Saturday, July 15, 2017


[Kyle]Once morning broke at Papeete Marina we were preparing for our next island destination: Moorea. The silhouette of Moorea had been prominent and beckoning us since we arrived in Tahiti. As we left the pass, Begonia was visited by a pod of dolphins, a great start to the sail for our guests. We had hoped for a brisk sail to show off the boat as she kicked up her heels, but the forecast wind never did arrive, so we plodded along slowly under one engine for the full journey. There was enough swell to introduce our guests Sarah and Geoffrey to the Pacific Ocean for real, and they managed it easily and without issue.

We soon put Sarah & Geoffrey to work - despite the heat and the rain

As we pulled around the North of Moorea into Opunohu Bay which is yet another green, lush, bay backed by spectacularly high mountains with impossibly steep cliffs. I joke that I like to wait until it rains before I get poor Maryanne to go out on deck and set the anchor – and it certainly did in Opunohu – she got quite drenched as I scouted just the spot for the anchor. As soon as the it was set, the rain stopped and the sun came out – exposing those spectacular cliffs. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset from freshly rinsed decks.

Amazing views!

The first full day in Moorea Maryanne persuaded Sarah, Geoffrey and I to hike to a local viewpoint (Belvedere) giving her some time to catch up on remaining odd chores. We hiked inland away from the beach on a road that took us past an agricultural school with shrimp ponds and cattle fields before we reached the trailhead at the far end of the valley. We switched from pavement to a dirt road that ran alongside a pineapple plantation. Further on, we joined a more traditional single-track hiking trail that took us up steep switchbacks in the shade of the jungle. We ultimately emerged atop a spiny ridge with steep drop-offs on each side supporting thickets of growth rising all around us. Finally, we found a gap in the growth, which allowed us to sit with our legs dangling over the edge of the cliff face to enjoy the beautiful view and a well deserved snack. From where we sat, we could see an even higher ring of cliffs behind us. Ahead of us, both Cook and Opunohu Bays stretched away. We could see the lone speck of Begonia.

Even though the trip down was easier, we were by then pretty tired from the exercise and heat, so we were very glad to arrive back at home where Maryanne met us with smiles and food.

We finished the day with a bottle of wine on the Trampoline – the wine being the only Tahiti wine we know of, and suitably made from Pineapples grown in Moorea.

Snorkelling & Enjoying the views
Thanks Geoffrey for the photo of us on the trampoline & Sarah showing off the a cushion star

Our anchorage was deep into Opunohu Bay, and silty from run-off i.e. not best for visibility, so before departing Moorea the following morning we made a brief stop at the reef just inside the pass for a snorkel on the coral reef. Here our guests got their fist sightings of sting rays, cushion stars, and spider conch among others before setting off for a 24 hour sail to Huahine.

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