Taha’a and Raiatea – The Engagement…not ours but our Friends Brad and Elizabeth : )

 

We decided to spend most of our time in Taha’a rather than the island of Raiatea.  The red dots are our 3 anchorage spots on Taha’a and we spent 1 night in Raiatea to re-fuel and re-provision before heading to Bora Bora.Taha’a – The Vanilla Island…so they say! We looked forward to visiting a vanilla plantation but were distracted by an planned “ENGAGEMENT” of our friends Elizabeth and Brad on SV Fandango.  We are not upset : )  And they still got our vanilla beans (lol)

 

Our passage from Huahine to Taha’a was AWESOME!!! We had Briley form SV Me Too crew with us for the 5 hour passage.  Having the extra hands on deck we were able to sail wing on wing on wing, actually sail through the pass into the inner reef, and sail down the bay and anchor under sail….a huge deal for Trevor and I, thanks to Briley : )

Wing on wing on wing
Briley…from our buddy boat SV Me Too….took a chance to crew on Slow Flight on the passage from Huahine to Taha’a. Briley here at the helm. She helps us by making playlists for us to listen to underway, keep Trevor on point with the sails configuration, and all around a joy to be around!!!!

The first bay we had movie night on SV Me Too with a projector and screen…for real!  SV Fandango brought over popcorn…this is the way movies should be watched!  We visited a sleepy town (we arrived on a saturday during the Heiva festivals so the streets were really dead).

This wasp was/is everywhere in French Polynesia. I finally got a photo of it. Once we had 15-20 of these guys INSIDE the boat…not here but Trevor has been stung by one.
It was a small town but this restaurant sign confused me…..it was closed so I couldn’t quench my curiosity
Since Huahine, there were lots of charter boats and cruise ships….this guy was different…being a sailing vessel (doubtfully) but looked cool!
Trevor noticed our temperature on the engine was really hot so HE replaced the impeller which was below waterline. So he had to plug the hose since we were in the water, before he could pull the impeller. I was inpressed!
The impeller was fine…next HE checked the air filter and changed the secondary fuel filter. It still runs a bit hot but at least it’s not 230 degrees.

Our second anchorage was literally on a reef- a first for us with only 2 feet of water underneath our keel!

This is our path around the island. There are lots of reefs to avoid but Garmin, to our surprise, has been really accurate in these islands…we have heard Garmin is not great in other places so we take it for granted while we can.
So we turned the north corner of the island of Taha’a and BAM!!!! There is Bora Bora : )
It is hard to imagine and capture on camera but we just dropped the hook on a reef. The light blue is about 8-10 feet of water and then the dark blue color is about 100 feet of water. Our friends on SV Fandango had their bow of the boat in 12 feet of water and the stern of the boat was in 80 feet of water…let’s just saw the “wall” of coral was pretty impressive and scary at the sametime. Fandango helped scout out (in depth and looking for coral head “boomies”) for us in their dinghy and we paid it forward when SV Me Too joined us a few hours later. It all part of the looking out for eachother.
Photo courtesy of SV Fandango…Slow Flight and Me Too at sunset with Bora Bora in the backdrop ; )
Trevor snorkeling the nearby reef wall

The engagement – The long/short, Brad and Elizabeth have been together 6 years now and throughout our travels with them…we have often heard “shit or get off the pot” comments : )  While we were in the first anchorage in Taha’a, Brad come over and organized that we would have “an electrical issue” and he would come over and make a ring to propose to Elizabeth.  Knowing Brad and Elizabeth, they are not the conventional people and Brad, being a geologist, he can’t just give her a diamond…she doesn’t value “bling” herself either…so a black pearl it was to be.  He just needed the circle material and that is when things got interesting.  Trevor and Brad worked flawlessly together and problem solved all the design issues as time was an issue (dinner on Slow Flight was in 2 hours).

We organized a morning “group snorkel” the next day…..Here are some of the moments…

Trevor broke out the big tools! Here they are cutting the first attempt for the ring. Brad and Trevor cut and polished little pieces of an oyster shell, mother of pearl, to attached to each other to make a round circle…..time was too prohibited.
So strings of dried coconut husk it was…..
Brad…..hummm…there was 3 beers consumed : )
They sized the ring around a piece of pipe
How to attached the pearl was a lengthy decision….a squareknot was decided…both nautical and practical
Brad drilled a hole to receive strings of coconut husk so that it could be tied to the squareknot
The workshop : )
The final product, the ring underwater placed in beaded shell with a lead weight wrapped in RED electrical shrink wrap just to ensure we could find it.
The proposal!
The happy engaged couple, again with Bora Bora in the backdrop!

Raiatea – We only spent 1 night on a mooring ball in Raiatea.  We had read horror stories about the Shell station downtown Utuora (guys is an arsehole and his people untie lines and let your boat go) so we searched out the “other” fuel station, Total.  We found it north of the marina and was pleasantly surprised there was a dock and a very nice lady to give us duty free diesel.  There were 3 mooring balls right in front of the Total station.  We called the phone number on the ball guessing they were private so we couldn’t stay here but again…to our surprise, the guy accepted a 6-pack of beer a night to stay on the moorings while the charter boats who live there are out.  So off to the store we go after we filled tanks.

Slow Flight under power to the next anchorage
On our way to Raiatea there were also lots of little reefs to navigate around. Here is a fishing hut erected on a small sand/reef.

Saying “See you later” to Brad and Liz – As mentioned before, Elizabeth was accepted to a masters program and needed to head back to “real life” at some point.  They choose to leave SV Fandango in Bora Bora.  We wanted to commemorate our friendships.   We will dearly miss them….I believe that we all never imagined hanging out with each other for the last 2 months straight… a crazy group of folks….but man did it work well!  Heart you guys : )

SV Me Too constructed this fabulous canvas with a photo of all of us (Slow Flight, Me Too and Fandango), little shells, coins, fun nautical themes, and Clay hand drew Marquesan tattoo images and recreated the French Polynesian flags on it.  It was beautiful and we all dinghy to them and presented it to them before SV Fandango left Taha’a for Bora Bora.

 

5 comments

  1. What are your next plans and stops ? Lisa and I will be in New Zealand in December / Jan lets definately catch up
    Are you going to sail to New Zealand ?
    If not we will come see you where ever you may be 🍾🤞🏼

    1. Hi lovely lady…and Jake, Yes we plan on being in NZ this November. We do plan to sail there so long nothing major happens (knock on wood, knock on wood, knock on wood). Not sure but I think we will be at a mainra for a bit just to keep things simple for a bit then olan to sail around NZ….probably the northern island. YES…we will see you there…can’t wait!

      Love you so much!
      Kimi

    2. Hi guys…yes we plan to sail to New Zealand in november. We have stopped planning the rest of the trip until we connect with you all there….We may be at a marina in Auckland or sailing around the north island. Jake, where is your family?

      Loves, Kimi

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