Tag Archives: society islands

Me and Kimberly

Museum de Tahiti

Troy, Kimberly, Cole and Cameron (my family) return to French Polynesia.  We took it easy on their first day since they flew all night long.  We unpacked the two 50lb bags full of boat parts that they brought us, frolicked in the water, and hit the large Carrefour for a few last-minute provisions.  The next day, we rented a car to tour around the island of Tahiti.  Our first stop was the Museum de Tahiti.

Museum de Tahiti

The best laid plans still can go awry.  I emailed and or called each of our desired stops to ensure they were open.  We are still after all still in the middle of a pandemic.  The museum responded that “yes, we are indeed open.”  However, when we arrived, we learned that the actual museum is under massive renovations and they only have an exhibit up.  Well, shoot.

The exhibit showcases many costumes worn during heiva (their annual festival) which are super fun to look at, along with art, and a few sculptures.

We take advantage of all the fun photo opportunities.  Troy, Cameron, and Cole imitating the tiki behind them.

Troy, Cameron, Cole

Troy, Cameron, Cole

Kimberly and I in front of the exhibit photo.

Kimberly and I

Kimberly and I

Museum de Tahiti had lots of life size beautiful posters.

Cameron and Cole posing like the Rapa Nui (Easter Island) tiki

Cameron and Cole

Cameron and Cole

Troy and Kimberly poised as the Tahitian bride and groom (see costumes behind them)

Troy and Kimberly

Troy and Kimberly

Lots of beautiful heiva costumes were on display.

Heiva Costumes

Heiva Costumes

Cole and Cameron with an authentic Tahitian pirogue.

This was an amazing piece of art painted on metal.  Can you see the dancer’s in the swirl of feathers?  It took us awhile, but there are 2 women facing each other dancing.  The one on the left is smiling and shows teeth in her mouth and the one on the right has her mouth open.

Can you find the two dancers?

Can you find the two dancers?

Museum de Tahiti Gardens

We venture outside to see the grounds.  They have lots of statues scattered around the property.  Kimberly and I both have to “go.”

Museum de Tahiti Tiki Garden

Museum de Tahiti Tiki Garden

Troy looking out toward Mo’orea

A large area with hand painted graphics depicting unique illustrations from each heiva (festival)

Stay tuned for the next blog when the Konis Family visits the natural grottos of Tahiti.

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

A Twirl through the Societies, Part II

We continue to show Donald the beauty of the Societies. It was time to leave Huahine and head back to Raiatea.  

The great thing about cruising the Societies is that the islands are not very far apart.  We had a small weather window and decided to sail back to Raiatea.  We still had lots of gusts (up to 35-38kts), but it was our best opportunity.  This trip was with the wind and waves so it would be a lot easier than our trip to Huahine.

As we left, we had gusts up to 38kts and then they would die down to 7-8kts.  Talk about learning and trimming the sails a lot.  It sure was interesting.  We ended up completing the passage in 4 hours (as opposed to the 6 hours it took to get us there).  We had top speed of 11.5kt when we had a wind gust and surfed down a wave. 

Approaching Raiatea – I love how the mountains all wear cloud hats :0

Raiatea wearing a cloud hat

Raiatea wearing a cloud hat

Baie Haio – New Bay for Sugar Shack

We found a new baie to us.  Baie Haio is gorgeous and is located on the southern tip of Raiatea.  We are surrounded by palm tree shores.

Baie Haio, Raiatea

Baie Haio, Raiatea

We went exploring on shore and came to the town of Fetuna where there is a church, a small magasin, and a school.

Baie Haio, Raiatea

Village of Fetuna in Baie Haio, Raiatea

The moon peered out from behind the palm trees making a spectacle of himself.

The next morning Matt broke out the drone and captured more magnificent photos of Sugar Shack.  This is certainly my favorite bay in Raiatea and might be one of my favorite bays in the Societies.

Shot towards the motu as the sunrises

Shot towards the pass showcasing the reef and motu.

And the grand poo ba of them all – a shot toward the mountain.

Heading North

We got up early to head north.  It would be an upwind passage so we could not even take out the sail.  Just a motor.  But it was really pretty.  We exited the southern pass (Passe Punaeroa) because the is no navigable passage inside the lagoon in this area.  We re-entered the Passe Tetuatiare with the hopes of finding a good anchor spot behind Ilot Horea.  However, with easterly winds it dropped us too close to the reef so we decided to move on to plan B.

This image was taken as we were motoring outside the lagoon.  Check out the huge waves breaking on the reef between us and the lagoon.

Plan B was to move into Passe Rautoanui and hang a right to see if we could anchor near village Tevaitoa.  However, there were no moorings and it was way too deep for us to drop the hook. So, off we go to Plan C.

Plan C:  motor up to Baie Apu, Taha’a.  It was directly into the wind, so we motored the entire way.  We hopped on a mooring and took Donald to the Chompon Pearl Farm.

