The sun was rising as we made landfall off the island, over which were low clouds and early-morning rain. The island is of volcanic origin and it’s jagged peaks and valleys attested to it.
A turn, from our westerly course, to almost due north, as we made our approach to Baie de Taiohae, named after the town at the head of the bay. Gerd, my 2nd-in-command, had the Conn, I was Operations Director, an oversight position. The upper head of the bay was full off anchored sailing yachts and we chose our anchorage to take these into account, sufficient space to swing on our cable and not side-swipe any of them 😳
Having dropped the anchor, we proceeded to open our tender break and launch our tenders, one of which we sent ashore to pick up the Immigration and Custom officials. 30 minutes after they boarded, we were ‘cleared’ and guests began to proceed ashore.
Ahead of us, just under the surface, was a group of Manta Rays, slowly gliding, mouths agape as they fed on the plankton; a turtle popped its head up, no doubt to survey the cruise ship ‘parked’ in its domain; unfortunately it came and went too fast for me to get a photo. The local agent had informed us not to go swimming near the town, sharks were in abundance, attracted by the fish guts that had been washed off the gutting tables of the local fishermen. I didn’t even dangle my toes 🙂
My entry today is going to consist mainly of photos, there’s only so much one can write about an island with a small number of inhabitants, other than it is very beautiful and the people friendly. I managed to resurrect my French language skills, (I use the term loosely), however those I spoke to were pleased that I had done so. One local gentlemen was seated on the steps of the Tourist building, a coconut-drink in his hand and some fried bananas in a napkin on his knee. In French he offered me one, which I willingly accepted, delicious it was too.
We leave for Tahiti soon, we are due for a change in the weather; rain and increased swell. There is a Tropical storm to our south, it was near Tahiti 2-days ago, however is moving south-east, away from us and shouldn’t present any challenge, just the pesky increased wind and the rain. More about that from Papeete……