Saturday, June 27, 2015

Heaven in Huahine

Hello Everyone,

A picture of our time with the sting rays in Moorea, diving to find the tikis, and our little Brown Boobie friend that stayed on our dinghy with us begging for food like a stray puppy.

Once again we are in screen saver mode.  We are loving the little island of Huahine for its tropical breezes, white sandy beaches, lush jungle and bamboo forests, and the turquoise waters.  We arrived here from Moorea a few days ago and have been enjoying every minute.  It is really nice to be inside the reef and anchored in lagoons.  Our first anchorage was actually a mooring ball that we picked up past the main town of Fare.  There were only 3 moorings for this little spot and it was heaven on earth.  When we got our boat tied up we looked over the side and saw 20 spotted eagle rays swimming under our boat.  They were there the entire 2 days we stayed.  I believe because it was a channel they were feeding on the plankton going through.  They just hovered there all together.  It was so cool.

The little beach that is next to the mooring site is maintained by Phillipe who has been there for over 20 years.  He is well known for his jewelry and maintaining the property that at one time was going to be a hotel site, but is now abandoned.  He is a very welcoming and generous man that offered all that he had including pamplemousse, bananas and coconuts.  We are now stocked up so to speak.  He also gave the girls a bracelet making lesson with the red seeds he makes his jewelry from.  We played on the beach, went for a panoramic walk up the hill and snorkeled with the eagle rays... I know what you are thinking, Life is rough!.

After spending a few days with Phillipe we decided to head on up to Avae Bay.  This is another postcard anchorage and the beauty of it is, it is like a cold-e-sac.  We are anchored at the end and have blown up the little girls paddle boards so they have been paddle boarding by themselves all over the lagoon.  It is amazing.  There is a completely shallow wall right in front of our boat of sand for a mile and then behind us a very nice hotel called Relais Mahana.  Monette (the owner of this hotel and Tahiti Yacht Charters) has been so welcoming to us cruisers and helpful with all our boating needs from Wifi to connections in Raiatea for repairs.. yet again.  (Pete and Gayle Chris did get a chance unfortunately to use your underwater epoxy!, thank you for insisting he had some! UGH!)  There is a dock going out from the hotel that has perfect coral heads for the girls to explore and swim on their own.  We found a Morey Eel, loads of fish and lots of different kinds of squishy sea cucumbers.  They have had a great time and then of course the jumping off the dock for more entertainment.  At the end of the day... Relaxation.  This should be a new spa therapy... the sense of floating...I need more of this.

Hugs and love to all,


Thursday, June 25, 2015

On our way to Huahine

Hello Everyone,

We are well on our way to Huahine. It is midnight and it is my turn to take watch for 3 hours. We decided to do an overnight because it is easier for the kids. They are able to just sleep while we plug away. It is a completely windless night, with a few light rolling waves, and a half moon playing hide and seek behind the clouds. It is really beautiful out here tonight. As we left Huahine it was an amazing sail out. If all of our starts where like this one I would never come home. Truly beautiful with the sun setting, a light down wind breeze and gentle rolling waves. I kept looking for the dolphins to be playing in the surf but unfortunately we haven't seen any since Nuka Hiva.

We had a great time at our last anchorage in Moorea. We had left the Cook's Bay and motored around to the next be up. It was as beautiful as expected. This particular bay is known for Sting Ray City and the hunt for the sunken tiki snorkel. Sting Ray City is definitely worth a stop. This is a spot outside of the club med on Moorea where the resort feeds the sting rays out on the reef every day at 11. Now if you go at that time you are swimming with about 100 of your closest friends. We went at 4 and there were only a handful of us cruisers out there with the sting rays. The sting rays are on the larger scale. About the size of Alina and they are so curious and hopeful that you will feed them they come right up to you. It is really great to be able to swim along side of them and at times the kids even were able to gently touch their backs. There were quite a few of them still around and when ever a new dinghy came to the area they would all swim towards it. Really fun to be in the water again after being on land for 3 weeks in Tahiti. It is really nice to be in the crystal clear waters again.. I just wish there was more fish life. We haven't seen any recently and it is really sad to see. We are only seeing the sharks and now the sting rays which makes me wonder... what are the sharks eating or are they hungry and do I need to worry?

The tikis were fun to find but not much of a draw to go back and see them twice. They were actually right off our anchorage and chris and I and the little girls went to dive around and see them. They are sunken stones that someone had dropped in there for some fun.