We started at the bottom of Raiatea (south) near Ile Haio, then exited at the first pink dot (lower left).  Plan B was in at the 3rd dot until we moved to Plan C and headed to Taha’a.

New Anchorage – Point Tenape

Donald told us about a cool place to have lunch – Raiatea Lodge.  So, we headed south toward a new anchorage across from the lodge.  It was a beautiful sail day with just the jib pushing us along at 5-6kts.  We passed by 4 different huts on sandy spits.  The locals use these for fishing or kit surfing spots.

Raiatea Lodge

Raiatea Lodge is a pretty little hotel.  They have a long pier and turquoise buildings.

Raiatea Lodge

Raiatea Lodge

They were kind enough to let us have lunch with them.  It was pricey, but tasty.

Raiatea Lodge

Raiatea Lodge

The next morning, we made French toast and motored closer to the airport where we picked up a mooring ball near Raiatea Carenage.  We had a lovely time visiting new spots to Donald, new spots to Sugar Shack, and new spots to both of us.  Although we did not get to do an overnight to Mo’orea due to weather, we had a great time.

Click here, if you missed Part I “A Twirl through the Societies.”  Events in this post occurred between 2-5 Oct. 2020.   Our blog posts run 6-8 weeks behind our adventures.

Drift Snorkel and a Rhumerie

Our friends Mark and Isabel on Jolly Dogs have been hanging out with us near Taha’a.  This is their first time here so we decided to show them the coral gardens and the local rhumerie.  Isabel and I did the drift snorkel three times while Matt flew the drone.

Coral Gardens Drift Snorkel

The coral gardens are the most renowned snorkeling spots in the Society islands.  It is crystal clear, turquoise waters gently running from the Pacific Ocean to the Taha’a/Raiatea lagoon.  It is also called a “false pass” because water can get in and out but boats cannot due to the shallow nature.  In some places the gardens are only 1-2” above the coral while other places you can easily float by.  The current generally comes from the Pacific and pushes out toward the lagoon allowing tourists to drift snorkel over the coral gardens.

Matt took these photos with the drone.  The first photo is facing the Pacific and Bora Bora.  The second photo is the opposite direction facing the lagoon.  The bottom photo shows my friend Isabel and I walking to the end of the motu.

Here are some more drone shots.  The top is closer to the lagoon showcasing the Taha’a Resort.  The bottom photo shows Isabel and I drifting down the gardens.

Lots of amazing sea life.  My favorites are the clown fish and puffers.  I’ve written a lot of posts about the Coral Gardens so be sure to read those as well.  Use the search function on the blog by typing “coral gardens.”

These drone shots give you the entire picture of the drift snorkel.  First, you walk toward the pacific on Ilot Mahararae (top photo), then you drift down the gardens (2nd photo), then you walk out and repeat (bottom photo).  Isabel and I are in each of the 3 photos – can you find us?

Mana’o Tahiti – Rhumerie

After our snorkel we moved the big boats to Baie Tapuamu which is directly across from Ilot Tautau.  It is Mar’s birthday and he wanted to celebrate at the rhumerie.  The Mana’o Tahiti Rhumerie is a small wood structure that was built about a year ago.  It is super cute and quaint.   I love their mask sign.

Anaise started us off with a sugar cane tasting.  Who doesn’t like sucking on sugar cane?  As we were enjoying our sugar cane, she told us that Taha’a has 12 different types of sugar cane on the island.  They distill each variety separately then blend them together to make their rhum (yes it has an “h” in it as it is different than rum).  All of their rhum is agriculture rhum and made with pure sugar cane, not molasses.  Which, in my opinion is not nearly as tasty. 

Behind the rhumerie they have 7 of the 12 sugar cane for viewing.  It was really cool to see the difference in color of the stock, shape of the stock and growth of the stock.

Wine, Rhum, and Beer Tasting

We sampled the white wine next which was very dry, but ok.  I really wanted to try the rose and Mark wanted to try the red, but they would only open on bottle of wine for sampling 🙁

Next we moved on to the rhum tasting.  Afterall we are at a rhumerie and need to taste the rhum.  They have a white rhum and a dark rhum.  The white rhum was very harsh and difficult to consume.  The dark rhum is aged for one year in an oak barrel which gives it the brown color.  Both rhums are organic and received the first ever “organic rhum” rating in the world.

The sugar cane is grown, picked and distilled in Taha’a.  But the fermentation and bottling process happens in Tahiti.

The last sampling was of their local craft beer.  They had blanch, blonde, amber, and triple.  We tried the blanche and amber were pleasantly surprised.  Not bad for 380 xpf per bottle.

After a quick trip to the boat we headed to Jolly Dogs for a birthday dinner.  I made a chocolate cake, homemade mango salsa, and fresh lemon cubes (mojitos).  Even the sun was celebrating Mark’s birthday with a gorgeous shot.