Posted by: catamarantwooceans | September 28, 2009

Rain in Moorea

It seems the speed of the internet server here does not permit uploading of pictures. so this will have to wait until we get to a regular internet cafe. Sorry!

25.9.09 – Friday – During the night it started raining.  Yesterday we put all the mattresses and other beddings are out on the deck to dry…  At least they will get a sweet water rinse, which is good, because if they dried with salt in them they would have attracted moisture and always be damp.  It turned out to be too much of a good thing as the rain went on and on and we became prisoners in our little home in the bay.  I tried the water catchment “system” that I had made and collected a few liters before the wind shook it spilling everything out. We spent the time reading, watching movies and just waiting. We succeeded activating the C-Map program with the disk in the D drive instead of using the hard disk.  At 1530 the skies cleared somewhat, the rain ceased so we took the dinghy ashore to explore.

Cook’s bay is a deep indentation into the island with mountains on its sides and even higher, steep ones further inland. On shore there is a village, Paopao, mostly geared to tourism, so there are quite a few hotels, restaurants and shops. Everything is so green (the rain…) and beautiful.

26.9.09 – Saturday – Rained again during the night. Bedding still wet. We will move to the next bay, a couple of miles to the west – Opunohu bay – reputed to be even prettier than the one we are in now.  Bringing the anchors up was a bit difficult because during the night the boat turned around more than once and the chains of the two anchors got tangled.  We motored towards the exit, where I put the trolling line out. We must get a fish today!

Several kite surfers were out and one of them managed to sneak too close behind us, caught and cut our line and had difficulty getting waterborne again. We came back to check that he was not hurt (he was not) but could not help him raise his kite as we were too close to the reef. Put a new Rapala lure in the water and in five minutes had a strike but the fish got away.

The entrance to Opunohu was getting nearer so in order to gain “fishing time” we turned north to motor some more. That’s when Yael spotted whales and we turned towards them. They were four Humpback whales, moving majestically, breeching, blowing and diving again, huge tails waving goodbye.

After fifteen minutes of exhilaration we decided not to intrude further and leave for the bay. Opunohu bay is similar in appearance to Cook’s bay. Most of the yachts were anchored in the shallow lagoon to the left of the entrance and we went the same way. It was a relief anchoring in turquoise water, 2.5 meters deep, where I could see the anchor embedding itself securely in the sand. After a reconnaissance tour of the bay with the dinghy, we went back to “Two Oceans” to plan dinner. “Can we fish here?” asked Nir.  “Go for it!” In 5 minutes a puffer (pogo) fish was caught and immediately released unharmed. 10 minutes later the rod bent again. This time it was a nice, four portions sort of snapper. So we will have fish for dinner! But, to quote the “Marathon Man”:”Is it safe?” Some fish here carry Ciguaterra and can be harmful if consumed. The solution was to go to the nearest home on the beach and ask the locals. I got a “thumbs up” and Gili produced a gourmet dinner: Grilled fish with tomato salsa on a bedding of couscous with fennel and lettuce salads. Excellent!

26.9.09 – Sunday –  A lot of rain in the morning. At 1030 it stopped. Nir and I went ashore to take some water and then motored slowly west inside the lagoon, towards a place where you stand in the water and big rays come by to play. We could only go part of the way with the yacht, then anchor and proceed with the dinghy through the channel marked by poles. We passed a big hotel with bungalows built over the shallow water and saw the site ahead with boats moored and people standing in the water. We anchored too and took our time before joining the other spectators. Two local guys were standing in the water, dispensing morsel of food to the fish below and to birds above. We could clearly see the big rays crowding and touching them. There were other species too; Sharks and remora fish in formation. I stayed on the dinghy to take some pictures and then joined the others. The rays come to you and let you touch them, the white underside of their wings pleasant to the touch as velvet. Swimming with sharks was also a strange sensation. Big fun!

Back in our original anchorage, we started thinking, why go to Huahine during the night? If we leave very early in the morning, say 0400, we can cover the 80 miles and still get there in daylight.

28.9.09 – Monday – All through the night rain fell. When I woke up at 0345 it was so heavy and the visibility so low that we decided to stay put. We’ll check the weather  and make plan accordingly. Rained and reined in Moorea!

In the afternoon we took an organized tour with a 4×4 vehicle. Our guide/driver – Tehiva – took us to see the highlights of the island. Like the agricultural school, the cathedral in one of the villages and so on. The real peak was Magic Mountain, with a steep twisting track leading to it and a beautiful view of the north shore.

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