Everyone is a little sick with fevers and stomache issues these past few days so it has limited our time in the water and our energy level. Chris and I are hoping to get to Huahine before it hits us but I am already starting to feel some of what the kids are going through. Good news is that it is a short lived bug and should pass within 48 once you get it. It is only the second time we have been sick since this trip began and both times it is because we were in the marinas and in cities. It is easier to catch the bugs when people are around.

Gotta go now, not feeling to well with the rolling waves and typing.

Hugs and love to everyone,


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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

More in Moorea, Puddle Jump Party, Fathers Day and Amaia's 8th Birthday.

Hello Everyone,

Hope all is well at home  We are currently anchored in Cooks Bay on Moorea.  It has been an amazing 4 Fun Filled Days.  This bay reminds me so much of the Marquesas Islands, with its majestic high rising mountains from the sea reaching all the way up to the clouds.  Since we have been here very rarely do you actually see the top of the mountains.  They are continually covered in rain showers that seem to just pass through the valley and give us a sprinkle every now and then from the mist being carried by the wind.  We are anchored just outside of the Bali High Resort and it is an amazing place.  

We arrived here on Saturday with the group from the Puddle Jump organized by Latitude 38.  We decided to sign up for the rally back in February and this was the end of the rally celebration with the beginning starting with a race from Papeete to Moorea.  There was the Multihull division and the monohull division... broken out by boat size.  It was a really fun race and we were neck and neck with our friends from Shine all the way over until the very end when the winds got so light we felt that both of us were going backwards and the monohulls were catching us.  We were probably about 50 feet apart bantering each other until we got a lucky break and a puff of wind carried us to the finish line first... so fun.  Then there was a reception/dinner organized by the race committee with polynesian dancers performing at the end.  

Sunday brought us first Amaia's 8th Birthday along with Fathers Day... I wanted to wish all the dad's out there a happy fathers day and hope that you were all spoiled and pampered and were able to go Golfing, fishing, watch sports, hang out with kids and family and make it a very special day for you.  You all really deserve the best.  Our sunday was unbelievably busy and lucky we had two of the best dad's on board that were so supportive of the events that were happening that day that they had no time to relax and just hang out... Happy Fathers Day to Chris my amazing husband and father.. and also to Grandpa Carl an amazing dad and grandpa who took all the chaos and craziness in spirit with his wonderful smile all day long.  Sunday was filled with a Hawaiian Canoe race at the beginning with 30 teams of 5 competing and then a kids race at the end.  We had the best time .... there were so many activities planned throughout the day that from the age of 2 to well into the 70’s there was something for everyone.  Andy and the Puddle Jump committee really put on a fabulous day for all of us and we are so grateful.  If anyone is contemplating attending this event in the future we would highly recommend it.  It is so fun to be surrounded by the boating community that you have been bumping into along your passage here.  Really great to support and catch up with them and be able to enjoy and learn the customs of the culture here.   The day was about celebrating everyone and they were so wonderful to include the kids that were here in everything that was offered.  Even having the kids race around with Bananas and teaching them how to shave coconut.  Mykaela was pulled out of the crowd to help the announcer demonstrate all the ways to where a sarong or Pareo.  She was such a good sport modeling all of his designs.... He was an amazing speaker and so funny bantering with all of us back and forth... really pulling in everyone from the crowd.

It was Amaia’s 8th Birthday Sunday and it was so amazing... Andy from Latitude 38 was celebrating their 10th Anniversary of hosting the Puddle Jump and so they had bought a cake... but before they had mentioned that they wished Amaia a special birthday and everyone (all 100 People or so) sang to her.  She had the most amazing smile on her face and was so tickled.  It really made her day.  

Grammie and Grandpa Carl had to leave today... it was a sad day for everyone.  I hope their flight home goes smoothly...  I know it is a long journey from here... taxi to the ferry terminal, ferry from Moorea to Papeete Tahiti, then waiting at the airport till midnight to catch the red eye to Los Angeles, then a flight to Seattle, then another flight home to Wenatchee Washington... Over all they left here at 1:30 and probably won’t get home for 24 hours... Thinking of you guys.  We had so much fun with you and miss you tons already, thank you so much for coming all this way to see us and spending time on our little boat.  

