|Rainbow over the Tahiti Yacht Club, Arue, Tahiti|
Coming into Tahiti after cruising the Marquesas and the Tuamotos is a little like living in the smallest town in America and then moving to New York. You’ve been exploring places that usually have one main street that’s about ½ a mile long with maybe one small store, a post office and a bank if you’re lucky. If I had to guess, the average population in the Marquesas might have been around 2000 people per “town” and in the Tuamotos it’s more like 200!
|Our friendly Tahitian bus driver.|
Love the personal flair!
So landing in Tahiti (their New York) after several months in these tiny islands was almost like going into culture shock for us. There is an international airport, a huge and VERY busy cargo Port, a large downtown with tall building (more than 2 floors!) and most importantly – REAL GROCERY STORES!!!!
|The wonderful downtown market - so much great stuff!|
|How I felt when I couldn't|
You would be amazed at the strength of the buying IMPULSE when it hasn’t been satisfied for a very long time – it’s very strong. But being on a pretty tight budget we (wisely) decided that we should do a “walk-through” the first time and not let ourselves buy anything. It was almost as satisfying just LOOKING at all the stuff we could buy. After the walkthrough we went back to the boat and talked about what we really NEEDED and what we could actually AFFORD. This makes for a much smaller list that is MUCH kinder on the budget. It’s a little tough to keep your head in that sort of situation – we know cruisers that went in and spent over a $1000 – but I’m proud to admit we escaped for just over $300. Not too shabby I think!
|Beautiful flower head garlands for sale|
|Sunset over Moorea|
While in Tahiti we enjoyed two beautiful anchorages – the first in the town of Arue, just east of downtown and the home of the Tahiti Yacht Club. Being Seattle Yacht Club members, we introduced ourselves to the manager and gifted him an SYC burgee. He was beyond excited and promptly allowed us full access to all of their facilities, which he normally can’t allow cruisers to use as it would be too big a burden on the small club. We were delighted with the club and happy to see a very good youth sailing program at work. Our second stop was the rather huge anchorage/marina area just northwest of the main Papeete Port. This is where the majority of cruisers stay to provision, buy parts and fix everything they can before moving on. We ran into MANY boats we have met along the way here and it was great fun to catch up and spend time with friends we hadn’t seen for a while. I’m happy to report that both anchorages were really beautiful – situated just behind the protective reef with amazing views of the ocean and the island of Moorea in the distance. We had breathtaking sunsets almost every night – what’s not to like about that?
|Does this rooster look annoyed or what? Kind of how we |
felt after paying $90 for a couple of spot welds...
|Dinner on Cassiopée - can you tell it's the end of the night?|
|Local boat storage!|
|Very old stone tikis at the religious site of Marae Arahurahu|