Saturday, July 5, 2008

July 4th in Moorea

Title:  July 4th in Moorea

The 22 mile trip from the southern pass near Marina Tahina on Tahiti Nui to Cook's Bay on Moorea turned out to be directly into the wind.  So, yet again, we motored.  Didn't even bother to unfurl the sails since even motor-sailing was out of the question with the wind angle.  

There was a paperwork snafu at the fuel dock that delayed us for almost an hour.  We finally got our agent on the phone and he talked with the fuel dock attendant and got everything straightened out and we did receive the duty free fuel price.  Regular price of diesel in Tahiti now is 153 francs per liter; that converts to $7.85 USD per gallon.  Duty free diesel price is 103 francs per liter, which converts to $5.28 USD per gallon.  We needed about 75 gallons so you can see why we wanted the duty free price.  No reason to give up that additional $193 when we were legally entitled to the duty free price.  OTOH, gasoline is not duty free; and the current price of gasoline here is $9.15 USD.  And you think gas is expensive in the USA!!!  Good thing we don't use the dinghy very often here because it could quickly get expensive.

Cook's Bay on Moorea is very dramatic in appearance.  It is a long, deep bay and the high craggy mountains around it cause strong wind gusts.  There are a couple of places to anchor down at the end of the bay, but the wind often gusts 30 to 35 knots.  That does not appeal to us.  The best anchorage is actually outside the bay on the east side behind the very, very large reef.  There is a narrow finger-like "trench" between the island and the reef.  It is deep but it is still the best anchorage.  We are anchored in around 60-feet.  When the wind changes direction we sometimes move stern-to the reef and then there is less than 3-feet of water beneath our keel.  That should give you an idea of the narrow width of this trench.  There are about a dozen boats anchored out here.

Barbara & Frank on S/V DESTINY and Sandy & Andy on S/V IMAGINE coordinated a dinghy raft-up to celebrate July 4th.  (BTW, Barbara is from the Cy-Fair area of Houston and they are in a gorgeous Island Packet 480)  I will attempt to explain a dinghy raft-up for you non-cruisers and landlubbers.  It is exactly what it sounds like.  We went out very close to the reef; a few dinghies put down anchors; we tied all the dinghies together as tightly as possible; and we shared hamburgers, hot dogs, cake, and other good nibbles while visiting for a few hours.  We were treated to a gorgeous sunset over the ocean.  It was a fun way to celebrate the 4th.

Today the wind picked up pretty strong and most of the boats have left this anchorage.  Wind is from the right direction to sail farther westward in the Tahitian islands so several boats are taking advantage of it.  There are only 5 of us left this afternoon.  We are not in any hurry to leave since we just arrived here 2 days ago.  Our anchor is well set and we are not worried about dragging.  The WASI Buegel anchor is fantastic.  It absolutely does not drag.  Highly recommend it over any other anchor (except maybe the Rocna which is a knock-off of the Buegel).  We do not find the motion caused by the wind to be uncomfortable so we are staying put.
We had planned to snorkel on the reef today but that is out since it is only 79F and that is way too cold for us to get into the water.  Plus the wind disturbs the water too much.  So we are cocooning it today.  We were very surprised to find free WiFi service out here in this anchorage.  Life is good.

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