The kids have found a bunch of friends since we have all come together here in Moorea for the end of rally party.  I feel bad for all the people in the anchorage with so many teenagers grabbing the keys to the dinghies and racing around through the anchorage having a great time.  The spent a ton of time with all the other boaters having fun wake boarding, playing games, watching movies, playing soccer, and even off one boat being hauled out of the water on a halyard and dropped about 30 feet down into the water.. All the kids had so much fun doing this over and over again.  

Tomorrow brings another sad day when we have to say good bye to our friends from Shine that we have been buddy boating with since South Fakarava in the Tuamotus.  It is really rare to find a boat that everyone in the family connects so easily and seamlessly with.  They are such an amazing and funny family that we truly connected with them like we have known them all our lives.  We are really blessed to have been able to spend as much time with them as we have and we will miss all of them so much.  I am all ready trying to plan how we can meet up in the future and so far our date is in Figi at Muscat Cove (or something like that) in early September for the sail rally they do there.  It is hard to imagine that we have to wait that long till we see each other again.  I never want to hope for foul weather but in this case I hope we get a little delayed somewhere so that we can meet up with them sooner than later.

Today we are heading out to another bay in Moorea.  The bay is called Opunohu Bay and is suppose to have sting rays that you can swim with and also a local carver has made and sunk tikis in the bay like a treasure hunt.  I am not sure the water will be clear enough to see but we will try and take a look.  Otherwise there are is a really nice beach and possible horse back ride through the valley.  Then we are off, weather providing, we will be making our passage over to Huahine and Avea Bay... Many people say that this is one of their favorite islands in the Society Islands and so we are planning on exploring this island for about a week if possible. 

The kids have been exhausted daily with all the fun they have been having and all the friends they have been playing with.  I am looking forward to trying to start up again with more of a routine and getting some school activities completed.  Because of our schedule be not so scheduled Chris and I have decided to not honor a summer vacation and are continuing school throughout the year.  There are many times when the kids are unable to do school because of things that arise, whether it is sea sick and sailing, boat repairs, being with other boats with kids so they get to have their social time, or other things... so we consider these times a vacation from their school and so we will keep plugging away.  

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Spending in Papeete, Time and Money only goes so far here...

Hello Everyone,

 We are still in Papeete, and now our time is running out to get all the things we wanted to get done plus a few others.  We have been busy trying to fix the things on the boat that we KNOW need to fix, like the dinghy, Toilets (always), Sail Cover, Engines, Sail Drive oil change, and many others... then of course the things that come up like our water heater getting a major leak and having to remove it...
Chris is enjoying the shine's (Mercedes) to run a few errands... very generous of them since it takes so long to catch buses to the other marina... they also have a bike on board.  I am not sure what we would have done with out them.

We are taking full advantage of all the shops that Papeete offers.  Getting of course all of our boat parts, black pearls :@), provisioning, clothing items, books, arts supplies, and also having things shipped into the marina up the road.  Yes, I received next years Calvert supplies for the girls.  I am still trying to find a solution for Tristan since I am finding that all the high school programs are mostly online courses... and that you all know would be a nightmare and impossible for us.

With Chris and I doing so much work on the boat, Tristan also wanted to get in some work so he has been very entrepreneurial this week and has made a little business in helping other boats in the marina, doing odd jobs and cleaning services.  He has been working every afternoon.  He has made signs and has been walking boat to boat introducing himself and asking for business.  Nevermind school with as much business he has drummed up he can support himself right now... how can you refuse this smile!

 With Tristan working so hard and making money working on other boats, Alina was inspired to make some money as well.  She decided to make bracelets and sold them for 50 Francs a piece.  She sold them on the dock in front of our boat and then decided she could reach more of an audience if she went boat to boat like her big brother...

With all the work that we are doing it we are getting a little stir crazy and grumpy... so we decided to rent a car with our friends from shine and go drive the island to see some of the sights.  We went to Venus Point beach, famous for the black sand, a natural park, drove through a river (sign said if the water is only 1/2 way up your wheel to continue across, if not don't continue.. (What!), got eaten by mosquitos, drove to the famous surf spot of Teahupoo, played on the beach, then went down the road for some ice cream and a beer and then back home.  We had a wonderful time seeing all that tahiti has to offer and it is even more fun with our handheld radio chatter between our two cars.  

 We are getting ready now for the Puddle Jump Party happening this weekend and all the festivities that go along with that.  We have had a really great time here in town but are ready to move on to beaches, snorkeling, hiking and all the fun stuff again.

