Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Tahiti, that storied island of the South Pacific. It's history is full of whaling ships and explorers. Men who were seduced by her exotic beauty, compelled to "jump ship", to linger, to stay at all costs. Nothing has changed except ..... our french visas are up in a few weeks and how can you jump your own ship?
From Rangiroa, we dragged our sorry food poisoned asses for an overnight sail into the Tahiti Yacht Club and decided that if you had to be sick then it wasn't a bad place to recover. We were right. One of the largest most comprehensive grocery stores I have ever seen was across the street. I'm not talking upscale, I'm talking French upscale. There wasn't time in the world to try all the different pate's, cheeses, and mouthwatering delicacies prepared and waiting. This on top of fresh breads and reasonably priced Bordeaux was all an elaborate joke to us as we could hardly eat a thing. Well that changed soon enough and we were off and running in no time.
One weekend we rented a car to see the island with a couple from another boat. We circumnavigated the island because thats what we do. On the way we saw museums and botanical gardens, we ate lunch over looking the water inside the reef and watched as the outriggers plied the lagoon. When we got thirsty we bought a bottle of wine and kept exploring. The next day we explored the deep canyons of Tahiti. We drove across rivers and had a delicious picnic overlooking the pounding surf. With our friends one can't just look at the surf, so the next day we tied three surfboards to the roof and did it all again.
If that wasn't enough we managed to have parties nearly every night. When the native were throwing a big bash near the Yacht Club and the pounding drums, singing and dancing threatened to go on into the night we decided to join them. What a night we had with all the beautiful women and massive men dressed to the nines in their boisterous and vibrant colors. Of course always wearing flowers in their hair. We danced all of us and ate and drank and never once felt like we weren't welcome.
We did the usual tourist things especially as it was the time of year for all the Bastille Day festivities. There were outrigger races in the main harbor of Papeete where a hundred boats with teams of six would stab their way upwind in a mad dash. There was a dance extravaganza in a makeshift stadium set up downtown. Some cruisers went twice. The dancers were made up of different teams from all over the South Pacific. Every night there was a new show.
The Yacht Club proved to be a tranquil sanctuary after our hectic loud days in the city looking for parts, propane or dealing with paperwork. Liz even had her first crack at a washing machine in a very long time. We hadn't seen a laundry since the Galapagos. In Tahiti we were able to get our boat repairs done as well as set up the sewing machine and fix not only our sails but those of four other boats. Not bad work if you can get it. The cash took some of the bite out of the Polynesian prices and gained us the appreciation of our fellow sailors. Mark


FBRW@yahoo.com said...

In the era of Web 2.0 and the Virtual experience, I must say that I love your blog and pictures. You bring great images and dreams to those of us (me!) who continue on to voyage on a corporate tredmill! Thanks much -- and godspeed!

Melsie said...

Hey you two! Tahiti looks like a beautiful place--as do all the other places you have been! So glad to be able to follow your travels. Liz, you were missed at Mel's Holiday :( A fun time was had by all (as always), and Karena was the first one down this year!! I think Lisa is happy to have that burden taken off her shoulders for the past couple holidays! Look forward to hearing more from you!

Anonymous said...

Mark I read your description of Tahiti and suggest you remove reference to Liz doing her first crack on the washing machine. That could get you in trouble! Your brother.

Anonymous said...

I know that is funny somewhere! OK I am officially jealous. What an extrodinary experience that will last a life time. Mark you get my award for time management when it comes to living this life of ours! Your Brother!

Anonymous said...

OMG Mark and Liz! Dave and Susanne here! What a thrill it was to meet you two along with Bill and Linda! Thank you again for the hospitality aboard Scholarship and we were thrilled to have you all "aboard" our bungalow on Moorea! We have great pictures, so email us at kupiec@bellsouth.net

Dave and Susanne