.

We have fun with loads of Mo’orea Escapades in our last blog. Events from this blog post occurred early October. Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.