Hugs and love to all,


Sunday, June 14, 2015

(no subject)

City street, back in the day
many cruisers, boat cleaning

boat projects, dinghy, generator


food, roulotte, chao mein in baguettes
Shine skate park, helping us
Girls playing gambling dice games for candy

Kevin. Grammie visits



Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cruising really is fixing boats in exotic places....

Hello Everyone,

We are sitting in the downtown marina here in Papeete.  It is a new marina that really isn't officially open yet but they are letting boats come in and use the docks anyway.  It is in a great location next to the Roulotte trucks for all your dining needs, the Market in downtown for all the fresh produce, Baguette sandwiches filled with chowmein, steak frites, or orange chicken and frites... according the the kids and chris these sandwiches are to die for.  Alina is addicted to the corn dogs and Mykaela loves the pork buns.  So many choices and surprisingly cheap to eat... $2.50 plus you get a drink.  We of course had to visit the mcdonalds... we are not going back.. I will never again pay $11 for one big mac meal.  Not the meal deal down here like in the states... but the kids really wanted to go..

We have a check list of boat fixes, repairs, and upkeep that is a mile long and we are getting through it.  There are quite a few people that offer services and at least some decently stocked chandleries for our supplies.  It is also nice to be in a french country, since our boat was built in France most of the parts that the sell here actually fit.  One of our issues that came up that wasn't on our list was our water heater for our main bathroom... it broke and flooded the boat so now there truly are no more hot showers... at least until Fiji or New Zealand.  Like I told Chris... I really was only able to get one hot shower out of that bathroom since we left mexico anyway... so it is old news...

Our lovely friends from Shine are here and Chris was able to borrow the "Mercedes" to dinghy up to the other marina and get us checked in and also make a run to the grocery store.  It is really nice having the kids back together again and there is a really great skate park down the road that the kids have been playing in.  The Shine boat is sponsored by a skate shop out of Mallorca so they are a boat filled with skateboards... with all the kids they have it is nice for Tristan and Lexi to go cruise around town with them.

We were able to see a dance performance here in the local venue.  French Polynesian islands are having "Heiva" which is a dance competition among all the local schools. It was really sweet to see all the little Keikis out there that are from age 3 and up shaking their little hula skirts..

We are planning on renting a car and at least touring the island for a day.  We need to see more of Tahiti than downtown.  There are a few spots that are recommended, a waterfall, a black sand beach (for my Sand Collection) and of course Teahutoo (a famous surf spot).  Otherwise we are just hanging out, and getting caught up on school work and playing in town.  I was able to order the school books for next year for Alexia and Amaia... and they arrived with no issues.  This was a definite concern for me to make sure we had these.  I have decided to just work with Alina with Amaia's 3rd grade text books for science and social studies, continue reading and journaling a ton with her and I did purchase a 2nd grade math program for her.  Now the only problem to solve is for Tristan... Calvert only offers a highschool program that is based online... they are trying to work a program for us but with the limited amount of Wifi that we have I am concerned that it won't be good enough.  I really need to dive down and get this sorted out but I just don't know where to start.  They have also given us a bunch of names of schools that I need to look into to see if their programs would be better suited for our adventure... There has to be one out there for us... I really would like to make sure he gets the credits he needs in order to reenter high school at Campolindo with his friends... they are such an amazing group of boys!

We are excited to get grammie and grandpa carl here in a few days and then hopefully we will be able to head up to Moorea to go and play in the water and on beaches again.

Hope all is well with everyone at home... Hugs and love to all.


Friday, June 5, 2015

Some Pictures of Anse Amyote, Tuamotu Fun

 Papa Dorado caught just outside of Anse Amyot

Sharks Eating the rests.... of Papa Dorado

 Game of Dibble with the family from "Shine"

Anse Amyot... 

Copra Farm on Anse Amyot

Valentines Kitchen... Awesome!

Valentine and Gaston's Guard Dog... Chases the Sharks away.. When he sees them...

Familly from Shine carting us around after Dinghy Fiasco...

Chris, Amaia, Tristan, Archie watching Gaston in the Fish Pen Catching Dinner for us...

Biology 101.... Black tip reef shark caught in fish pen

Getting Fish ready for dinner... Parrot and unicorn fish on the menu...

Gaston caught these out of their fish pen... amazing BBQ.

Kids got to feed the sharks... the remains of the Baracuda and Shark that was caught in the fish pen... Just FYI... the sharks don't eat shark... so a new tip... in order to not get bit by a shark wipe shark blood on you (hee Hee) BTW... the kids aren't fond of it.. Just kidding.