Saturday, August 22, 2015

See You Later Grandma (and French Polynesia)

Luna Azul...sailing into the sunrise!

The time has come. The three months we are allowed in French Polynesia are up and we have to be moving on. We have loved our time here and wish we could stay longer. It will have some bittersweet memories for us as we had a variety of experiences here. It is where the people welcomed us with open arms to beautiful communities that simultaneously eased and stoked the fires of our homesickness with their emphasis on family and community. But it is also where we were when Caleb graduated and Kodee was born. 

 Ua Pou is where we learned that Grandma was really sick and where we learned that a dear uncle has cancer, but it is also where we got to hang out with several great boats including Sadiqi, Seatime, Bonafide and where we met Edwige, Armand, Heato, Jerome, Cedric, all of the crews at the Artinesat and the Coop and Darren’s surf buddies at the river mouth wave. 

This doesn't even begin to do justice to the range of colors

All dressed up and ready for Heiva

Tahiti is the only place we ever had Lil' Sass, our dinghy, stolen (from the yacht club dock and returned to Gratitouille at anchor - argh and yay!) and where Jodi  caught a nasty bug from a Typhoid Nancy that reared its ugly head about an hour into our nearly 2 day crossing to Taha’a.

A Heiva dancer

 But in between those we also got to hang out with more great boat friends including Wairua, Sunrise, Oceana, French Curve, Full Circle, Antares and more…saw Teahupoo (thanks Sunrise!), Heiva (sorry, we weren’t allowed to take pictures of the performances), shopped in huge supermarkets  (yay Carrefour!), Heiva Rimai’i (a giant arts and craft fair with live music and a carnival!), THREE bookstores (thank you Anne-Lyse), an untold number of fabric stores, the great Papeete Sunday market and had a HOT shower!

 Raiatea is where we learned that Grandma had died (apparently about the same time Jodi got sick on the crossing from Tahiti oddly enough).

It is also where we had only planned to go long enough to check out, but ended up going early to spend Darren’s birthday there. 

Swordfish, kimchee and broccoli!
Shortly after tying up to the quay we were warned by a local that we should be wary of thieves as it was near the end of the local Heiva  and there were a lot of outsiders around. This, combined with us being tired, led to us having supper on board after Darren ran over to the market and discovering… the Sauce Cucurma Gingembre by LouLou, from the Champion or Leogite markets, on some fresh grilled swordfish!

Which, along with the Carambole Chutney also by LouLou with chevre or brie, we HIGHLY recommend!

The good continued as we met the “absolutely” wonderful German and Norwegian crew of the charter s/v Colorado (and spent a great evening with them).  

As usual, farewells came much too soon.

We enjoyed meeting a few locals including our favorite artisana Dolores and getting acquainted with the guests and crew of Dutch Wanderer and Luna Azul.It's not often we run into someone from Oregon City!

The tank is empty, but will Darren explode?
We were also able to knock a couple of boat projects off the list while in Raiatea, including replacing the propane valve that broke before we even had a chance to use the fuel. (We aren't the only ones who had this issue with valves from El Salvador). Thanks to Bert on Luna Azul for the loan of his tools and muscle that made it possible!

Boat yoga...with a little help from my friends...

There is so much more of course and one of these days we will slow down enough (and get enough electricity and wifi!) to give you more details and photos. For now, we have to check out of the country, get our bond back, get fuel and water and the last minute veggies and cheese among other smaller errands! Depending on the weather and permission from the Gendarme, we are hoping to stop at Maupiti in a few days. If we arrive with…
1.       a small swell that lets us enter the pass there and…
2.       the Manaspot wifi is repaired (it hasn’t worked here for the week and a half we’ve been here– we are sending this from the cafĂ©…where we still don’t have a strong enough signal for Facebook or Skype so we only have your emails to let us know how you are)
…we are hoping to spend the last of our 5 hour wifi card that we bought 3 months ago on arrival in Hiva Oa (where it also didn’t work) to send you more news.

On the chance that the stars don’t align for that, our plans are to head out from French Polynesia for Christmas Island, Kiribati (hint, it’s near the equator in the Pacific)  where we don’t know what, if any, wifi is available, so don’t worry if you don’t hear from us for a while (like late November/early December).

Grandma, of course, no longer has to wait for us to get internet for an update. Where she's at now she has a front row seat to see what we're up to as it's happening.

Rest in peace Grandma
And even though we know that, we still miss having you here physically.
Here here (that’s ‘a whole lotta love’ in Tahitian!),
Jodi and Darren

PS – We are now waiting for weather to go to Maupiti so are enjoying a little more time with friends both old and new, and the fresh lettuce, meat, cheese and baguettes from the market while we can!

Wairua and 'touille, together again
We also did a little pre-celebration of our anniversary since we don't know what we'll have access to for the actual day.

How do you like Darren's new earring?
Spa Gratitouille - Taha'a style!

Yup, still seriously silly after all these years.

No comments:

Post a Comment